Easy access to volunteering

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A NEW website that aims to give residents easy access to a range of volunteering opportunities will be officially launched this week.

Volunteer Hartlepool – www.volunteerhartlepool.org.uk – will provide a single point of contact for people seeking voluntary work within the council’s community services section.

It will co-ordinate the opportunities that exist in several areas, including museums, libraries, arts, sport and recreation.

Maggie Heaps, Hartlepool Borough Council’s learning and skills manager, said: “The teams that make up community services have all had their own approaches to recruiting and supporting volunteers. But we thought it would be better to adopt a system that is common to all.

“By providing a single point of contact, people will be able to access information about vacancies across the board and, hopefully, find it easier to select the opportunity that best suits them.

“The website will also enable us to signpost people to other organisations if they are unable to find an opening with the council.”

Maxine Crutwell, principal recreation officer with the council’s sport and recreation team, added: “In these difficult economic times it is acknowledged that volunteering is a good way of boosting your employability and we hope this initiative will help local people affected by the current economic situation.”

The official launch of the Volunteer Hartlepool website will take place at a celebratory evening in the Baltic Suite at Hartlepool’s Maritime Experience on June 6 which is being held to mark National Volunteers Week which runs until Friday.

The evening which is being organised to recognise the invaluable contributions of volunteers, will include an address by volunteer Frances Connolly who helps to run the town’s St Francis 2000 ladies’ football team, and the presentation of certificates to volunteers working in the council’s Community Services section.