Wear Valley Women’s Aid is a support service for women, men and children who have been subjected to abuse in the home. It offers guidance, outreach support and refuge, including accommodation, at times of desperate need. 

A grant from County Durham Community Foundation (CDCF) is now helping the organisation to deliver a 12-week training programme for volunteers and student placements.Those who complete the course – delivered by qualified trainers – can work as volunteer domestic abuse workers, either with the Wear Valley service or elsewhere. It could also lead to job opportunities.
A Wear Valley Women’s Aid spokesman said: “The programme is aimed at getting the most from its volunteers and students and the support from the Fund is invaluable.

“The training will help those taking part to develop into support workers, benefitting the service but also providing learners with valuable training and a tangible, certificated qualification.” 
The £2,500 grant comes from the Volunteer Support Fund managed by CDCF. The fund is designed to encourage small to medium-sized voluntary and community organisations in County Durham and Darlington to engage with volunteering.

Other organisations to benefit from the Volunteer Support Fund recently include Deerness Valley Football Club, which has been given a grant of £2,250. The club wants to recruit more volunteers so it can increase its membership of 350 young people playing in junior teams. Chester-le-Street Sea Cadets have received a Volunteer Support Fund grant of £1,400 for adult volunteers to attend leadership and management courses.

CDCF chief executive Barbara Gubbins said: “We are really lucky in this region to have so many wonderful volunteers who play a priceless role in our communities. “The Volunteer Support Fund is helping us to increase the number of volunteers and, consequently, improve the lives of the people of County Durham and Darlington.”