Our volunteering is the best!

Published Monday, 4th March 2024

Hartlepool Borough Council’s Community Hubs Service is celebrating after gaining the top national hallmark for how it invests in its volunteers.

It has been awarded Investing in Volunteers - the UK quality standard for all organisations which work with volunteers, which is managed by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO).

The accolade aims to improve the quality of the volunteering experience and highlight the enormous contribution made by volunteers. It is only given following rigorous assessment covering a range of areas including volunteer inclusion and the organisation’s vision for volunteering.

There are currently over 120 volunteers within the Community Hubs Service – which covers Community Hub Central in York Road and Community Hub South in Wynyard Road plus Waverley Community Allotment – and they are involved in a wide range of activities such as The Bread and Butter Thing, the Community Café, the Fab Lab and Jobs and Skills.

The NCVO assessor met with over 30 volunteers and found that “The volunteers feel that their contribution is meaningful. They enjoy their roles and feel valued by the Council.

“They positively expressed the benefits to them of volunteering and understood the impact their roles have on themselves, the general public and the local communities within Hartlepool.”

The assessor concluded: “The Council clearly invests in volunteers to achieve their aspirations, and many have moved into further education and employment.

“Volunteering is integral to the vision and aims of the Council and is effectively embedded in the work of the Community Hubs Service.”

Councillor Bob Buchan, Chair of Hartlepool Borough Council’s Adult and Community-Based Services Committee, said: “We are extremely proud to receive the Investing in Volunteers quality standard.

“Our Community Hubs Service has been a phenomenal success, bringing residents together and giving them the opportunities, support and encouragement to live their best lives.”

“This would not have been possible without the dedication and enthusiasm of our wonderful volunteers. They are truly amazing and this is as much an accolade for them as it is for the Council.”

To find out more about volunteering with the Community Hubs Service, visit www.volunteerhartlepool.org.uk, email volunteerhartlepool@hartlepool.gov.uk, call 01429 806906 or visit any of the Community Hubs.