A PROJECT that aims to encourage workplace volunteering in Darlington has been extended for another year.

The initial contract for Darlington Cares, which matches the skills and resources of employers in the town to volunteering opportunities in the community, was due to expire in October.

It has now been extended until October 2015 and project manager Katie Blundell is confident the scheme can run for even longer.

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Two more employers - Latimer Hinks solicitors and the Department for Education - have recently signed up, taking the number of members to 20.

Asked what had been Darlington Cares' most significant achievement to date, Miss Blundell replied: "We have achieved what must be well in excess of 600 volunteering hours.

"The way the programme has developed means that we are doing more activities that are skills and expertise-based, as well as traditional volunteering such as litter-picking and gardening."

Darlington Cares members recently held employment mentoring days for students at Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College who are preparing to enter the world of work, with further events to follow in June.

Busy Readers, a Darlington Cares scheme to provide volunteer reading support to primary schools is being extended, with members of the public being encouraged to sign up.

For more information, call Miss Blundell on 01642-738970 or email k.blundell@tees.ac.uk