VOLUNTEERS are being invited to give just eight hours a year to help at a local club, community event or project, while improving their job prospects at the same time.

Just a Day, which has been awarded over £10,300 in grant aid by housing provider Karbon Homes, is running the scheme at the Fulforth Centre in Sacriston.

Project development worker Gemma O’Brien said: “Everyone has something they can offer, even if they don’t know it yet. So, if you want to give something back to your local community, we will find something that suits you.”

The Fulforth Centre is owned and jointly managed by Sacriston Community and Sports Trust and the Sacriston Community Association.

Through Just a Day, volunteers are matched with projects that complement their skills set, or which offer them an opportunity to learn a new skill, with the scheme particularly aimed at attracting those who are not in education, employment or training.

The scheme also works with volunteers to make them ‘job ready’, offering practical help on CV writing, interview techniques and other employability skills.

Gemma said: “We want to give our volunteers as much as they give us, so we’re hoping that Just a Day will ultimately contribute to upskilling people, giving them more confidence, lead to training and the opportunity to network with all the organisations that operate out of The Fulforth Centre.”

Volunteering opportunities could involve supporting the village’s popular lunch club, helping to organise community events, or carrying out reception and administrative duties at the centre.

Keen gardeners could also lend a hand with Sacriston’s Northumbria in Bloom entry, or with village plans to create a community garden and allotment.

Karbon Homes’ community involvement officer, Paul Hadden, said: “The Fulforth Centre works to support and regenerate Sacriston and the wider community with an inclusive approach to the activities and workshops it provides.

“In this current climate, volunteers are key to ensuring these activities continue, keeping Sacriston a strong and vibrant community.

“For the volunteers, helping their community could lead to them learning new skills that are attractive to potential employers - giving up just one day could really change their lives.”

For more information contact 0191-371 0601.