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Parenting charity calling for virtual volunteers to help isolated families

PUBLISHED: 12:03 29 July 2020

A Get Me Out The Four Walls social meet-up before the coronavirus lockdown. Picture: Get Me Out The Four Walls

A Get Me Out The Four Walls social meet-up before the coronavirus lockdown. Picture: Get Me Out The Four Walls

Get Me Out The Four Walls

Volunteers will be able to offer parents and carers suffering with isolation vital support thanks to modern technology.

Mother-of-one Clair Rayner, from Norwich, who is a virtual ambassador for Get Me Out The Four Walls. Picture: Get Me Out The Four WallsMother-of-one Clair Rayner, from Norwich, who is a virtual ambassador for Get Me Out The Four Walls. Picture: Get Me Out The Four Walls

Get Me Out The Four Walls (GMOTFW), which started in Norfolk 2015, allows families and parents and carers to meet up face-to-face through social events.

But due to the coronavirus lockdown and ongoing restrictions the charity, which has expanded to help people in Suffolk, is recruiting an army of virtual ambassadors to host online activities to help people struggling with social isolation or mental health issues including postnatal depression.

MORE: Concern over parents’ mental health during coronavirus lockdown

Carrie Dagraca, publicity recruitment co-ordinator for GMOTFW, said: “We would usually do outside social events for parents so we have started doing what we can online to help beat that isolation. It is amazing how much you can make happen online. The possibilities are endless.”

Mrs Dagraca said that since lockdown the charity has hosted almost 200 online meets and social check-ins which have attracted over 750 people, including parents, carers and grandparents.

Online meets have included daily tea and coffee sessions via Zoom and a virtual picnic, supported by Castle Quarter, will be held in August.

She said activities offered by virtual ambassadors could include online games or virtual scavenger hunts but the charity was open to ideas.

The virtual ambassador roles are being funded by grants from the Norfolk Community Foundation, Suffolk Community Foundation, and the Government’s Coronavirus Community Support Fund, distributed by The National Lottery Community Fund.

She added the project will continue alongside physical meet-ups in the future.

Virtual ambassador Clair Rayner, 29, from Norwich, who has a one-year-old son, who had postnatal depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder after having her baby, said: “Without GMOTFW I would be isolated and my mental health would have declined a lot more. It is a vital service. Parenting is so difficult.

“Doing the meet-ups virtually rather than face-to-face might help more people because they can get onto the computer in the safety of their home. It is a stepping stone.”

To register an interest in becoming a virtual ambassador email carrie@getmeout.org.uk

Visit www.getmeout.org.uk

For the latest COVID-19 news, visit the Norfolk Coronavirus Updates Facebook page.

Click here to find out more about the EDP’s Here to Help campaign.

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