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  • Writer's pictureDebbie Thrower

Boost to numbers of Anna Friends in Norfolk

Anna Chaplain Sue Shillam writes about recruiting volunteers in the Blofield Benefice, Broadland, Norfolk.

We currently take a communion service to one of our residential homes each month. On one visit the staff seemed more stressed than usual and so I spoke with the manager.

She explained that, whilst they had enough staff to look after the resident’s needs, they no longer had the time for one-to-one chatting which worried her greatly.

Encouraged by the Holy Spirit, I suggested that perhaps we could find a team who would have a dedicated resident who they would visit each month.

I put this to each PCC meeting, made flyers and spoke directly with members of the congregation in the churches.

Twelve people came forward and I started to try to match them with the residents with the help of the manager.

We had some hiccups at the beginning but it is now relatively stable with a good process in place. The manager and relatives of the residents have given good feedback. In time we might be able to replicate this in our other homes.


Eight such volunteers are now becoming Anna Friends. Fellow Anna Chaplain Gaye Hailstone said of her colleague: ‘When most are struggling to recruit volunteers, Sue has done the most amazing job of finding the right people to join her team.’




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