Saturday, 28 February 2015

Mothering Sunday Spring Walk at Fairhaven Garden, Norfolk Broads

Head to Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden at South Walsham in the heart of the Norfolk Broads on Mothering Sunday, March 15 and join the Spring Walk with Head Gardener, Ian Guest at 11am.

Enjoy the wild yellow primroses, white wood anemones, camellias, daffodils and narcissi. There’s also a free primrose plant on the day for every mum.

The Spring Walk is included in garden entry: £6.20 adult, £5.70 concessions, £3.65 child (under 5 free).

Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden is at South Walsham, nine miles east of Norwich, signposted off A47 at B1140 junction,, t. 01603 270449.

The garden is open daily all year from 10am to 5pm (closed Christmas Day), and on Wednesdays until 9pm from May to the end of August; free entry to tearoom, gift shop and plant sales.

There is wheelchair access throughout the garden, including a Sensory Garden and an accessible boat for trips on the broad from April to October (additional charge). Visitors requiring special facilities are advised to telephone in advance, mobility scooters available.

Dogs are welcome on leads; small charge to cover poop scoop.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Norfolk Deaf Association Appeals for Befriending and Hearing Support Service Volunteers

Norfolk Deaf Association (NDA) is appealing for volunteers for its Befriending and Hearing Support Services, particularly in Norwich, Great Yarmouth and throughout North Norfolk and South Norfolk.

NDA’s Hearing Support Service offers home visits, as well as a mobile clinic comprising a minibus, which visits 28 towns and villages throughout Norfolk. There are also nearly 100 community clinics most of which are for residents at nursing homes and sheltered schemes, but some are open to the general public. Volunteers are the life-blood of the service, looking after more than 6,000 service users a year.

John, volunteer on the NDA mobile clinic, helps service user Mary
The Befriending Service offers support and friendship to members of the community who experience any degree of hearing loss, as well as being by affected by, for example, loneliness, isolation and disability. Whatever the reason, NDA’s aim is to help the befriendee overcome their problems by offering the special support of a volunteer befriender.

Pam Spicer, Co-ordinator of the Hearing Support Service explained: “We are very busy with lots of  referrals and demand for new community clinics. We would like to add to our very dedicated group of volunteers. For both services we offer three days extensive initial training and then ongoing training and support. We also have social gatherings where volunteers can get to know each other. Both volunteers and the people they are helping find their involvement with NDA very rewarding.”

John has been a NDA volunteer for seven years, working on the mobile clinic two days a month. “I have had a hearing aid for 12 years and derive great satisfaction from being able to help people in a similar condition to me. Being able assist people out in the county where they live can make a real difference. There’s a practical side to the work, replacing tubes, helping fit ear moulds correctly and replacing batteries. But it’s also about giving people confidence and encouraging them to use their hearing aid properly.”

Mary visits the mobile clinic at either Hickling or Stalham: “I visit every two months to get new batteries. It’s brilliant, the NDA volunteers are very helpful answering all my questions.”

Maria, NDA volunteer, with  Vera her befriendee
Maria has been a befriending volunteer for six years.  She first became aware of NDA when she moved to Norwich and wanted advice about registering her own hearing aids with the NHS.  Maria had experience working as a volunteer for Mencap and decided to train to work on both mobile and static clinics for the Hearing Support Service and as a befriender.

“I’ve been a volunteer for six years,” explained Maria. “It is very rewarding. I can recommend it to anyone. I work on the mobile clinics at Acle, Brundall and Poringland and also visit local sheltered housing and nursing homes. I’ve also assisted three ‘friends’. I learn so much from my befriendees. We reminisce about the past and generally put the world to rights and its wonderful when I see their confidence grow.”

Maria has befriended Vera (93), who lives with her daughter Avril in Norwich. “I visit Vera once a week for two hours, said Maria. “We plan our diary in advance and are also in touch on the phone if visits need to be rearranged.”

Vera said: “Avril, my daughter, found out about the NDA Befriending Service from Age UK. Maria has been a real lifesaver. She helped me get a NHS hearing aid, then made sure I could fit it properly; she always checks it on every visit. We chat about lots of things, different topics every week. I really like Strictly Come Dancing and we go through the Strictly book some visits discussing the costumes and the performers. Maria has been wonderful for me.”    

For more information about the Hearing Support and Befriending Services and volunteering for NDA contact Pam Spicer, Co-ordinator Norfolk Hearing Support Service, or tel. 01603 404440 (voice/minicom). For locations of mobile and static Hearing Support Service clinics see

Norfolk Deaf Association was founded in 1898, originally as a benevolent society. The charity aims to improve the lives of young people and adults with all degrees of hearing loss through information, support, awareness and communication. The key services are Hearing Support Service, Befriending Service, Tinnitus Support Group, Deaf Awareness Training and Hard of Hearing Club.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Step Into Spring - Art Exhibition at Fairhaven Garden Norfolk Broads to February 15

Here's a short film of Elizabeth Reed's exhibition at Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden, Norfolk Broads. The exhibition runs to Sunday 15 February, open daily 10am to 4pm, t. 01603 270449