Welcome to Hartlepool Voluntary Development Agency

HVDA's Work

In order for local groups to deliver their services effectively, Voluntary Sector Local Development Agencies have been established throughout the country to provide support and advice.  In Hartlepool this work is undertaken by Hartlepool Voluntary Development Agency (HVDA). 

Through HVDA groups are able to access appropriate advice and information on a wide range of issues from charitable status, to managing a group, raising funds or developing meaningful partnerships with other agencies.  With this help, groups can flourish and expand their services and/or activities to the community.  HVDA encourages voluntary action in a number of ways:

  • Working with volunteers.
  • Supporting and developing voluntary and community organisations including access to funding.
  • Building links between voluntary organisations and developing partnerships with other agencies.
  • Promoting the role and value of the voluntary sector.

To download our 'Welcome to HVDA' document please click here.  The document also gives details on what you can expect from HVDA and how you can help to improve the services offered by us.

From 1986 to 2016 HVDA:

  • Provided advice and guidance to 9,787 adult volunteers (326 per year)
  • Provided advice and guidance to 3,397 young volunteers (261 per year from 2000 to 2012)
  • Provided advice and guidance to 232 VCS groups each year
  • Distributed £3,984,322 of grants to VCS groups
  • Helped VCS groups to access £7,382,141 in funding from external bodies (£246,071 per year)
  • Influenced Statutory Bodies to fund local VCS groups totalling £24 million
  • Provided a Straight Through Money service since 2004, holding funds on behalf of VCS groups totalling £467,077, which has benefited an average of 24 groups per year








Facts and Figures

The voluntary sector in Hartlepool is important, both socially and economically, it provides a wide range of services and support to the local community, and has considerable economic significance.

The sector is difficult to define, categorize and measure. The most comprehensive listing of organisations in the voluntary sector is the in the Directory published by HVDA and this indicates the considerable scale and diversity of the sector. The HVDA directory was used as a basis for a survey through which 268 questionnaires were sent out and 93 organisations responded.
Many are independent local groups and some are the local branches of national charities. 30.1% were established in Hartlepool before 1980; 29.1% in the 1980's; and 37.6% in the 1990's. Thus, many of the organisations in Hartlepool were only established in recent years.
A quarter (25.8%) of the organisations had fewer than 100 services users a year. The majority (57%) were in the range of 100 to 1000 services users. Nearly a quarter have over 1000 users a year. It is, therefore, evident that very many people in Hartlepool will use the services that the voluntary sector provides.
Over half of the organisations responding to the survey had paid staff as well as volunteers. The 54 organisations with paid staff employed altogether 176 full-time and 148 part-time staff.
Those with paid staff have a ratio of about 8 volunteers to 1 paid employee. Altogether, the organisations surveyed had 2,585 volunteers, contributing 413,217 hours of their time and effort in 1997/1998. On the basis of these figures, it is estimated that voluntary sector organisations in Hartlepool have approximately 7,450 volunteers in total, contributing 1 .2 million hours a year.
We estimate that the volunteer input into the Hartlepool's voluntary sector is equivalent to about 600 full-time jobs or, if paid for as waged employment (based on the average hourly wage rate in Hartlepool), amounts to about £9.8 million worth of work.
Of those groups which provided information about their income and expenditure, almost 90% have annual expenditure of less that £100,000, and 40.3% spend less that £10,000. Total income/expenditure for the 67 which gave information amounted to £4 million. On this basis, it is estimated that the total annual income/expenditure for the whole voluntary sector in Hartlepool amounts to between £10 million and £16 million a year. It is thus a significant part of the local economy.

The Volunteer Centre

HVDA recruits and places volunteers and develops projects with a focus on new opportunities to volunteer.  This service is offered by the Volunteer Centre and is available to Hartlepool residents and open to people of all ages.
HVDA holds information on a wide range of volunteering opportunities and community activities.
Potential volunteers are offered support and advice in matching their motivation to volunteer with appropriate opportunities.
Volunteering is marketed and promoted through specific campaigns.
Volunteering can involve helping the following groups of people: children, young people, older people, minority ethnic groups, ex-offenders, lone parents, those experiencing substance misuse/abuse, those experiencing health related problems, individuals with mental health issues, physical disabilities and learning difficulties.
Voluntary work can be in any of the following areas: advice; counselling; art/culture; befriending; advocacy; mentoring; catering; clerical/ administration/reception; committee work; conservation; forestry; gardening; animals; education and training; first aid; fundraising; publicity and media; music recording and broadcasting; practical skills; DIY; driving; social care; retail; training; finance; management.

Volunteering for All (VFA) 

The VFA service is used to describe the main brokerage function to recruit, interview and place people into volunteering placements with relevant Voluntary and Community Sector groups and other volunteer using organisations.  The aim of the project is to encourage Hartlepool residents to participate in voluntary activity by undertaking the recruitment of potential volunteers and conducting confidential interviews to match their skills and interests to suitable volunteering opportunities.  Progress will be monitored and volunteer experiences will be evaluated.

For further information please contact a member of the team.



 Meet the Volunteer Centre team

Tracey Wilson

Volunteer Engagement Officer



Support for Groups

From a toddler group to a community transport scheme, from a residents association to a recycling project - these are all examples of the ideas people in the community have had that have been developed, formed and supported with the help of HVDA.

Such help is FREE and can range from a "one off" informal chat to long term support of up to a year and even longer.

The help can include providing a constitution, registering a group as a charity  or other legal company status, organising public meetings, offering resources such as photocopying, stationery and stamps or finding consultants.

Information, advice and guidance is available on things like business/forward planning; funding; finances/accounts; publicity and promotion; recruitment and employment of paid staff; procurement; project evaluation and monitoring; training for paid staff, volunteers and committee members as well as the various protocols needed in running an organisation such as policies and procedures; management committee and governance and mediation or conflict resolution.

We also offer advice on merger/partnership working; resource sharing and liaison and representation.

'Straight Through’ Money Service 
Occasionally a group awarded grant funding may have difficulty accepting it either because it does not as yet have its own bank account or is not a registered charity.  HVDA can act as an intermediary body in these circumstances, receiving grants on a group’s behalf.  IMPORTANT NOTICE: This service will no longer be available after 30th June 2017.



Meet the Team

Liz Ashton

Group Support & Information Officer


Additional information