MEP Richard Howitt supports St Nicholas Hospice scheme in Bury St Edmunds

A new charity initiative has been given the seal of approval by MEP for the eastern region, Richard Howitt.

Mr Howitt was in Thetford on Friday to support a call by St Nicholas Hospice for local volunteers for a new scheme to help people with life-shortening illnesses.

The Hospice Neighbours scheme asks for people to come forward to help people with everyday tasks, from dog walking to picking up a prescription, when they are too ill to do it themselves.

Mr Howitt said: “The impact a volunteer can make in helping a friend, neighbour or community just can’t be exaggerated.

“The simplest of tasks such as helping to walk a dog or pick up a prescription can make such a big difference

“And the impact for the life of the volunteers themselves can be enriching too.

“That is why I was a big supporter of the European Year of Volunteering which highlighted the contribution volunteers make in all European countries last year and I really urge Thetford residents to come forward to help St Nicholas Hospice Care’s excellent scheme.

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“The scheme has already taken off successfully in Haverhill, Stanton, Bury St Edmunds, Newmarket and Sudbury since last year and I look forward to its success in Thetford.”

The hospice hopes to recruit a team of Hospice Neighbours volunteers from the Thetford area. Full training will be provided.

Hospice Neighbours co-ordinator Kay Newman will be at the charity’s Thetford shop, at 6 Bridge Street, on February 2 from 10am to 4pm; February 4 from 10.30am to 3pm; February 10 from 10am to 4pm; and February 11 from 10.30am to 3pm where she will be able to talk about the scheme to potential volunteers and users.