About the Friends and Neighbours network
We are a community of people across Essex who care for, and about, some of our oldest citizens – the people who live in care homes.
Read their stories
There is a common misconception that volunteering with the elderly involves sitting around for hours on end, not doing very much. While there’s no denying that we’re all partial to a nice comfy armchair, we think you’d be surprised by the humour, or the number of unrepeatable stories that are shared between residents and FaNs every week. Our volunteers get so much from the people they’re visiting, or the care home they’re helping, because their lives are uniquely enriched through their individual gesture. When you scratch the surface, you can discover a rich library of stories that will change your life in a way you would never have guessed. Our FaN Stories
FaN of the Moment
Daniel is 5 years old and loves superheroes, he also loved visiting 101 year old Rosalind and telling her all about them! Rosalind asked Daniel lots of questions and enjoyed learning the superhero names and their powers. She was quite impressed with Captain America but not so sure about the Hulk! Daniel was accompanied on his visit by his Nana who say’s ‘it’s these little visits, short and sweet, that can make all the difference to those living in care homes, and the youngsters love it just as much’ Daniel often mentions his visit to Rosalind, he remembers her well, just as well as he remembers the chocolates she gave him!
How you can make it count
Our FaNs come in all shapes and sizes and range from six year old school children who paint pictures for our care homes to young mums living in the local area, as well as a League One football club or our county’s fire and rescue service.
It’s the small gestures that can produce the biggest impact, which is why we’re inviting people to get involved in a way that suits them and their busy schedule. We know that making every moment count doesn’t have to mean making a huge commitment of time or a grand gesture – treasured moments can be really small. And that’s what we’re here to facilitate.
Simply fill out our short registration form and download our leaflet that highlights how you can get involved in a way that suits you.
Who we work with
Our volunteers help build the FaNs movement by taking an active interest in the well-being of care homes and the people who live in them. They get involved in a way that suits them, and spread the word to encourage others to do the same. Our volunteers are:
- Schools (primary & secondary)
- Colleges and Universities
- Musicians, music groups & choirs
- Performers and Entertainers
- Youth groups
- Community Groups (e.g. Women’s Institutes; Retirees)
- Local societies (e.g. Arts, Photography, Gardening, Local History)
- Social service groups (e.g. RVS, Alzheimers Society)
- Faith groups
- Businesses of all sizes
- Shops and supermarkets
- Local authorities
- Public services
- Social enterprises
Individuals, groups, organisations and businesses across the county have responded enthusiastically to the invitation to support our movement. We call them ‘Ambassadors’ because they are champions for our community. Find out who they are and learn more about the excellent work they do by clicking the button below. Our Partners
Papworth Trust is a leading disability charity supporting disabled people, their families and carers. They work with disabled people...
Colchester Zoo is pleased to support their local care homes by offering 8 tickets for residents and 8 tickets...
Mercury Theatre Colchester is proud to be recognised as a FaNs ambassador. We have a longstanding relationship with our...
Birkett Long LLP is pleased to be an Ambassador for FaNs. We are a progressive Essex-based firm of solicitors...
Tesco Colchester Extra is extremely proud to be a FaNs Ambassador. The FaNs movement is a fantastic scheme, and...
Live Music Now (LMN) is delighted to be an Ambassador for FaNs. Founded by Yehudi Menhin, we are the...
Kingsland is proud to be connected with FaNs and this important work in the community. We are a lively,...
The Essex Workforce Partnership is part of Health Education East of England, responsible for the education, training and...
FaNs and the Time Banks are natural partners. The Maldon and DistrictTime Bank promotes the informal sharing of interests...
Essex Independent Care Association (EICA) is an independent voluntary ‘not for profit’ organisation representing the interests of social care...