Help change children’s lives

A CHARITY wants to hear from Hartlepool people who can help to change childrens’ lives around.

Barnardo’s is set to launch its new volunteer recruitment drive in the North-East.

It wants people to put their spare time to good use and become a volunteer.

Lana Kirkup, volunteering manager at Barnardo’s North East, said: “Volunteering is fun and rewarding.

“It can also be a stepping stone to a new career and help you to gain the skills you need for a new role or job.

“Depending on a person’s interests and skills, Barnardo’s can find the right volunteering opportunity to suit you.“

David Abdale, area business manager for Barnardo’s North-East, is keen to hear from people willing to volunteer in one of the region’s 22 shops.

He said: “Volunteers are crucial to us. They are vital to running our business. In fact, we simply couldn’t exist without them.

“They are an important part of our success and are an integral part of Barnardo’s.

“Our shops are very professionally run and volunteers can gain valuable experience and a lot of enjoyment out of joining their local store team.”

Richard Lees, 56, from the Brooke Estate in Hartlepool, has been a volunteer mentor with Barnardo’s Hartlepool Services for seven years.

He said: “I love it – thoroughly enjoy it. To be honest, I probably get more out of it than the children! I got involved because I had nothing better to do at the time.

“Now I really can’t think of anything better I could possibly be doing.

“It’s absolutely wonderful to see the children make progress and seeing those changes has given me some very proud moments.

“You wouldn’t believe the satisfaction you can get out of it.

“Yes, it can be hard at times, but you get some great encouragement and support from the people at Barnardo’s and I’ve met some great people along the way, who are now friends.”

All Barnardo’s volunteers are given full training and support.

Anyone interested in volunteering with Barnardo’s should contact Lana Kirkup on (0191) 240 4820 or go to www.barnardos.org.uk/volunteering.

Those interested in volunteering in a shop should contact (0191) 240 4800 for details of your nearest store.