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Durham Cathedral achieves County Durham volunteering award

17 July 2019

Durham Cathedral, a building steeped in history and Norman grandeur, has been awarded the County Durham Volunteering Kite Mark, in recognition of the quality of its volunteering programme. 

Durham Cathedral employs over 750 volunteers, in more than 110 different roles, ranging from customer service to woodland conservation and everything in between. The tireless work of each and every volunteer, whether that be welcoming visitors or helping behind the scenes, is crucial to the daily rhythm of the cathedral. 

The Kite Mark quality marker is awarded by local charity Durham Community Action, whose commitment to volunteering is actively underpinned by the County Durham Compact. It demonstrates an organisation's commitment to providing a positive experience for volunteers.  In achieving the Kite Mark, Durham Cathedral has demonstrated they meet best practice guidelines as a volunteering organisation.  It signals that they have met standards to overcome obstacles to volunteering and that they recognise the value of recruiting and retaining volunteers. The Kite Mark is also an acknowledgement of the sound policies and processes that are in place at the cathedral, as well as the training and support available for volunteers. 

Joanna Laverick, executive director at Durham Community Action said: ‘Working with Durham Cathedral, such an important and special place in County Durham, has been a real honour. The cathedral has a hugely diverse range of volunteers, all of whom possess their own individual skillsets and bring different life experiences to the table. While this variety is fantastic for the cathedral, it also means that staff have to work incredibly hard to manage such a divergent group, ensuring everyone is able to thrive in their respective roles. 

‘The Volunteering Department at the cathedral go above and beyond to make sure that everyone feels valued and is supported in the cathedral environment. It is this ethos that makes the organisation a worthy Kite Mark recipient.’

As the largest volunteer organisation to go through this process so far, the cathedral volunteers were actively involved in the consultation process and were able to give feedback on their experiences as part of the Kite Mark assessment. Their invaluable input will inform the Kite Mark structure for larger volunteer organisations in the future.

Marie Wisson, volunteers manager at Durham Cathedral, said: ‘Our volunteers are at the heart of everything we do. They breathe life into the building and are completely invaluable to the successful functioning of the cathedral.

‘Having our volunteer programme recognised by Durham Community Action with such an important accolade, means so much to the Volunteering Department. We are pleased to have been recognised as offering a rewarding and supportive experience for volunteers, which is worthy of the commitment and hard work of our volunteer community.’ 

Durham Cathedral are always looking for new volunteers and encourage applications year-round. If you are interested in volunteering, there is an abundance of roles to suit everyone. You can find further information on the Durham Cathedral website: