Sudbury volunteering scheme a huge success

VOLUNTEERING PAYS OFF: Twenty-two-year-old Catherine Blanchard, who has found a job after helping at Gainsborough's House in Sudbury, with project manager Nick Winch.

VOLUNTEERING PAYS OFF: Twenty-two-year-old Catherine Blanchard, who has found a job after helping at Gainsborough's House in Sudbury, with project manager Nick Winch.

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AN INITIATIVE to give volunteers without jobs a chance to work at a heritage museum in Sudbury has paid off with two people securing permanent work following enrolment on the scheme.

One of those is 22-year-old Catherine Blanchard, who wanted to work in an “art setting” and has now found a job at a theatre in Colchester.

The volunteering scheme at Gainsborough’s House – home of 18th century artist Thomas Gainsborough – has seen 20 people enrol on the EU-funded initiative.

Project manager Nick Winch said: “The project provides volunteer placements for anyone aged over 18 wanting to learn a variety of skills.

“So far, people have been involved in areas as diverse as helping in the coffee shop, to room stewarding and producing marketing materials. It has been really popular and we are really pleased that two people have gone on to find work.”

The scheme, which runs until May, is supported by the European Union Social Fund and the Skills Funding Agency.

Participants are expected to undertake a minimum of nine hours voluntary work. To find out more, call Nick on 01787 372958 or email nick@gainsborough.org.