VOLUNTEERING can help reduce stress and boost employability, self-esteem and health, according to new statistics.

A report from the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) shows six out of ten of their volunteers have lower stress levels as a result of their work, while four in five believe volunteering has had a positive effect on their health.

The organisation is now appealing for more volunteers to help in their work supporting local communities.

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In the last year, 80 volunteers gave their time to Darlington CAB.

One volunteer took on the role following retirement.

He said: “It has given me a new purpose in life. I have stayed so long because of the people I work with, people who care enough about others within their community to work or volunteer at the bureau to help those experiencing difficulties in their lives.”

Chief executive Neeraj Sharma said volunteers had helped them cope with an increase in demand.

He said: “Volunteers are the lifeblood of the CAB, they make a huge contribution to the local community.”

For more information about volunteering with Darlington CAB, call 01325-256999.

The work of volunteers throughout the UK is being recognised this week as the annual Volunteers’ Week takes place from Sunday until Saturday, June 7.