A new volunteering unit has been set up in County Durham to provide more support to local organisations and charities during the coronavirus pandemic.
The unit builds on the work of County Durham Together, the community hub operated by Durham County Council to support people and families who are vulnerable and in need during these unprecedented times.
It will provide a central location where organisations needing additional help or practical resources can go to register that need.
The aim of the unit is to help manage offers of support from businesses and individuals who have volunteered their services and resources in County Durham.
Staff will be able to match them to groups across the county’s voluntary and community sector who have requested help in a number of different areas. For example, many organisations are in need of extra staff, equipment, premises, vehicles, IT support and communications and marketing skills.
The team is also working with key organisations including local charities and the care sector to assess their needs and establish where additional support may be needed.
Cllr Brian Stephens, Cabinet member for neighbourhoods and local partnerships, said:
“We are thankful for all of the volunteering that is going on in the county and the feedback we are getting is that the groups involved are doing some truly amazing work in difficult circumstances. However as the challenge of the virus could go on for some time and as some volunteers will be going back to work once restrictions are eased, we are conscious that these groups are likely to need support – if only to give some of their volunteers a well earned break.
“While our community hub will continue to offer support to the vulnerable, this unit will seek to provide similar to our amazing army of volunteers.” Any businesses which are able to offer support to charity groups or local organisations should fill in a form on the council’s website:
Any organisation or charity in need of either IT, financial, telephone and customer services support, or in need or resources such as premises, vehicles, drivers or other essential equipment, can also request help online at the same page https://www.durham.gov.uk/volunteerunit