Get New Skills On Volunteering Programme

East Durham College has the opportunity for 15 young people (aged 16-25) to enrol on an exciting volunteering programme and work at either the Peterlee Campus or their Houghall Campus, on the outskirts of Durham City.

The College is one of only two colleges in the North East lucky enough to be able to offer the Learner Support Roles, as part of the vtalent year initiative.

vtalent year is an exciting £10.5m national full time volunteering programme. The aim is to give almost 2,000 volunteers the opportunity to directly influence and enhance public sector services whilst at the same time gaining new skills to improve their employability potential.

The structured placements last for 44 weeks and lead to a minimum of a Level 2 qualification. On completion of the programme it also offers the volunteers grants of up to £1,500 for further training, course or university fees.

During your placement you will receive training, undertake qualifications and can claim a subsistence allowance of up to £100/week to cover basic living costs.

Emma Hume, a current vtalent year volunteer at the College, who is 21 and from Horden Peterlee, said: “Before I started vtalent I had worked in call centre, when I found out about vtalent I thought it would just give me something to do for a year until I decided what to do for a career.

“But I love it, working with the staff and students has given me loads of confidence and I have decided this is what I want to do, so I’m doing my Level 2 Learner Support and Level 2 Teaching Assistant at the College. When I leave I want to get work in a college or school and go onto the Level 3 Teaching Assistant programme.”

Volunteer Michaela Donoghue, 19 from Wheatley Hill, remarked: “Taking part in vtalent benefited me in so many ways, it gave me confidence I never had before. Working with so many different people also gave me an understanding of how different people learn. Working with the students and helping them made me feel good about myself.

“When I had the interview for my apprenticeship my employer was very interested in my volunteering and I feel this helped me get the apprenticeship and it also got me prepared so that when I started my new job I found it very easy to settle in.”

Kelly Parkin, another volunteer, added: “Before becoming a vtalent volunteer I had never done anything like this before. I volunteer at the Houghall Campus and I love it. The staff and students are so friendly and made me feel really welcome.”