Volunteers are now ready to offer helping hand to families

A group of volunteers has completed a course that will allow them to work for Hartlepool Patch. Pictured, from left, are  Kelly Franklin, Jackie Sowerby, Nikki Humble, Christina Clarke and Claire Bown (CORR, not BROWN).

A group of volunteers has completed a course that will allow them to work for Hartlepool Patch. Pictured, from left, are Kelly Franklin, Jackie Sowerby, Nikki Humble, Christina Clarke and Claire Bown (CORR, not BROWN).

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NINE big-hearted women have given up their own time to become family support volunteers – and raised £900 to boot.

The group of fantastic females all signed up for a training programme with Hartlepool organisation Parent and Toddler Care in Hartlepool (PATCH).

A group of volunteers has completed a course that will allow them to work for Hartlepool Patch. Pictured with Jan Dobson from Patch (standing) are, from left, Nikki Humble, Claire Bown (CORR, not BROWN) Jackie Sowerby, Christina Clarke and Kelly Franklin.

A group of volunteers has completed a course that will allow them to work for Hartlepool Patch. Pictured with Jan Dobson from Patch (standing) are, from left, Nikki Humble, Claire Bown (CORR, not BROWN) Jackie Sowerby, Christina Clarke and Kelly Franklin.

During the programme they all managed to find the time to organise a social evening at the Belle Vue Social Club, complete with disco and raffles, which raked in £900 which will all be ploughed into PATCH.

PATCH manager Jan Dobson, who is based at the offices in Stranton, said the women sent several weeks learning all about what it takes to work as a volunteer helping out parents, children and families who are i n need of assistance in Hartlepool.

They all covered topics including:

l Food safety;

l Personal safety and paediatric first aid;

l Domestic and child abuse;

l Manual handling;

l Health awareness;

l Playing with children;

l Safeguarding and child protection.

Jan said: “The course is very interesting and I think they all really enjoyed covering the topics and getting to grips with issues that cover the work we do within PATCH.

“The women will all be volunteering within the community supporting families.”

She added: “Our volunteers are vital to us and much appreciated. Some families they help are referred to us from social care or health visitors or some self-refer.

Some families need more one-to-one support. Some have issues with parenting skills or some just simply lead very stressful lives and need someone to off-load onto.

“The volunteers can also be an aid to people suffering with depression.”

Jan said that as long as families have children under the age of five years old then they are welcome to use the service and make the most of the volunteers’ services.