People are being urged to consider becoming volunteers as part of a national campaign.
Hartlepool Borough Council wants them to think about what they could contribute as volunteers, but also the benefits that they would reap in return.
There are volunteering opportunities out there for people of all ages and many benefits to be gained for all parties.Maggie Heaps, Adult Education Hartlepool
The appeal has been issued by Adult Education Hartlepool to coincide with Volunteers Week, a national celebration of volunteering which runs from June 1-7.
The service already has a number of volunteers working for it, but is also happy to point people in the direction of other volunteering opportunities elsewhere.
Maggie Heaps, learning and skills manager with Adult Education Hartlepool, said: “There are volunteering opportunities out there for people of all ages and many benefits to be gained for all parties.
“Volunteering can help people achieve their career goals by enhancing their CVs and making them more appealing to prospective employers.
“In the case of older people, volunteering can provide a sense of purpose and this, in turn, can lead to health benefits.
“Organisations that take on volunteers also stand to benefit in that they gain willing workers, often with specific skills, who can free up other members of staff to deal with other matters.”
One volunteer who is using his skills to good effect is Jesús Romero, 35, from Mexico, who has taken on a learner support role after approaching Adult Education Hartlepool and offering his help.
He assists with two Spanish classes and an English class for people whose first language is not English.
He hopes to settle in Hartlepool and sees volunteering as way of meeting more people and learning about English and Hartlepool culture.
“Since I started volunteering for Adult Education Hartlepool I have realised just how much help I can be.
“Being a native Spanish speaker, I am able to provide the students with a unique opportunity to hear words being pronounced correctly, and to experience the language being spoken quickly and confidently.
“After a short while, I realised that benefits apply to me too.”
Tutor Jayne Anderson added: “Having Jesús in the English class where English is not the students’ first language works really well for me as he knows exactly how they feel.”
For more information about volunteering opportunities, go to www.volunteerhartlepool.org.uk or call Adult Education Hartlepool on (01429) 868616.