The Young Volunteers Centre at The Den looks set to become a hive of activity.
Thanks to cash raised by members the new centre will offer young people access to state of the art facilities like computers, printers, music and film editing, event and promotional materials, broadband access, job and course support, homework help and much more.
Advice and access to youth workers will also be available and young people will get the chance to find out how their community is run and how they can positively influence decisions that directly affect them.
Cash for the project was raised through the Youth Opportunities Fund and the Durham Police Community Initiative Support Scheme.
There are stacks of volunteering opportunities at The Den for anyone of any age.
Give Volunteering a Go
Peter Bell,19, joined the project as a member of the Woodcraft Folk in 2002 and was crowned Derwentside young Volunteer of the Year in 2008 – 2009.
He recently returned from a 10-week trip to Nepal with the Platform2 volunteering scheme where he helped to build the foundations of a school. Peter says his ten-week adventure would never have been possible without the support he’s received from Den volunteers over the years.
“I’ve always wanted to volunteer abroad and it was an amazing experience to see how people live and work in Nepal, but I know I wouldn’t have had the confidence to apply for a place on the Platform2 programme without the support I’ve had from the project over the years.
“My life would be very different now if I didn’t get involved with the Woodcraft Folk when I did. For example my Dad died and I really went off the rails and stopped attending school. Gwen and Steve from the project helped me to get things back on track and persuaded me to go back to school and then on to college. They’ve helped me so much with my confidence and have made me strive to do better for myself.”
As well as helping out with the younger members of the Woodcraft Folk, Peter is now busy volunteering at The Den everyday to help with the refurbishments.
He urged other young people to get involved with the project. He said: “If anyone reading this is thinking of volunteering or joining any of the groups at the Den I would definitely say just give it a go. There’s something for everyone at the Den.”