A special fund to help community organisations to take on volunteers has launched today by County Durham Community Foundation.

The main focus of the fund is to encourage small to medium sized community organisations in County Durham and Darlington to recruit, retain and train volunteers but full details will be revealed on the day.

Barbara Gubbins, chief executive of County Durham Community Foundation, said: “Over the years the Voluntary and Community sector has expanded massively but with all the public sector cutbacks, it is having to provide a lifeline for a lot of people on much tighter budgets.“Volunteers are absolutely crucial in helping community organisations to thrive, or in some cases, to simply survive.
“However, we discovered that some organisations are unable to recruit volunteers because of the additional costs involved, such as training and travel expenses.
“This new fund aims to fill that gap and the Volunteering Fair seemed the perfect opportunity to launch it.”

Applications can be submitted at any time but funding is limited and assessed on a first come first served basis. Applications should, therefore, be made as soon as possible.

Decisions on grants will be made within six to eight weeks of an application being submitted.