New culture of volunteering
A NEW volunteering project has been launched to help people develop new skills, undertake training and receive valuable work experience in the cultural sectors across the Tees Valley.
‘VolunTeesValley’ is a new pilot scheme set up by the area tourism partnership, visitTeesvalley, and is part of the region-wide North East Volunteers project.
VolunTeesValley will provide opportunities for people across the Tees Valley to take part in a range of cultural volunteering projects working in areas such as the arts, events, sport and the environment.
The aim of the pilot is to encourage as many people as possible from a diverse range of backgrounds to take part in voluntary work at local museums, visitor attractions, events and sports clubs and, in return, receive training and first-hand work experience.
Everyone who signs up will undertake an induction programme and receive training from their chosen cultural organisation.
Cara Pringle, events marketing officer from VolunTeesValley, said: “There are so many exciting opportunities available through volunteering in the Tees Valley especially with all the cultural events we have taking place over the summer such as Middlesbrough Mela and the Stockton International Riverside Festival.
“Anyone taking part in VolunTeesValley will learn new skills, gain valuable work experience and become a passionate, respected ambassador for the Tees Valley.
“We are trying to reach out to people from a range of backgrounds but especially those who may have recently become unemployed because of the recession or those who are finding it hard to get back to employment for whatever reason.
“VolunTeesValley will provide people with potential career opportunities and the chance to make new friends, improve confidence and have fun as well.
“Thanks to the Tees Valley’s rich cultural heritage there are many varied volunteer opportunities available ranging from music festivals to nature reserves so there really is something for everybody to get involved in.”
Jonathan Reynolds is a resident at Darlington YMCA Foyer and has recently finished a YMCA training course covering modules such as skills for life, numeracy and literacy.
Jonathon has a diagnosed learning difficulty but never lets this hold him back and easily overcomes any hurdles.
He recently volunteered at the Green Fair in Darlington and has been asked to work there again by event organisers.
Jonathan said: “The public were really friendly. I feel great as it was good to hear some really nice things.
“Volunteering has improved my confidence so much and I never thought I could do that,” he said.
For more details please contact 01642 263101 or visit www.visitteesvalley.co.uk/volunteesvalley
Page 2: Are your staff giving up their time to help others?