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Due to essential maintenance, the following systems will be unavailable from 6.00pm on Monday 2 October until 8.00am on Tuesday 3 October: our online council tax, business rates and housing benefit services, and our welfare assistance form. You will also not be able to register to pay council tax online, make a change of address for council tax or cancel single person discount. You are still able to make a payment during this time. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Family support schemes

We have a number of volunteering opportunities available that you can sign up to and help children and young people and families in County Durham.

Volunteering can make a difference to the lives of many individuals and families, whether you're looking for a short term or long term volunteering opportunity. From driving to befriending and supporting local charities, there is a variety of ways to get involved.

Independent Visitors

Some children and young people who are in care have little or no contact with their families. They live in a children's home and may have moved among numerous foster carers or could be looked after by a family member or friend.

The young people see independent visitors as adult friends who support them through difficult times. You may support them to join a sports team, or take them to activities such as the cinema, cycling, bowling or dog walking. You will provide a listening ear and, in many cases, offer a long-term support to the young person.

We are looking for volunteers from all walks of life who have some free time to offer a child or young person.  Find out more at North East Jobs: volunteer independent visitors.

School governors

Governors are one of the largest volunteer forces in the country and play an important part in raising educational standards. As a governor you could be involved in planning the school's future direction, monitoring the school's performance, budgets and staffing and promoting pupils' development plus much more. Find out more on our school governors page.

Volunteer drivers

We're working with Supportive to find volunteer drivers who use their own car to transport children and young people in care, to their appointments and visits to see their families. They need volunteers who can be flexible with their time and can be available at short notice. This volunteering opportunity is working directly with Supportive. 

To find out more about becoming a volunteer driver visit the Supportive website.