The unsung heroes in our community

Volunteers during last year's Meet The Georgians Festival at Hartlepool's Maritime Experience
Volunteers during last year's Meet The Georgians Festival at Hartlepool's Maritime Experience

TWO groups of volunteers are doing Hartlepool proud – and others are being urged to follow their example.

National Volunteer Week starts tomorrow, but Hartlepool is already doing sterling work to get people involved.

One group of 15 people will work as characters at this year’s Meet The Georgians Festival at Hartlepool’s Maritime Experience.

The same 15 agreed to wear period costume at the Hartlepool leg of The Tall Ships Races last August.

This year’s Meet The Georgians event runs from from 10am to 5pm on Saturday, June 25, and Sunday, June 26, costing £3.50 per ticket.

Diane Goodwin, the planning and review manager for Hartlepool Adult Education which is leading the drive to get people involved in volunteering, said: “The volunteers said they got an enormous buzz from donning 18/19th Century costume for last year’s event.

“One volunteer said they had never been photographed so much in their life and it was great fun bringing history to life in a way that the public really enjoyed.

“All these volunteers have come forward to offer their services in this year’s Georgian Festival.”

Another group of volunteers are working in a very different way.

Fifteen mums have signed up for the volunteer training programme at Hindpool Children’s Centre.

The course is helping them become better equipped to volunteer within the Surestart Children’s Centre.

Their tutor, Laura Richardson from Hartlepool Adult Education, said: “The girls in the class want to volunteer for a variety of reasons, from making new friends and building confidence, to gaining skills and experience for employment.

“It’s an opportunity for them to identify their current skills and gain new ones and they can receive an accredited award for the training they undertake.

“We are halfway through the course and already friendships have been forged, and you can see a massive improvement in everyone’s confidence as they become part of something.”

Anyone wanting more details can contact 0207 5208900, email volunteersweek@volunteering.org.uk or visit www.volunteering.org.uk