THE search is on for the next team of community heroes to volunteer as part of an innovative project to boost people's confidence.

The volunteering days are run by Step Forward Tees Valley, which is supporting people to overcome complex issues, such as ill health, addiction or a conviction, that prevent them from working.

The Community Heroes meet once a month at various community venues in Darlington, Middlesbrough and Stockton, which need the help of volunteers.

Helen Collins, Step Forward Tees Valley manager, said: “For some people the prospect of getting a job is a long way off, even if they do want to work. Volunteering can be the first step into the world of work and is invaluable experience. Just getting out and meeting people can be a big achievement. It gives people the chance to contribute whilst at the same time learning new skills and gaining confidence.”

Volunteers could be cooking for a food project, helping out with gardening or painting a community hall – all in a friendly and supportive environment.

All volunteering hours are logged and you can work toward a bronze, silver or gold Step Forward Tees Valley volunteering award. Once you have completed an award the project will supply you with a reference.

One volunteer said: “Volunteering gives me the chance to meet new people and feel useful again doing something worthwhile. Not only do I feel like I am helping others but I am also helping myself at the same time. I am now looking forward now instead of back."

To find out more call 01642-245895 or visit