New Podcast Launches to Inspire People to Volunteer within Health and Care 

9th July 2024

In celebration of all that volunteers do, this week a new podcast series ‘Volunteering Discovery’ is set to launch across all major podcast platforms.  

The series aims to shine a spotlight on the vital, yet often overlooked, roles within the health and care arena across Norfolk and Waveney.  

The engaging podcast will explore the many ways volunteers make a difference and the profound impact their roles have on both the volunteers themselves and the communities they work with.  

‘Volunteering Discovery’ will also address a decline in volunteer participation which was recently highlighted in a report by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) and aims to raise volunteering awareness through engagement activities by Community Action Suffolk.  

By showcasing diverse volunteer roles, the podcast, produced by Hospital Radio Norwich for Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care System (ICS), hopes to inspire more people to offer time and skills to support their communities.  

The podcast’s producer Jules Alderson, Workforce Transformation Programme Manager at Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Board said: “’Volunteering Discovery’ is more than just a podcast; it’s a platform to celebrate the unsung heroes of the health and care sector. We hope to inspire more people to volunteer by sharing these powerful stories and showing how even a small commitment can make a big difference.”  

Each episode will feature in-depth conversations with a dedicated volunteer and staff member they work alongside, offering listeners an authentic glimpse into the volunteer experience. Some episodes will also feature contributions from people the volunteer has supported.  

Sarah Briggs, Voluntary Services Co-ordinator at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust and ‘Volunteering Discovery’ host said: “From supporting mental health initiatives in the emergency department to empowering families in their own homes, the podcast highlights roles that many people may not have heard of. This platform gives us an opportunity to share the broad spectrum of volunteering roles available, and hopefully, will inspire people to explore volunteering, give their time whilst gaining many new skills themselves.”  

The podcasts discover the significant impact volunteers have on communities and the personal benefits they gain from their involvement, including new skills, friendships and a sense of purpose.  

The NCVO’s 2023 ‘Time Well Spent’ report revealed a long-term and troubling decline in volunteer numbers, a trend that ‘Volunteering Discovery’ aims to reverse by raising awareness of volunteering and showcasing the fulfilling nature it can create.  

Samaritan’s King’s Lynn volunteer, Bridget James said: “Volunteering is a wonderful way to meet like-minded people, you have a common connection before you even start. I also hope listeners may realise that you don’t have to have life perfectly in order yourself before you can help others. All you need is a little bit of spare time and a will to make that difference, to be open minded and to care. Being a Samaritan has been life changing for me. I am thankful I took the first step and applied; I haven’t looked back since.” 

With many people unaware of the opportunities available to them or unsure of what volunteering is really like, the podcasts aim to serve as an essential resource to make volunteering more accessible. 

Weekly episodes of ‘Volunteering Discovery’ will be available to be stream on all major podcast platforms from 9th July.