WORSBROUGH Mill has received a grant worth almost £200,000 from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports to increase volunteering opportunities in the borough.

The funding, delivered by Arts Council England through the Volunteering Futures Fund, was launched last year.

It has been introduced to ‘break down barriers’ to volunteering and enable organisations across the sector to continue their work, whilst also allowing the local community to benefit.

Arts Council England have awarded Worsbrough Mill as a response to the demand of a wide range of beneficiaries.

Those set to benefit most from the funding include youngsters with disabilities, colleges, local councils, schools, and health and wellbeing organisations.

Culture secretary Nadine Dorries said: “As we have seen throughout the pandemic, volunteering offers a wealth of benefits to both the volunteers and the organisations who rely on their help, encouraging acts of generosity, public spirit and neighbourliness.

“The Volunteering Futures Fund will deliver a step-change in connecting those who may be isolated, lonely or experiencing any number of potential barriers to get involved in volunteering.

“I’m delighted that more than 160 organisations will now benefit from £4.6m in government funding to enhance collaboration between local councils, the public sector, and civil society.”

Lynn Dunning, head of Barnsley Museums, hopes the funding will help showcase the impacts volunteering can have on people’s lives.

“Volunteering is vital to the cultural sector and offers huge advantages to both the individual and the organisation,” she added.

“This funding will allow us to establish high quality volunteering opportunities that will offer personal and lifelong benefits to those taking part.

“They will develop new skills, offer avenues into work, support health and wellbeing and boost confidence.

“Doing so in collaboration with a range of community partners and lived experience.

“We really want to showcase the impacts that volunteering can have and also how culture can really add value to lives and communities.”

The £180,000 in funding will be used in collaboration with a range of partners across the borough - using partnerships between local stakeholders to create new volunteering opportunities that will benefit others.

Kathy McArdle, service director for regeneration and culture at the council, said: “Volunteering contributes massively to what makes Barnsley a place of opportunity.

“We are delighted Worsbrough Mill is one of the organisations selected to deliver Volunteering Futures, a fund that will transform the volunteer offer and provide a whole host of new opportunities for our communities.”

The government funding has been awarded with £100,000 or more for each project following a competitive process launched back in November 2021.

There are 19 lead organisations - including Barnsley Museums - that will now work with more than 160 partner organisations to deliver volunteering options for local residents.

Darren Henley, CEO of Arts Council England, added: “There’s an abundance of evidence to show that volunteering can be a key factor in helping people lead happier lives.

“This new investment will enrich villages, towns and cities across England, increasing health and wellbeing and decreasing loneliness and isolation.”