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Fund to Promote Public Sector Volunteering (£50,000)

Future Funds

Portfolio: Health and Partnerships Portfolio

One off investment

To work with the Voluntary Sector to increase volunteering.

[Reference: Cabinet papers, Item 6, paragraph 53(t)]



Keywords: voluntary sector VCS

Related FAQs

Have you had any more thoughts on the plans for the £50,000 for 'public sector volunteering'? 

Have you had any more thoughts on the plans for the £50,000 for 'public sector volunteering'? 

We are currently working on this with partners in the Darlington Partnership We are looking at the services that could be valuably augmented with more volunteers, but there is a wide range, from litter picking to early help for parents. We would expect to have some ideas to share with the sector 

What will be the impact on voluntary organisations such as Citizen’s Advice, Age UK, GADD? What happens if they close?

What will be the impact on voluntary organisations such as Citizen’s Advice, Age UK, GADD? What happens if they close?

We fully support the work of our voluntary sector partners and hope to continue to work with them in the future. However, the financial situation is such that the Council is not able to continue funding these organisations at current levels. The likely impact of the budget proposals on these organisations is currently being identified, following discussions with the organisations most affected. We hope that they are able to continue their work by looking at where they can make further cost and efficiency savings, but we appreciate that in some cases this may not be possible and it will therefore mean a reduction in the support they can offer to the residents of Darlington.  It could lead to the closure of organisations if they are unable to make the necessary changes for them to be sustainable, which will be very regrettable. We want to avoid this happening and we will support organisations making grant applications where we can. We will also be undertaking work to understand the impact of any reductions in service on individuals accessing them. 

Your Say

2 comment(s)

This table lists comments from the public about this proposal


FF 53t (Fund to Promote Public Sector Volunteering)


Medium Term Financial Plan - Darlington Future Funds Proposals
Health & Partnerships Portfolio – Andy Scott – 21st March 2016

Fund to Promote Public Sector Volunteering (£50,000)
Community Development and Engagement (£50,000)
Match Fund for Bids to County Durham Charity Foundation (£20,000)

Portfolio: Health and Partnerships Portfolio
In order to mitigate the impact of many of the budget reductions it is important that there is a robust voluntary and community sector in place, and to work with the Voluntary Sector to increase Volunteering.
Some staff capacity and a one-off fund would be available to stimulate the development of the voluntary sector in Darlington. Support would continue for Good Friends (via Better Care Fund) and Darlington Cares (via PRG) as a part of this strategy.

[Reference: Cabinet papers, Item 6, paragraph 52(m)]
[Reference: Cabinet Papers, Item 6, paragraph 53(t)]
[Reference: Cabinet Papers, Item 6, paragraph 53 (s)]

Healthwatch Darlington’s proposal would use £50,000 to stimulate the development of Public Sector Volunteering through our Wellbeing Connector Programme in Darlington and £50,000 to increase volunteering in the Town through our Health and Wellbeing Model. We would assist smaller community organisations to develop sustainable projects through our Community Development.

Delivery to include:

• Wellbeing Connector recruitment & training
• Wellbeing Awareness Event – connecting local people to health, social care and wellbeing services in Darlington
• Volunteer Management package
• Public Engagement training – VCSO’s and Public Sector staff
• Health and Wellbeing training – VCSO’s and Public Sector staff
• Health and Wellbeing Consultation
• Joint Start-up Event – to Front Line Organisations

Healthwatch Darlington already has a wealth of expertise in identifying the needs of our local population through good cross sector working relationships and an effective network of networks, and our BME Project empowers ordinary citizens towards self-sufficiency by signposting under-represented and marginalised residents of Darlington to the Health & Wellbeing Services they need, overcoming barriers like stigma, culture, gender and language.

Darlington no longer has a Voluntary & Community Sector (VCS) infrastructure organisation, leading to smaller Front Line Organisations (FLO’s) and groups being easily overlooked in the health and wellbeing sector when in fact they can be the lifeline of a community. We have the infrastructure in place to connect local people to the wide spectrum of services and support in the VCS. Through our Community Development we would develop our ‘Self-Helpers’ programme, providing Organisational Health Checks to groups, volunteer recruitment support and alignment to match funding from County Durham Charity Foundation.

Focussing on the need for services to be preventative, we want to be able to build stronger, resilient and active communities connecting with local groups with the help of volunteers trained as “Wellbeing Connectors”, who will work in partnership with residents to encourage self-management, increase independence and enhance a sense of wellbeing.

We will put Volunteers at the centre of our Health and Wellbeing programme and will consult with patients, pharmacists and GP’s to discuss what services best meet their needs, aligning them with a directory of wellbeing services and creating a deep rooted and long term investment into preventative services in the town, freeing up GP’s to focus on more chronic disease management and keeping people out of hospital – guiding people from dependence to independence.

The overriding purpose of Healthwatch Darlington’s Community Development activities is to enable local people to live healthy and independent lives with the minimum of intervention needed from health and social care services, through preventative wellbeing strategies that are sustainable. (Sustainable Community Strategy)

Our Volunteering programme supports local people to be fitter and more active and promotes ill-health prevention through earlier diagnosis and treatment. Volunteering opportunities will enhance career prospects and reinforce self esteem and a sense of worth, building a comprehensive network of partnerships and multi-agency responses.

This programme aligns with Darlington Cares and Good Friends.

Healthwatch Darlington - Registered Charity 1156388 Company 8714438
CVS Building – Church Row – Darlington – DL1 5QD
01325 380145

FF 53t (Fund to Promote Public Sector Volunteering)
Cut W14 (School Crossing Patrols)

This is a transcription of a comment made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

Q: Why don’t we put a levy on schools to pay for their own school crossing patrols? It is part of their remit to ensure the safety of their pupils. Why doesn’t the Council have more partnerships with EE and Cummins so they do something tangible for the community?

A: We have strong partnerships with our schools but we can look to see if we can do more. We have partnerships with EE, Cummins and other big employers. Their staff give time volunteering and that time is invaluable. I expect that people don’t know how much volunteering goes on in this town. It is twice the national average. People in Darlington are very good at volunteering.