PEOPLE who have served overseas with a York-based charity have launched a new fund to help vital projects around the world.

A group of former volunteers with International Service have set up an alumni board and a small grants fund, to support projects in countries where the charity works.

The fund will provide donations of up to £250 to projects that International Service volunteers are involved in.

The fund was launched at a special reception at the Mansion House, hosted by the Lord Mayor of York Coun Julie Gunnell.

She praised the charity’s work and the dedication of the alumni.

Jo Baker, chief executive of International Service, said: “In the past 60 years we have sent hundreds and hundreds of volunteer workers overseas. Most come back to the UK and continue with their lives and become alumni. This group is an absolutely sterling example of people coming back and becoming active citizens.”

She said the charity was “immensely proud” of the group.

Dot Kirk, from the alumni board, said volunteers gained a lot from their placements and said: “This is a way for us to give back to the country and the people we met.”

International Service is based in Rougier Street and works to further development in several parts of the world, including Burkina Faso, Brazil and Palestine.