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Volunteers and community groups

With the advent of the pandemic the number of volunteers and community groups in Norfolk has increased significantly, and we are keen to support the work being done at that local level, promoting best practice and helping to keep those they assist safe.

Government guidance on reporting safeguarding concerns in a charity was updated on 16 March. Every organisation that delivers charitable activities has a responsibility to safeguard people from harm or abuse, whether they are staff members, volunteers, or people supported by the charity. This guidance will help you report safeguarding concerns about the behaviour or actions of a charity employee or volunteer.

NSAB model policy

NSAB has adapted our 'model' safeguarding adults policy to make it more useful to voluntary and community groups (e.g. more of the detail is in appendices to make them 'bitesize') - just follow the link at the bottom of the page.

Word version is also available. 

Volunteer Passport scheme

A Volunteer Passport is a programme of training and support that helps volunteers develop knowledge and skills to help them in their volunteering roles and to enable them to move more easily between placements.  It's aimed at people both new to volunteering and experienced volunteers.  It helps organisations know what training and experience volunteers have had, which can help reduce the amount of training needed when volunteers change roles.

The training programme is free of charge and consists of six modules, including an introductory session and five training sessions on key topics relevant to most volunteer roles: Introduction to volunteering, safeguarding, health and safety, equality, diversity and inclusion and person-centred working.

The programme is delivered by Norfolk County Council Adult Learning over several sessions and currently takes place online using Zoom. 

The Volunteer Passport scheme also includes taking up references, keeping a database of people who have successfully completed the Volunteer Passport programme and support for participants who would like help with identifying and applying for suitable volunteering roles.

For more information, and details of the next available sessions, please contact

or visit Voluntary Norfolk 

Norfolk Community Advice Network (NCAN)

NCAN provide a referral system that connects many advice and community support providers county-wide, to facilitate access to better support for professionals and their service users.

NCAN evolved from some local charities being able to make in-person referrals between agencies if a client needed further support from a different service. They were able to do this because they were in the same building or close-by.

In 2008, NCAN received funding from the Big Lottery Fund Advice Plus Programme. The funding enabled the Steering Group agencies to strengthen and develop the network of advice agencies in Norfolk, and in 2009, the Referral System was launched.

Since then, NCAN has been able to continuously expand its membership with members across the VCSE and Statutory sectors to give Norfolk residents the support they need when they need it.

By helping to connect people to appropriate advice and support services NCAN’s aim is to ensure that Norfolk residents can access good quality social welfare information, advice, assistance and representation when and where they need them most.

Norfolk Community Advice Network