New online directory launches to offer advice and support across the Harrogate district

Karen Weaver (Chief Executive ), Carol Gaiger (volunteering support worker), Rachel Kingdom (business development manager) and Angela Jones (information officer) (1701235AM1)
Karen Weaver (Chief Executive ), Carol Gaiger (volunteering support worker), Rachel Kingdom (business development manager) and Angela Jones (information officer) (1701235AM1)

A new directory has been launched to provide information, advice and support across the Harrogate district.

The Harrogate and Ripon Centres for Voluntary Service's (HARCVS) online Where to Turn directory lists over 600 activities, charities and support services.

From information about health charities such as Arthritis Care, to social activities including book clubs and art classes, HARCVS's aim is for it to be as inclusive and broad in its appeal as possible.

Information and Communications Officer Angela Jones said: "Being the new year, using the directory is a great chance to try something new and to get out and about in the community.

"Finding people who are interested in the same things as you can give you a real boost. GP surgeries call it their Bible, and social care workers realise that it is important not to be isolated and to be able to have access to activities and support which enhance your well being.

"Where to Turn includes a wide range of activities for a wide range of age groups.

"By going to lunch clubs and coffee mornings, and any of the other activities listed, people can feel boosted by the support that is available in the community. We also list services like community transport, as it is not just about where to go for support, it is how to access it."

Karen Weaver, Chief Executive of HARCVS, said: "This has been a big project for us and the culmination of a year’s work and so we’re absolutely thrilled to start off 2017 by launching our new Where to Turn directory to the public.

"The directory is a fantastic resource for the Harrogate community. Our aim is to make it easier for local people to find out about different charitable services. Whether you need transport or advice on coping with chronic fatigue the directory can point you in the right direction.

"As well as information about charitable services, Where to Turn also contains listings for different clubs and interest groups so it is the perfect starting point if you’re new to the area and looking to meet new people.

"We have been keen to revamp our directory for several years and so we’re really grateful to our funders who have supported us throughout this project."

The new Where to Turn was sponsored by the Harrogate District Public Services Leadership Board and jointly funded by the Harrogate Borough Council, the NHS and the Police & Crime Commissioner.

In addition to Where to Turn, HARCVS has also launched a new volunteering directory with over 400 opportunities listed.

Business Development Officer Rachel Kingdom, said: "If you are feeling lonely or isolated, if you are new to the area, volunteering is a great way of meeting people.

"One of the things we have looked at is making it easier for people in more rural localities to find opportunities in their localities. Volunteering is a great way of meeting people, and we've had people saying to us that they feel part of a community of volunteers.

"If you are under eighteen or you are a wheelchair user, it can sometimes be harder to find accessible volunteering opportunities, and one of our aims with the directory is to increase accessibility."

Volunteering opportunities range from supporting Saint Michael's Hospice to helping local conservation groups.

To access Where to Turn, go to: http://www.harcvs.org.uk/wheretoturn, or to access the volunteering directory, go to http://www.harcvs.org.uk/volunteer/opportunities

For more information, call HARCVS on: 01423 504074.