Kate Culverhouse outside Groundwork North East & Cumbria's Greenhouse

Groundwork North East & Cumbria is using the extended Volunteer Week to highlight the important role that volunteers play in the region.

Groundwork relies on its army of volunteers to ensure the delivery of its range of social and environmental schemes, all of which aim to engage communities, private businesses and public sector partners to make sustainable change to their areas.

The charity and its social enterprises has a network of 100 regular volunteers who collectively gave more than 100,000 hours of their time last year, which would equate to a pay roll in excess of £700,000 if they were paid the minimum wage. A costly figure for any organisation.

Groundwork projects that rely on volunteers include: River Tees Rediscovered Partnership, a conservation scheme, which celebrates the Tees’ pivotal role in the physical and cultural development of the region, and Land of Oak & Iron, which looks to preserve the North East’s unique landscape created by its industrial heritage.

Its flagship social enterprises, gwk woodshed and gwk nursery also embrace volunteers and offer training opportunities for those seeking employment.

Kate Culverhouse, Chief Executive for Groundwork North East & Cumbria, said: “Groundwork is very grateful to everyone who gives up their time to help make our ambitions a success.

“Time is money, and too often the contribution made by volunteers is overlooked in economic terms, but it’s important to take a moment to reflect on their outstanding contribution.

“Volunteering is a great opportunity for people who are looking to gain experience, make social connections and even gain qualifications through our training schemes.

“I’d also like to extend our thanks to businesses, which give their staff the opportunity to take a paid day out of work to give our projects a much-welcomed manpower boost.

“Our schemes are always in need of extra hands and I would encourage any business, organisation or individual who would like to be part of positive change in the area to get in touch.”

Those wishing to volunteer their time can head to the Groundwork North East & Cumbria website: http://www.groundwork.org.uk/northeast, call 01388 662 666 or email north.east@groundwork.org.uk

ENDS

CONTACT: Joss Havakin on 01325 363436

NEWS RELEASE: ISSUED ON BEHALF OF GROUNDWORK NE & CUMBRIA

Notes to editors:

Groundwork NE & Cumbria is a social enterprise/charity dedicated to improving the lives of people across the North of England.

This includes:

  • Helping people to retrain, gain confidence and gain valuable work experience.
  • Take practical action to tackle climate change – it recognises that by doing so it can also reduce fuel poverty and help business be more efficient
  • Groundwork NE & Cumbria owns, manages, rents and leases buildings and land in every part of the North of England
  • Enhancing the places where people live, work and play.

Groundwork NE & Cumbria covers the whole of North East and Cumbria and has bases in Bishop Auckland; Sedgefield; Cockermouth; Darlington; Easington Village; Gateshead; Annfield Plain; Lobley Hill, Gateshead; Middlesbrough; Morpeth; Stockton, Sunderland, and Ulverston; and employment offices in Bishop Auckland; Carlisle; Darlington; Durham; Newton Aycliffe; Redcar and Workington.

Groundwork has approximately 100 regular volunteers who give an average of 2.5 days of their time a week to the social enterprise/charity. It also has approximately 50 irregular volunteers, who on average give 15 hours of their time a year. These figures were combined then multiplied by the minimum hourly rate in 2015 of £6.70, to give the figure of £701,825.

For more information log on to http://www.groundwork.org.uk/sites/northeast

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Kate Culverhouse outside Groundwork North East & Cumbria's Greenhouse
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