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Make waves this summer by volunteering in the North East

Warmer weather is on the way, and what better way is there to take advantage of the longer days than making a difference in your community? We’ve found four volunteering opportunities in the North East to help make your Summer a special one.

Daft as a Brush: Help those having cancer treatment

Daft as a Brush was set up in 2010 by former hotelier Brian Burnie to get cancer patients to and from the hospital easily, and it has now helped thousands of people in the North East. The charity owns a fleet of custom-fitted ambulances, and organises volunteers to drive registered patients to and from their appointments each week.

Transcendit have been working with Daft as a Brush since 2016, and they are currently in urgent need of ambulance drivers and ambulance companions. Without these volunteer positions, Daft as a Brush are unable to support those undergoing cancer treatment and provide their free patient transport service. You can apply to be a driver or companion on their website.

Bookmark: Help a child learn to read 

Bookmark is a charity that connects volunteers with schools to help teach primary school aged children how to read. Volunteers spend one hour a week ‘reading stories and playing games with a child aged between 5 and 10 years old’. These reading sessions are facilitated online, through their secure online platform. You’ll see the same child twice a week for thirty minutes, for six weeks.

Bookmark says that volunteer reading support can really help children that are struggling, and that their service can reach children wherever they are in England and Wales. For those who prefer volunteering in-person, there are face to face volunteer positions where you can work with local primary schools. 

The National Trust: Get into gardening

The National Trust looks after a number of different properties and locations in the North East, and volunteers can get involved at almost all of them. Those with green fingers can help work on the gardens and forge new friendships in the wide range of beautiful locations. If gardening isn’t your thing, the National Trust also welcomes volunteers to lead rambles, school groups, conservation projects, become guides and care for the buildings.

There are a number of garden volunteering opportunities at Lindisfarne Castle, Cragside, Crook Hall Gardens and Gibside. There are also volunteer opportunities at Embleton and Newton Links, Ormesby Hall, Souter Lighthouse, Hadrians Wall, Seaton Delaval Hall, Washington Old Hall and Penshaw Monument.

The People's Kitchen: Help homeless and disadvantaged adults

The People’s Kitchen is a charity which provides hot meals, care packages and resources to vulnerable adults who are in need of support. It is entirely volunteer run, and currently has 293 volunteers donating their time and their energy to help homeless and disadvantaged people in Newcastle. It was established in 1985 by Alison Kay, who was motivated to set up an organisation to offer ‘food and friendship’ after she heard the news that a homeless man had died.

The organisation serves over 250 meals every day, every day of the year. They also make support calls to those who need it. If you’d like to help them support vulnerable people in Newcastle and Gateshead, you can download the volunteer application form online. There are a number of different opportunities and locations available, including drivers, admin roles, stores support, morning and evening welfare, food prep and meal services. 

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