Darlington for Culture (DfC), which support arts and culture in the borough, has announced that the number of volunteering hours that have been delivered in 2016 has topped 3,500 – its highest ever figure and up from 2,000 in 2015.
Now, the organisation, which won the Contribution to the Arts category at the Best of Darlington 2016 event, is seeking to add to its 50-strong volunteer force to cope with growing demands on its services.
The work has included supporting Darlington Civic Theatre as Ambassadors for the Touring Consortium Theatre Company, working with local businesses, co-ordinating the annual Darlington Arts Festival, running arts events like the monthly open mic for writers held at Voodoo Café, Skinnergate and supporting the preparation of a rescue plan for Cockerton Library.
They also supported Darlington Green Theatre’s open air Shakespeare event at Head of Steam, theatre festival Jabberwocky Market, Includefest, which was held in South Park in the summer, and the BigLittleGigs events.
DfC, which is a Community Benefit Society, a type of co-operative, is seeking to recruit more volunteers. DfC says benefits include a chance to:
Support the arts in Darlington
Help bring new cultural activity to the town
Meet new people, make new friends
Develop skills and interests by helping others
Get involved in the community
Receive training and support
Anyone aged sixteen to 80 can volunteer (some teenagers use their DfC volunteering towards Duke of Edinburgh awards and university personal statements).
Heather Carter, DfC’s Volunteer Co-Ordinator, said: “’We are a great team who enjoy working together and have fun supporting arts events to come to Darlington. 2016 has been a great year for us supporting many different events.
“Our volunteers can give a little time or a more regular commitment. All we ask is that they are enthusiastic and prepared to try something new. People can come to join us or, if they prefer, ask to try one of our volunteer ‘taster’ sessions.”
John Dean, DfC Chair, said: “The skills and commitment of our volunteers never fails to amaze. They do so much to enrich the cultural life of this town.”
* Expression of interest forms for potential volunteers are available in the volunteer section on the left hand side of the home page or you can e-mail volunteerdarlingtonforculture@gmail.com or put your contact details in an envelope addressed to the Volunteer Co-ordinator, Darlington for Culture Ltd, c/o Heritage House, Houndgate, Darlington DL1 5RF and DfC will contact you.