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Be a Community Hero!




Community Heroes volunteering days – get a taste of what it’s like to volunteer for your community, how it can boost your confidence, give you new skills and help you to meet new people. We meet once a month at a variety of community venues. You could be cooking for a local community food project, helping out with gardening or painting a community hall - all in a friendly and supportive environment. You can log your volunteer hours and work toward your bronze, silver or gold SFTV volunteering award and we can provide you with a reference once you have completed your volunteering award.

How volunteering can help you find work

Volunteering can be an important way into employment. It can help improve your confidence and gain new knowledge and skills. If you have never worked, or haven’t worked for a long time, volunteering is a great way to gain work experience and get references.

What is volunteering?

Volunteering is when you choose to give your time and energy to benefit other people without being paid for it.
It’s not volunteering if you:

• Receive money apart from your expenses

• Have to sign a contract

• Are helping out a family member.

What’s in it for me?

Volunteering can be a life changing experience, and an amazing opportunity to try something new.
Volunteering for only a few hours a week will allow you to gain new skills and practical knowledge, improve your CV,and build self-confidence. You will also have the chance to meet new people and make a difference in your community.
Research has also shown that volunteering can improve your health and wellbeing.
So why not get in touch with us today?

Who can volunteer?

Anyone can volunteer. It doesn’t matter what skills you have or how much time you can give. We will help find the best volunteering role for you and will support you before and during your placement.

What could I do as a volunteer?

We work closely with local organisations to offer various volunteer opportunities.

Some of the roles that are available include:

  • Administration

  • Food banks

  • Mentoring

  • Music

  • Animal welfare

  • Providing support & advice

  • Arts/culture/heritage

  • Retail

  • Befriending

  • Translation

  • Catering/cooking

  • Social media

  • Education

  • Sport and recreation and many more…

Where can I volunteer?

We can help you volunteer in Darlington, Stockton on Tees, Middlesbrough, Hartlepool, Redcar and Cleveland and all the places inbetween.

I’m not ready to volunteer yet, can you still help me?

Yes, we can work with you to identify your skills and talents, as well as your long term goals and expectations. We will provide on-going support and guidance to get you closer to achieving your goals.

When you feel ready to volunteer we will then work with you to

find the perfect role for you and be with you every step of the way.

How do I become a volunteer?

If you would like to become a volunteer please get in touch with your navigator, who will arrange a meeting to talk about your interests, needs and expectations.

How much time will I be expected to commit?

It entirely depends on the time you have available. We will find you a role that fits in with your life.

Will you support me?

We will give you the support you need to start your volunteering adventure and enjoy your experience. The support will continue during and after your placement, as long as you need us to be there.

We will:

• offer you specialist training and support so you are ready to volunteer

• help you plan goals that you would like to reach

• match you with a volunteer role that best suits your expectations and needs

• help with the application process

• introduce you to your volunteering project

• celebrate your achievements.


Step Forward Tess Valley can reimburse your travel expenses for volunteering.

Can I still volunteer if I have a criminal record?

If you have a criminal record you can still volunteer in most roles, depending on your offences. You will need to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check if you want to volunteer with children or vulnerable adults. DBS checks for volunteers are free - the organisation you volunteer with will submit the application form.

Will volunteering affects my benefits?

You are free to volunteer while you are receiving benefits, as long as the work you do is unpaid, and you continue to meet the rules of your benefit.

There are no limits to the amount of time you can volunteer for, as long as you meet the conditions of the benefit or tax credit you are receiving. For example if you receive Jobseekers Allowance you must still be actively looking for a full time job, be able to attend job interviews at 48 hours notice and be available to work at one week’s notice whilst volunteering.

For more information visit www.gov.uk/government and search for ‘volunteer’.

I’m not enjoying volunteering, what can I do?

If you encounter any difficulties with volunteering or it isn’t working out as expected, please talk to us soon as possible. We will stay in touch with you during your volunteer placement to offer ongoing support and guidance and we can try and work out any problems you face.

If your circumstances change and you cannot volunteer anymore, it is important to let us know.

I’ve finished my volunteer opportunity. What’s next?

If your volunteering role ends there are a number of things you could move onto:

• Work placement

• Peer mentoring – encouraging others to volunteer

• A different volunteering role

• Training.

We will talk to you about the options and support you as you work towards your goals.

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