14th Dec 2017

Healthwatch County Durham (HWCD), who are here to make sure views on Health and Social Care in County Durham are heard, has recently been awarded the County Durham Volunteering Kite Mark. This was awarded at a celebratory event on 12th December, by Yvonne Probert, Head of Community Services for Durham Community Action.

Photo: Kite Mark certificate presented to Brian Jackson from Yvonne Probert with volunteers and trustees.

Achievement of the County Durham Volunteering Kite Mark demonstrates that HWCD meets standards to overcome barriers to volunteering, and recognises the value of recruiting and retaining volunteers, as set out by Durham Community Action, whose commitment to volunteering is actively underpinned by the County Durham Compact.

The Kite Mark shows an organisation manages a volunteering programme where volunteers receive a high quality, positive volunteering experience.  It will help volunteers to make informed choices when they apply to volunteer, and they can be reassured that HWCD have the correct policies and processes in place to offer a rewarding and positive experience.

HWCD’s volunteers are involved in many aspects of work and have contributed 1332 Hours working on multiple projects ranging from research projects, to Enter and View visits, drop-ins and talking to the public to gather their views.

Abby Thompson, Volunteer Development Manager said “Durham Community Action were delighted to present HWCD with the County Durham Volunteer Kite Mark award. Volunteers from HWCD played an active role in giving their views as part of the Kite Mark assessment process and commented on the excellent range and quality of the training available to them. They also felt very valued in the voluntary work that they undertook and received certificates to acknowledge their volunteering hours.  Volunteers also all spoke highly of the day to day support that they received from their managers who were always keen to get their opinions on the running of HWCD services.”

Brian Jackson, HWCD Chair of the board said: “We are delighted to achieve the County Durham volunteer Kite Mark as this recognises HWCD’s commitment to supporting and valuing our volunteers, providing them with training, support and expenses to help them to continue to undertake this vital work”.

Claire Cowell, Volunteer Support for HWCD said: “Our volunteers, who come from all walks of life, are dedicated to helping to make a difference to the lives of people in County Durham, ensuring that they have a voice with regard to Health and Social Care services.  We aim to ensure that people who want to volunteer has the support to find an opportunity that is right for them, this includes understanding the roles and responsibilities available as a volunteer with HWCD.”

If you are interested in volunteering with HWCD please visit their website to see the range of opportunities available ( or contact Claire Cowell on 0191 3787695, email

For more general information contact 0191 3781037 or email

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