A Charity project based in South Tyneside designed to support vulnerable families had cause to celebrate last week, when they won the ‘Supporting Young People, Children & Families’ award at the prestigious South Tyneside Volunteer Awards 2015.

The Volunteers Supporting Families project is part of UK wide charity Volunteering Matters and began in partnership with South Tyneside Council in January 2014, enabling volunteers in the area to support vulnerable families.

Volunteers on the project are recruited, screened, trained and placed with families whose children are subject to a safeguarding plan or who have additional needs. Volunteers visit the families at least once a week and build a strong relationship with the parents, assisting families to sort longstanding issues and supporting parents to access local services as well as offering practical help. Volunteering Matters has a proven track record of reducing the number of children on child protection plans and reducing the level of risk through the project.

The South Tyneside CVS hosted the Volunteer Awards ceremony on Wednesday 23 September and two volunteers on the project, Sian and Judith, were presented with the award by the Mayor and Mayoress of South Tyneside.

Alison Stepney, Project Manager, said:

“This Award demonstrates the hard work, effort and commitment of our volunteers on the Volunteers Supporting Families project. Volunteers are the unsung heroes of the community and help families in challenging circumstances where children are at risk of abuse and harm. Volunteers make a difference, whether they are able to give 1 hour a week or 5 hours a week, by helping families create a happy, stable and safe environment. This award is a fantastic accomplishment for all Volunteers Supporting Families volunteers”.

The project enables volunteers to gain a unique experience of supporting vulnerable families who are in the social care arena or who have additional or complex needs. Volunteers can learn valuable new skills, make friends and make a difference to their community.

Volunteering Matters is currently looking for inspiring volunteers who understand the difficulties faced by families with additional or complex needs, who are good listeners and are keen to offer emotional and practical support to families in their local community. Volunteers will need to be able to commit to at least one home visit a week for a minimum of six months. It is a demanding role but Volunteering Matters will provide training and support every step of the way.

If you would like to volunteer or if you are a professional in South Tyneside find out more information by going to:

www.volunteeringmatters.org.uk/volunteers-supporting-families ;

Or contact Alison Stepney or Tracey Hadaway on 0191 424 4740 / 0191 424 4741 or STyneVSF@volunteeringmatters.org.uk


For press enquiries please contact Amanda Francis at Volunteering Matters, amanda.francis@volunteeringmatters.org.uk / 020 3780 5880 / 07754698854

 Notes to Editors

Volunteering Matters is the UK’s leading volunteering charity and delivers targeted, innovative and professional volunteering programmes nationwide, inspiring volunteers to power change in their communities