Social and leisure activities

Within this section you will find information on social and leisure activities in Darlington including luncheon clubs, support with shopping and volunteering information

Luncheon clubs

A number of community centres, community groups and local churches provide luncheon clubs for people to receive meals at a reasonable cost, while able to socialise with other people. For more information contact your local housing office or your nearest community centre or church.

Day opportunities

Day opportunities are available for people to meet, learn new skills, rediscover or develop existing skills and enjoy leisure activities. Some day services also offer personal care such as bathing and hair care. Transport may be available to and from the day opportunities. Some day opportunities are available following an assessment by Adult Social Care.

Find out more information about the assessment process

Leisure and Sport

The Council has a concession card available for use at The Dolphin Centre and Eastbourne Sports Complex. Those eligible will receive a concessionary rate on various popular activities at these locations.

The scheme is available to:

  • senior Citizens over the age of 60 years
  • carers - an accompanying adult who is providing caring support for another person with any kind of physical, sensory or mental impairment including learning disability
  • people with a disability

For more information visit the LIVEDarlington page

Shopping and errands

There may be times when, through illness or during bad weather, you are unable to leave your home to pick up shopping or run some errands. This is where family, friends and neighbours are, in most circumstances, very willing to help out. It is just about making them aware of the problem.

Royal Voluntary Service

Volunteers can assist older and housebound people who are in need of the following:

  • transport to health care appointments to places like: the hospital, doctors surgery, chiropodists
  • visits to clubs, day centres or the library
  • visits to banks, building societies, solicitors
  • visits to friends who are also unable to get out and about

The volunteers also support people to do their shopping, for example. Please note there is normally a waiting list for this service. For more information visit the Royal Voluntary Service website [external link]

Please note you may require an assessment from Adult Social Care to access these services. Please contact the Royal Voluntary Service in the first instance who can discuss what support may be available to help you.

Age UK Darlington

Age UK Darlington run a befriending service - "Rely On Me". The service offers companionship on a weekly basis, at home, in sheltered accommodation or in a care home. They also offer a driver service to help take people shopping, to the hospital and doctor appointments, or to one of the Age UK Darlington clubs. For more information visit the Age UK Darlington website [external link]

Darlington Library service

A housebound library service provides a range of books, large print books and audio books for people unable to visit the library. The service is provided to people in their homes and in residential and nursing care. There is also a mobile library service.

For more information telephone 01325 462034 or visit the Library webpages


Volunteering can help you become more employable. It can open up new career prospects and enable you to experience working in different environments and settings whilst helping you develop new skills. Some opportunities can offer stepping stones into training, education and even employment.

Volunteering can provide you with new opportunities and can bring you into contact with people from a diverse range of backgrounds. Whilst meeting new people and gaining new skills, volunteering can help build the confidence to face challenges in other areas of your life and provide you with an overall heightened sense of well-being.  

More information about volunteering