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3rd Jun 2019
New NNAB volunteers co ordinators Rachael Green left and Penny Parker

Norfolk’s sight loss charity has marked Volunteers Week by launching an appeal for more volunteers to help it deliver its services to thousands of visually-impaired people across the county – and has announced the appointment of two new volunteer engagement co-ordinators to spearhead the recruitment drive.

Currently the Norfolk & Norwich Association for the Blind has around 200 active volunteers, helping with tasks as diverse as driving people to eye clinic appointments, telephone befriending, fundraising and office administration.

But ever-increasing demand for their services means that the charity now needs even more volunteers to help deliver its services.

“Volunteering is a great way of gaining confidence and new skills, of meeting people and of taking part in the local community,” said Rachael Green, who is the new volunteer engagement co-ordinator for the NNAB for Norwich and the eastern half of the county.  Ms Green joins the NNAB from the county’s Wellbeing Service, where she was an employment support worker.

“Whether it’s a regular commitment or a more ad hoc role, getting involved brings all sorts of benefits, including social interaction, a boost for the CV for young professionals, and research even shows that it’s good for the volunteer’s mental wellbeing.”

The new volunteer engagement co-ordinator in the west of the county is Penny Parker, who lost her sight in her late 20s.  She joins the charity from disability charity Equal Lives, where she was a community engagement officer.

“Like many charities, the NNAB relies on volunteers to meet the demand for its services, whether that is directly delivering support to people living with sight loss, or helping the charity thorough activities such as fundraising or office administration,” she said.

There is a huge variety of volunteering roles at the NNAB, including sports and leisure activities, eye clinic information advisors, driving, fundraising, equipment and information centres, escorting and guiding, social media co-ordination, administration and helping at special events.

Volunteers can make a regular commitment or simply offer their time on an ad hoc basis.  Full visual awareness training is given.  Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer with the NNAB can contact Rachael Green (Norwich) on 01603 973377 or Penny Parker (King's Lynn) on 01553 407004, or email volunteers@nnab.org.uk.