Know Your Neighbourhood County Durham.

County Durham projects will be awarded £3million over three years to boost volunteering and tackle loneliness. The cash injection comes as part of the Know Your Neighbourhood Fund, worth £29million, distributed by the UKCF Network.

Local projects that have been successful in applying are: Durham Community Action, Bridge Creative Enterprise, The Other Perspective, Teesdale Community Resources, NE Youth, and East Durham Community Development Trust.

In partnership with The National Lottery Community Fund, Arts Council England and The National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Government announced the Know Your Neighbourhood fund on March 9th, a package of £29 million to create volunteering opportunities and increase connections across the country.

  • Durham Community action will use its grant to fund staff that specialise in volunteering
  • Bridge Creative Enterprise will use funding to support a Volunteer Project Design
  • The Other Perspective will research and consult with local Black Communities to discover barriers to social inclusion
  • Teesdale Community Resources will hold three open volunteer events to reward and encourage local volunteers
  • NE Youth will focus on volunteering for the youth work sector
  • East Durham Trust to encourage and research local volunteering post pandemic

CEO of County Durham Community Foundation, Michelle Cooper, said: “Understanding and encouraging volunteering in County Durham is essential if we want to succeed in fighting poverty and enriching lives. We have had some really strong applications for this much-needed fund and are confident they will achieve great things with these grants.

“It really stood out to me that East Durham Trust, which runs the East Durham Volunteer Centre, recruited 100 extra volunteers during the pandemic, who gave the equivalent of nine years full time work in a single year.

“They note that this huge drive during the pandemic has now seen a real drop-off, so we need to know how we can rebuild a strong volunteering culture once again in County Durham.”

Minister for Civil Society and Youth, Stuart Andrew, said: “During the Covid-19 pandemic we saw communities come together and volunteer to help one another in a time of need.

“We want to see this brilliant community spirit continue, which is why I’m delighted to be able to announce the Know Your Neighbourhood Fund to create meaningful and impactful volunteering opportunities.

“With rising living costs increasing the risk of isolation, it’s more important than ever that those at risk of loneliness feel supported, and this funding will be vital in helping people build personal connections and develop new skills.”