The team at Wellbeing for Life (WBFL) received the County Durham Volunteer Kitemark award for the third time in October 2023 in recognition of their continuing work with volunteers from across the county.

Bill Oxbrough, Capacity Building Volunteer Officer at WBFL said, “People choose to volunteer for different reasons some want to give back to a community that has supported them, some may want to improve their CV or access additional training, for others it can be a way to reduce social isolation.  We value our volunteers greatly for their time and dedication so to make their volunteering experience the best it can be, we work hard to make sure that they get back what they need from the process.”

The WBFL service is inclusive and proudly states that ‘The Trust recognises equality of opportunity is not about treating everyone the same, but about responding to different needs and circumstances in a positive and fair way’, this includes all staff and volunteers, and anyone associated with the organisation.

The County Durham Volunteer Kitemark is awarded by Durham Community Action (DCA), to organisations who demonstrate a commitment to their volunteers, and a dedication to providing a high-quality volunteering experience for both their volunteers and their service users.  It is a free quality standard to recognise organisations for overcoming the barriers to volunteering.

WBFL offers progression in roles, providing opportunities for personal development once all essential and desirable training has been completed.  A ‘volunteer buddy’ is assigned to each volunteer and is on hand to support them through their role and undertakes their Personal Development Plan.

The DCA Award Team met with some WBFL volunteers during the process and received some very positive feedback:

“All the training that I’ve received has been fab.  I’m not too comfortable using IT, so Bill has offered extra support and allowed me to go into the office to complete training rather than doing it on my own at home.”

“I feel very valued and made to feel like part of a team.  No question is stupid and is always answered, or information is found and passed on.”

“I felt extremely comfortable with the enquiry process.  Bill made me feel at ease.”

Abby Thompson, Volunteering Manager at Durham Community Action said, “Wellbeing for Life has yet again met the required standard to be awarded the County Durham Volunteer Kitemark.  It has been a pleasure to work with Bill Oxborough and his team and volunteers throughout the review process.”

For more information about the volunteer programme, please contact Wellbeing for Life at Healthworks, Paradise Lane, Easington Colliery, Peterlee, County Durham, SR8 3EX.

Telephone: 0800 876 6887

Or follow Wellbeing for Life on:
Twitter: @WBFL_Durham

Picture shows (L-R) – Liz Fisher, Deputy Chief Executive at Pioneering Care Partnership, Bill Oxbrough, Capacity Building Volunteer Officer at Wellbeing for Life and Abby Thompson, Volunteering Manager at Durham Community Action