PEOPLE struggling to find work will be offered volunteering opportunities to boost their job chances thanks to a new partnership.

The new partnership between Step Forward Tees Valley and Citizen's Advice Darlington will offer the unemployed chances to volunteer, helping to boost their confidence, teach them new skills, and ultimately lead to work or training placements.

Step Forward brings different organisations together to offer practical support to help people resolve issues such as self-confidence, addiction, a conviction or ill health, so they can move their lives forward.

By working with Citizen’s Advice Darlington, it is hoped more people will be able to take advantage of a wide range of volunteering opportunities.

Citizen’s Advice Darlington will work with different organisations to promote volunteering opportunities and make sure anyone who wants to volunteer gets the support and help they need.

Helen Collins, Step Forward programme manager, said: “For some people who face challenges in their life the thought of working or training can be intimidating. Volunteering is a great way to build self-confidence and learn new skills. Darlington CAB will help make sure organisations who want volunteers can be put in touch with people who will really benefit from the opportunity.”

Participants on the programme have already been involved in volunteering with the Tees Valley Wildlife Trust, Norton Sports Charity, Darlington Cares and other projects.

Neeraj Sharmo, CEO of Citizen’s Advice Darlington, said: “This exciting programme has been designed to help individuals and organisations with the development of volunteer participation. Voluntary sector organisations will be able to access free training and support, enabling them to develop, embed and grow volunteer opportunities within their organisation. Individuals will benefit from this expansion by taking up volunteer opportunities which will support them to build career skills for work, contribute to the local community and make new friends.”

To find out about Step Forward Tees Valley visit or call 01325-529210.

You can also find the project on Twitter @SFTeesValley or Facebook /stepforwardteesvalley.