A Darlington voluntary organisation has had a fruitful year after doubling its volunteering hours target and completing a string of successful community projects.
Darlington Cares’ greatest achievement of 2018 was smashing its target of 5,500 donated hours; thanks to local businesses and their employees, an astounding 11,000 hours were volunteered.
Over 2,500 local people participated in 180 programmes throughout the last 12 months. Projects included new campaigns Big Community Challenge and Great Park Auction, as well as Darlo’s Big Sister, which was established in a bid to tackle period poverty and supply all of the town’s secondary schools with free sanitary products.
A record number of people attended one of the five Pick, Pie and a Pint events. More than 400 volunteers collected 342 bags of rubbish and numerous local businesses including Harvey & Hugo, The Northern Echo and Northumbrian Water showed their support by sponsoring an event.
Darlington Cares also hosted its first ever child-friendly litter-picking challenge to inspire young people to protect our environment.
Director of Darlington Cares, Seth Pearson said: “What a year it has been for Darlington Cares! We would like to say a huge thank you to all of the companies and volunteers whom we have worked with over the last year; without their support, we wouldn’t have been able to exceed our goals.
“28 members pledged their support to Darlington Cares and we’re incredibly grateful for all of their help over the last year.
“After several brilliant campaigns, such as our Christmas Appeal, we are looking forward to launching our 2019 projects, including DIY SOS, which will involve volunteers giving a nature reserve a facelift.
“It’s going to be another exciting year for Darlington Cares and I would like to encourage anyone who is interested in volunteering, or any businesses that would like to find out more about the benefits of becoming a member of the organisation, to get in touch.”
Darlington Cares establishes and delivers programmes across its three key focus areas: education, environment and social justice.
To find out more about Darlington Cares, its projects and volunteering opportunities, visit www.darlingtoncares.co.uk.
Press shot: (L-R) Director of Darlington Cares, Seth Pearson and Darlington Cares’ Programme Officer, Chelsea Johnson