21st Feb 2018

Domestic abuse charity Harbour Support Services has been awarded the County Durham Volunteering Kite Mark award.

Photo: Danielle Chadwick, Volunteer Service Manager from Harbour Support Services and Yvonne Probert, Head of Community Services, from Durham Community Action.

Harbour’s volunteers are on the frontline helping to support victims of domestic abuse, as well as working behind the scenes to ensure a smooth running of the service. Volunteering roles range from peer mentoring and activity coordinators to service user representatives and administrative support.  

Abby Thompson, Volunteer Development Manager said “When meeting with the volunteers and reading through the completed volunteers questionnaires it is clear that volunteers really value their time with Harbour. They have clear opportunities to provide views and opinions on services and have felt welcomed from the very beginning and feel part of the staff within Harbour. Volunteers have also told us that they get help to develop their skills within the groups that they have a constant connection and support with the team."

Lesley Gibson, Harbour’s Chief Executive said, “We are delighted to achieve the County Durham Kite Mark as this recognises Harbour’s commitment to supporting and valuing our volunteers.   We believe that volunteers bring additional skills and diversity to our organisation, and that they are able to provide a personal response to our service users and an invaluable link to the local community, which can be very important to people isolated by their situation.

As we have grown over the years, we are delighted that the many of our volunteers are those who have previously been affected by domestic abuse. They are able offer a unique perspective; they are passionate about making a difference and want those suffering now to know that it is possible to achieve a future free from abuse.”

Achievement of the County Durham Kite Mark demonstrates that Harbour 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 recognises that within Harbour 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 Harbour have the correct policies and processes in place to offer a rewarding and positive experience.

If you are interested in volunteering with Harbour, visit their website to see the range of opportunities available ( or  email .

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