Estate has most helpers

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VOLUNTEERS at National Trust sites and estates across Northumberland have been praised for their efforts.

New figures from the organisation have revealed that Wallington in Cambo boasts the most volunteers in the North East with 265, closely followed by Cragside in Rothbury with 235.

The regional total is 1,560. This covers more than 100 different jobs and amounts to 66,404 hours of unpaid work a year – worth £575,058 to the Trust.

This month, some of the Wallington volunteers have been playing parts in the Operation Pied Piper interactive performance at the property, which is telling the story of evacuees billeted at the mansion during the Second World War.

Casey Robinson, Volunteering and Community Involvement Consultant for the National Trust in the North East, said: “Over the last 10 years, we have seen our volunteering community grow substantially.

“We recognise that people’s lives are extremely busy, so we are working hard to make it even easier for people to gift their time.

“The work that our volunteers do is fantastic and we strive to ensure that the experiences they have are fulfilling and enjoyable.

“There are many ways in which we are doing this at the moment, with the growth of opportunities for families, young people (such as internships), group volunteering and working holidays.

“Over the next few years, we aim to continue our pledge to maintain and improve the volunteer experience so that we can all continue to look after the region’s special places.”

For more details about volunteering with the Trust, visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk