'Winter heroes' are being sought to lend a helping hand by keeping an eye on their vulnerable Norfolk neighbours this Christmas.

Volunteers are being sought to make sure people are not lonely and get the support they need over the festive period.

Charity bosses at Voluntary Norfolk say that volunteers can help ease the winter pressure on hospitals and social services by checking up on neighbours.

The charity says volunteers can help make sure older and vulnerable people who are back home after spells in hospitals are okay - helping to ease pressure on the NHS and social workers.

READ MORE: Fears declining number of volunteers could have 'major impact'

The charity hopes people will come forward to check up on neighbours and do basic tasks like making sure smoke and fire alarms are working, picking up groceries or prescriptions, providing a bit of company or walking the dog.

Belinda Axten, head of volunteer services at Voluntary Norfolk, said: "Winter is a challenging time for many, and the power of volunteers is extraordinary.

"Whether you're excited to learn new skills in a health setting or just want to give back to your community, we have the role for you. A few hours of your time can make a real difference in someone's life.

“Volunteers will play a crucial role in providing companionship, assistance with daily activities, and spreading positivity to those on the road to recovery.

"From friendly conversations to helping with basic household tasks, your contribution can bring warmth and comfort to those who need it most.

"No special superpowers are needed, just a big heart and a willingness to make a positive impact.

"Volunteering is not just about helping others; it's an opportunity for personal growth, skill development, and creating lasting connections with your community.

"We need people across Norfolk and Waveney to sign up to help in this way – everywhere from King’s Lynn to Lowestoft, from Sheringham to Diss."

To sign up and to find out more, visit www.voluntarynorfolk.org.uk/register-to-volunteer or call 01603 614474.