News & Updates



Shildon Alive New premises!

'Shildon Alive has moved to 91-95 Church Street, we offer one to one Advocacy support(appointment based), food crisis support, a credit union collection point for savings and loans, laptop use and job search support a community space(all welcome) with activities including Art, puzzles, games, table tennis. Tea coffee and hot chocolate are available for 60p.

Opening times Mon - Sat 9:30-4:30 closed for lunch 12:30-1:30

The premises has toilet facilities with disabled access.(baby change unit not fitted yet)

We also have a Fridge and Shelves for all project which is open to everyone in the community. Our volunteers collect food waste(fresh fruit and vegetables, bread, pastries etc) from local supermarkets which is available for all.

We are also setting up a community kitchen with Little Chefs Big Chefs CIC which will be open by the end of April. We will produce meals from food waste and hold cooking workshops as we develop this element of the project.'

Tuesday afternoon 1:30-3:30 Homegroup floating support

Wednesday morning 10-12 Homegroup floating support

Thursday afternoon 2-4 MOVINON housing support


Hope that makes sense!


The Rural Bulletin - 05 March 2019

This Rural Bulletin is published by the Rural Services Network and brings you a round up of our existing publications in one place! Get the latest rural news, read our current rural commentary in the Hinterland, focus in on our weekly Spotlight special feature and check out what we've been up to this week at RSN HQ!

Launch of Community Marquee – Consett & District RFC

Consett & District Rugby Football Club (CDRFC) are delighted to be launching a new venue for community groups around Consett and Derwentside.

From 1st May 2019 to the end of August, CDRFC will be installing a marquee at their clubhouse grounds. The marquee is being offered free of hire costs to community groups for end of season presentations, fundraisers, team building or any other type of appropriate activity.

The project, enabled by the generosity of Councillors Alex Watson, Owen Temple, Stephen Robinson and Peter Oliver through their Neighbourhood Budgets, will not only provide an excellent additional facility and superb venue for groups, but will continue to reinforce the aim of Consett & District RFC to be at the heart of the community in Consett.

To book the marquee for your event, please contact the General Manager, Gillian Thompson at The Demi for more information, either by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or telephone (01207) 590662.

Punk All Dayer

Aycliffe Radio have given Gaz 'n' Alby the platform to play their specialised genre of music and with hundreds of listeners from all over the country are taking their show to the next level with a specialist all dayer on the May bank holiday weekend, Sunday 5th May 2019. 

From 1.00pm till 11.00pm you will hear at least eight punk bands play live at The Turbinia public house in Sid Chaplin Drive, Newton Aycliffe DL5 7PA. Tickets for the event are priced at £6.00 each and are available from The Turbinia, Newton Press reception or direct from Gaz on 07952 244404.

The "Punk All Dayer" will hear live music from local bands "Boilermaker", "Amazing Space-frogs", "All Out Attack", "MC16", "Numskulls" and "Snide Remarks". Travelling from Manchester, and also appearing at Rebellion this year, are "Dead Objectives" and from Derby "The Lengthmen" - plus lots of classic punk tracks from Gary Avery and Alby Denham on the decks.

Make a note in your diary . . . get your ticket purchased . . . enjoy a Sunday afternoon with Gaz 'n' Alby at The Turbinia with the "Alternative Aycliffe Punk All Dayer". More information can be found on the website at

To get a taste of how the day will go, you can tune in to Alternative Aycliffe every Wednesday night from 8.00pm to 10.00pm on Aycliffe Radio via the app, smart speaker, website or any wifi enabled device.

Network Meeting Routes out of Poverty Events – Summary…

28.02.19 at Livin Offices, Spennymoor

Last week we hosted our first Networking events of the year. A huge thank you to our hosts for the day Livin who were a brilliant support during a busy day of two back to back events.

In a change to the usual format we held a Routes out of Poverty style event which was a Durham County Council initiative previously rolled out to front line staff to raise awareness of local authority services.

Huge thank you to Councillor Angela Surtees, Cabinet Support Member for Social Inclusion and HR with DCC opened the event looking at the current landscape of the county, the local impact of Welfare Reform and the work DCC are doing to address poverty.

In a carousel style activity six different council services talked with delegates about how they support residents in County Durham;

-          the Durham Savers project looks at the ways residents can save money through energy switching services, smoking cessation support and credit unions.

-          The Education Service looked at ways to cut the cost of the school day and explained the work they’re doing around pupil premiums and raising awareness of child poverty.

-          DCC Employability Team highlighted their different services including Durham Advance; a programme supporting people 25+ with health conditions to overcome barriers into employment, education and training.

-          Public Health for 0-19 year olds highlighted the Healthy Start Vouchers which can help towards to cost of milk and fruit if you’re pregnant or have a child under 4.

-          Stronger Families talked through the ways they can support families as whole, providing access to a lead worker, employment advisers and two Citizens Advice County Durham advisers.

-          Durham Welfare Rights service explained how the core tribunal representation service works and highlighted the additional targeted work they do in areas of sensory support, suicide prevention, benefit take up campaigns and more.

The table talkers were supported by a number of stall holders who attended the events and shared their information, huge thanks to the Better Health at Work Award, Community Peer Mentor Project, Durham County Carers Support, HMRC Help to Save, Managing Money Better, ManHealth, NE First Credit Union, Perennial, Smokefreelife County Durham and Switchaid.

As you can see it was a jam-packed day with attendance and contribution from several local authority and Voluntary and Community Sector services. We’re very grateful for everyone’s contribution to a hugely successful day. You can see more information on the local authority services highlighted at and can find a copy of the PowerPoint from the day attached… 

Access to Cash review

This morning the Access to Cash Review final report has been published. The report gives an overview of the current issues faced in the decline of cash followed by recommendations for government and the payments industry. You will find a copy of the report here

I want to thank you again for your contribution to the review in the workshops hosted around the UK or through your submission to our call for evidence. The issues brought to our attention and discussions around cash use and access were invaluable and helped the panel to shape the report. The recommendations outlined for the government and industry will ensure that no one is left behind.

Kind regards,

The Access to Cash Review

A new service for patients making Universal Credit claims

I’m delighted to announce that from Monday 1st April 2019 Citizens Advice County Durham will offer a “Help To Claim” service, supporting people with the practicalities of starting their first Universal Credit claim (this includes people whose existing benefits and tax credits are being replaced by Universal Credit).

GP practices can refer patients to Healthier & Wealthier to access this support, and of course our advisors will arrange it anyway if the need is identified when giving advice on other topics.

Universal Credit typically replaces means-tested working-age benefits and tax credits for people on low incomes and working part time, and those seeking work or currently unable to work; but some people have found it difficult to make or manage their claim online, and getting it wrong can lead to serious consequences (on top of a range of scenarios where people are worse off even when things go smoothly).

Alongside our existing advice services, a dedicated team will provide help face-to-face, by phone and via web-chat, including:

  • Assessing the patient to make sure they are capable of managing their claim and requesting any special arrangements or additional support they are entitled to from DWP
  • Checking if the patient should be applying for Universal Credit in the first place
  • Getting email accounts, bank accounts and other paperwork ready and identifying appropriate proof of identity
  • Highlighting the practicalities of getting used to monthly payments
  • Making the claim itself
  • Requesting Alternative Payment Arrangements and advances on the first payment where appropriate

Face-to-face support will be offered at our 10 offices around County Durham.  Computers will also be available in all sites to enable patients who are digitally competent to set up and manage their own Universal Credit online account.  Please note this service will not be taking any referrals until 1st April 

If your patient’s circumstances are changing at home or work and you want Healthier & Wealthier to check their needs, call 0191 372 6697 to make a 30-second referral.

Alzheimer's Society Newsletter County Durham

Please find attached our latest newsletter.

Our Dementia Advisor service referral form is also attached.


British Red Cross have a support service for anyone aged 18+ living in North Durham and currently experiencing feelings of loneliness or isolation. This could be for many reasons including anxiety, being new to the area, bereavement or ill health.  We listen to you to find out what your interests are  and support you to meet new people and make new friends. If you or someone you know could benefit from up to 12 weeks of support to help connect you to people in your local community who share your interests you can call us on 07808 243720 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We are also looking for support volunteers – please get in touch if you are interested in joining our team

Domestic Abuse Navigator Service …

The DAN service operates across Tees Valley, Durham & Darlington local authorities and has come about as a result of a joint bid made by these local authorities and providers to MHCLG. 

We know that there are many women who due to complex needs are refused access to the refuge and this is where the DAN service comes in helping those women with emergency & move on accommodation and much needed support.

We hope that you find this newsletter of interest and if you wish to find out more about the service there are contact details on the last page for each of the local authority areas. 

Click Here for the Newsletter

The Small Charities Coalition free digital tool

The Small Charities Coalition has launched a free digital tool to help people set up small charities and register with the Charity Commission.

Charitysetup aims to guide people through the process of setting up a charity in a clear and concise way and was developed with the tech charity the Centre for Acceleration of Social Technology (CAST) and the development agency Super Being Labs.

National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates increases from April 2019 

The National Living Wage and the National Minimum Wage will increase from 1stApril 2019, with the statutory national minimum wage for those aged 25 and over increasing 4.9% from £7.83 to £8.21.
The Low Pay Commission (LPC), which recommended the increase, estimated that the increase will benefit around 2.4 million workers. Subject to sustained economic growth, the government’s aim is for the national living wage to reach 60% of median earnings by 2020.

Durham County Carers Support

Please find attached the latest news from Durham Carers. 

The Woodpile Feb Newsletter

Click Here

Your help needed

We have designed a survey for over 50s living anywhere in Chester-le-Street [by that I mean anywhere in the area previously covered by the old district council].

I wonder if you could circulate this to your clients and/or contacts please and encourage them to complete it?

New Employability Hubs in South Durham from Livin

Livin is one of the main social landlords in South Durham and with almost 8500 properties we work hard to support tenants and residents into work, education and training. With the news that the GAMP employability task group is coming to an end, we offered to take the lead in setting up a new voluntary employability network in its place. However, due to the interest that this has generated from employability services and partners, we have since decided to set up four smaller networks in South Durham, where possible trying to mirror the DCC and DWP customer boundaries. 

We are calling the new networks ‘employability hubs’ and each hub will focus on a different cluster of high priority towns and villages (deprived, rural, poor transport links, high levels of unemployment etc.) .  These will be virtual networks but with occasional meetings within each locality, as and when there’s a demand. A comprehensive list of contacts, provision and a funding roadmap could follow along with joint recruitment events and Facebook groups.  Livin may even continue to offer some form of employability skills fund but is still to be confirmed.

I have set up a webpage, email account and registration page at where all existing and new partners can register to send and receive employability and labour market updates with other members of each hub.  I intend to share updates as a weekly bulletin so members will be free to send relevant job, training and funding information to the central mailbox.

I would appreciate it if you would share this news with all employability services, training providers, schools, colleges, charities and employers who offer support to residents in the South Durham area and I’ll be in touch very soon!

Best wishes,


Telephones Available

Due to a recent telephone upgrade we now have a bundle of office phones with no homes, there are 4 Cisco 7942 handsets and 34 of the 7911 models, please see attached photo.

We are looking for a donation for the lot, or would accept donations on individual handsets for smaller organisations.

The handsets are currently at our Spennymoor office. For further information please contact either Jacqui Coulson or Andrea Emerson on 0300 005 1213.

The Rural Bulletin -  2019

This Rural Bulletin is published by the Rural Services Network and brings you a round up of our existing publications in one place! Get the latest rural news, read our current rural commentary in the Hinterland, focus in on our weekly Spotlight special feature and check out what we've been up to this week at RSN HQ! 

More Information

Charity impact news and useful resources

Items in my update this month include: 

  • Just for Kids Law have shared their evaluation report online. 

  • Get our new research findings on the volunteer experience.

  • The RSA has a new handbook to help people get to grips with the evidence agenda in arts and cultural learning.  

  • There's a new blog series which explains NCVO's own digital innovation journey

  • Read about the Data Playbook which has been designed to improve data literacy rates.  

  • And I've included some upcoming training.

Click for the Latest news

Loneliness and Young Adults: County Durham

Are you aged between 20 and 35 and living in County Durham?

I am looking for young adults in County Durham to take part in my research. This project is about young adults and loneliness. Over 9 million people are lonely in the UK and yet many people feel too ashamed to admit to feeling lonely or isolated.

Anyone can be lonely, but it is often an issue that is associated with older generations. This research aims to hear from the ‘missing voices’ of the loneliness debate: young adults.
This is your chance to add your perspective on why you and many young adults in the area may be feeling lonely.

If you want to take part and be interviewed, or you’d like some more information on the project, please get in touch by text, phone or email:

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone: 07445599913

You can also find out more at

Waddington Street Centre, Durham - Room available to hire

Due to the recent ending of a tenancy agreement, Waddington Street Centre has a room available to hire on the ground floor of the building. The room is 4 metres square, partially furnished and has been previously used as a counselling room. Waddington Street Centre is located a five minute walk from Durham bus and rail stations and has the advantage of being a community based mental health resource with a cafe facility that is open 6 days per week.

The room is available at a rent of £5k pa which includes utility costs. The building has wifi throughout.

Please make enquiries on 0191 3860702 to either Manager Steve Wakefield –This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Deputy Manager Ali Lee – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

News - January 2019

This edition includes:

  • check and update your details before submitting the annual return
  • changes to public display names on the charity register
  • quality and transparency has fallen in charity accounts
  • charities should get ready for Making Tax Digital for Value Added Tax (MTD VAT)
  • the importance of safeguarding and protecting people
  • keeping in touch with us

Read Charity Commission News issue 62 on our website.

£500,000 Northstar Ventures Boost Set To Help Low Income Families

Durham-based charity that works with social housing providers to help tenants access loans for vital household goods has received a £500,000 investment boost from the North East Social Investment Fund managed by Newcastle-based investor Northstar Ventures.

The Smarterbuys Store is a weekly payment store working in partnership with social landlords across the UK to give their tenants access to cheaper credit for white goods, TVs and furniture, as an alternative to having to turn to pay day loans and other high interest providers.

The charity was set up in 2012 in a partnership between an ethical community bank and an established housing association. The new funding from Northstar Ventures will help the charity to market its services directly to consumers on lower incomes, not just those who are social housing tenants.

Vicky McCourt, chief executive at Smarterbuys Store, said: “Northstar Ventures really understood our needs and our aim to expand our customer base and work more directly with consumers, and we are delighted to have its backing.

Click here to read more

Food Provision and holidays….

As you may remember last year we made a request for information detailing holiday activities (with food) so that we could compile a list of provision across the county.

We would like to do the same for this year too so would be grateful if you could please let me know if you or any of the organisations you are working with are planning to deliver activities or schemes this year with food provision, in particular the six weeks holiday period for summer 2019.

Ideally we need to know:

  • What is the scheme/activity name?
  • Contact name or establishment providing the scheme/activity   
  • Is this scheme/activity specifically designed to tackle food poverty/holiday hunger in children?
  • Does the scheme/activity run on every day of the school holidays? Provide details            
  • is this is full day scheme/activity e.g. 9am-3pm? If no, provide details      
  • What is the catchment/eligibility area children must live in (or go to school)to be able to take part? Provide details of other eligibility criteria              
  • What is the age group of the scheme/activity?
  • is there a compulsory cost children must pay take part in the scheme/activity? If yes, provide details, also are there any concessions available       
  • Is food provided for all or some children?  If yes, provide details e.g. snacks or full meals and if this is an additional cost

Please remember to include those schemes/activities/projects which have been established specifically to tackle the issue of food poverty or holiday hunger for children and young people. Plus any schemes which target children and don’t currently provide food but with option/possibility where the addition of food would provide a solution to holiday hunger.

Please do not worry about duplication etc.  we would rather that schemes/activities etc. are captured twice than not at all, and once we have all returns we will merge and tidy into one list and decide on next steps etc.

As you may be aware the Department for Education has opened an application process for bids to fund local co-ordination of free holiday activities and healthy food for disadvantaged children during the 2019 summer holidays. The council is currently working with colleagues from the voluntary and community sector to look at this funding opportunity and information you are able to provide on current provision would be useful for this process.  Timescales are very tight (closes 7 February) so I would therefore be grateful if you could please respond to me before 18 January.

Thanks - Emma Gardner

Policy & Executive Support Manager Transformation & Partnerships Durham County Council County Hall Durham DH1 5UF  Direct Dial: 03000 268054 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

One to One Looking for Office Space

One to One, a County Durham charity is looking for office space for 4 desks preferably around the Spennymoor area.  Ideally we would like to be in a community setting so that we can continue to be involved in grass roots activities.

But who are One to One?    One to One supports adults with learning disabilities by employing trained enablers or befrienders to take adults with a learning disability out and about for a few hours a week; in fact any activity can be enjoyed as long as it’s safe and legal. These activities are quite varied and many undertake some kind of exercise or sport – walking, swimming or attending a gym. Other activities include visiting relatives, gardening, playing darts and pool, meals out and shopping trips to the coast or countryside or nearby visitor attractions. We even have two clients that are writing their own books.

Benefits for carers and families:    As well as delivering positive outcomes for service users One to One also provides real benefits for carers and families. One family who confessed to initial apprehension about using the service said they had all benefited greatly from it, so much so that it had “changed our lives”. Another said that “without One to One none of this would have happened – we wouldn’t be where we are today – it has made a positive difference to all our lives”. Many people have told us about befrienders going the extra mile or becoming a true friend. Examples have included taking shopping to the family when the carer was ill, making extra visits, or spending time informally supporting the carers – all of which is evidently greatly appreciated and valued.

Our staff:    All of our befrienders are employed by us and are fully trained, including in First Aid, Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults and Health and Safety. They are also covered by an enhanced Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check which is updated on a regular basis. All provide fully insured transport where required for the chosen activities.                                       

What we do:

  • Promote well-being
  • Encourage independence
  • Maximise clients potential through a variety of social experience
  • Provide respite for carers
  • Deliver a personal one to one service
  • Provide transport to make the above possible

Duration of each visit is the service users choice and is usually around 3 hours a week but can be a lot more or even less. It’s all down to the service user’s needs and preferences.

One to One is a Registered Charity No. (CIO) 1174859.

Please visit our website to see more of what we do :  or visit our Facebook page: One to One – County Durham

The Rural Bulletin - 15 January 2019

This Rural Bulletin is published by the Rural Services Network and brings you a round up of our existing publications in one place! Get the latest rural news, read our current rural commentary in the Hinterland, focus in on our weekly Spotlight special feature and check out what we've been up to this week at RSN HQ!

More Information

LiquidLogic System for Children's Social Care & Early Help Services

As communicated before Christmas, Durham County Councils new Children’s Services IT System (Liquidlogic) will ‘Go Live’ on Friday 1st February 2019.  This will replace the current SSID IT System for Children’s Social Care and Early Help Services.

On the evening of 22nd January 2019 we are taking the final ‘cut’ of data from SSID to migrate to Liquidlogic.  From this point, the SSID System will become ‘read only’ for staff within Children and Young Peoples Services and no further child data will be entered into the SSID System. 

There will be some impact on partners as follows:

There will be a period where we are unable to provide data reports to partners in relation to Children on a Child Protection Plan and Looked After Children.  This will include the following reports:

  • Nightly updates to the Child Protection Information Services (CPIS)
  • Weekly updates to Children on a Child Protection Plan and
  • Discoverer reports for Looked After Children.

We will re-instate the above data reports to partners from Liquidlogic as soon as we have confidence that the data has been migrated as expected and that this has been tested robustly.  There may be some changes to how the data is accessed by partners, which will be explained to those staff involved.

In addition, whilst First Contact Service will operate as normal over this period, early help requests received between 23rd and 31st January 2019 will be allocated to One Point teams after the ‘Go Live’ date. This will mean that that there will be a delay in the letter you receive informing you about the outcome of your early help referral for up to 7 days after we go live with Liquidlogic.

If you have any queries or concerns please contact the Project Team as below:

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Get Involved in #VillageHallsWeek

Have you heard about #VillageHallsWeek? Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) and their 38 member organisations, including ourselves, are running a week long campaign from 22nd - 28th January which celebrates rural community spaces and all the volunteers who invest their time into village halls and community buildings. 

Here at Durham Community Action, we would like to raise the profile of village halls and community buildings across County Durham.

If you have any events taking place next week that you would like promoting please let us know - these can be your regular activities or events such as lunch clubs, coffee mornings, performances etc. that we can give some extra promotion for via our Facebook and Twitter pages. 

If you are promoting events yourself on social media, please use the #VillageHallsWeek to link them into the national social media feeds.

Please email your event details to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

To find out more, visit our website

Council Activity Report

Please find attached the latest Council Activity Report which may be of interest.

Kind Regards


County Durham Partnership

Transformation and Partnerships  Durham County Council  Room 5-140/150  County Hall  03000 263593  E mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Durham Community News January 2019

News Highlights

  • County Durham Community Foundation (CDCF) seeking a Donor Services Manager - read more
  • Healthwatch County Durham information and listening events for vascular services - read more
  • FSI Small Charity training in Newcastle - read more
  • Incredible Edible Launch in Bishop Auckland - read more
  • Read the NHS Long Term Plan - read more

Date set for merger of Humankind and Blenheim CDP

We are excited to announce that Humankind and Blenheim CDP will merge on 1st April 2019 to become a national provider of innovative health and social care services.

Our previous announcement on 19th November, outlining our intention to merge, received an exceptionally positive response, from our staff teams, but also from our partners, stakeholders and the public. We are delighted that these groups recognise how exciting this news is for both of our organisations, and more importantly for the people who use our services.

Our merged organisation will be different to others for two main reasons. Firstly, we will offer a comprehensive range of health and social care services that address the needs of those who need better opportunities in their lives; by providing safe homes, health provision and services which develop the skills required to live independent and fulfilling lives. Secondly, we will work in partnership with a range of different partners, of varying sizes, specialisms, focuses and constitutions. From small private companies to large NHS providers, we recognise that others are often best placed to deliver services and are able to complement what we offer. These partnerships are formed specifically to meet the needs of those who access our services, and the communities which we serve.

By coming together, our joint organisation will be more sustainable and have the resources to develop better services. As we look ahead at the start of a new year we want to take the chance to thank you all for your hard work, now and in the future, which will make this merger a success!

Paul Townsley               John Jolly

CEO Humankind           CEO Blenheim CDP


Humankind is running a Winter Sparkles campaign aimed at helping people who use our services, as well as the wider public, through the dark months of winter.

Research* has highlighted the particular problems associated with depression following Christmas, especially in groups who have substance misuse issues. To help our service users beat the winter blues, a campaign promoting #sparklethroughwinter has been launched by Humankind.

Emily Todd, Director of Humankind Services in West and South Yorkshire said: “The short days and long, dark nights of winter can have a negative effect on people’s mind-sets, leading to further unhelpful thoughts. We are hoping these ideas for overcoming the winter blues will help people get over any self-defeating thoughts and sparkle through the winter”.

A selection of posters have been developed and circulated across their services so people can easily see and understand these messages. They use strong imagery to enhance the messages on how to help make winter ‘sparkle’, with themes ranging from leisure, health and friendship.

Alongside the posters, staff and service users are being encouraged to share their own ideas on how to Sparkle through Winter on Humankind’s Instagram account as well as on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #sparklethroughwinter.

*Leo Sher, Alcoholism and seasonal affective disorder, Comprehensive Psychiatry

Environmental project opportunities

The North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership and the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority have joined forces on a new Heritage Lottery funded project called Tees-Swale: naturally connected. We are currently in a 16 month development phase and we anticipate that delivery of the full 5 year project will begin in autumn 2020. The project is focused on habitat restoration in Teesdale and Swaledale.

However, we are also looking for community groups who may be interested in taking part in art workshops, outdoor adventure activities or hill farming experiences in Upper Teesdale and Swaledale, and those who feel they cannot enjoy and access the area. We are keen to engage with a wider audience than those who currently visit the area, especially from around Bishop Auckland, West Auckland, Shildon, Newton Aycliffe and Barnard Castle.

If you think your group may be interested please contact Alex, the Tees-Swale Access and Community Engagement Officer, on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 01388 528801.

If you would like to be kept up to date please join our Facebook group called Tees-Swale: naturally connected.

Update from the Family Holiday Association

We have provided nearly 4000 families breaks and days out in 2018. We have some great new partners that have come on board for 2019.

More Information

The Rural Bulletin - 08 January 2019

This Rural Bulletin is published by the Rural Services Network and brings you a round up of our existing publications in one place! Get the latest rural news, read our current rural commentary in the Hinterland, focus in on our weekly Spotlight special feature and check out what we've been up to this week at RSN HQ!

More Information

Newcastle University Engagement Jan 31st

We are running a project for Newcastle University and are looking to engage with a variety of organisations, charities, CICs, Third sector etc  and affiliated  businesses for a VCSE/CIC Third Sector event in January and March, details below.

I appreciate you are focussed on Durham but  wondered if you would be able to help in extending the offer to your contacts?   Our project is supported by Newcastle University (IAA) Impact Accelerator Account, open to all businesses/organisations and encouraging an exchange of experiences, ideas and offers between attendees and Social Science Researchers; intertwined with multiple opportunities to network and build new contacts.  While networking attendees are encouraged to discuss current or recent challenges with PhD students who are interested to hear your experiences.

Wheels to Work County Durham

Wheels to Work is a moped-loan scheme which aims to help people access employment, training or education that would otherwise be inaccessible due to poor public transport connections or out-of-hour work patterns.

The project has been funded by a number of Area Action Partnerships in partnership with Durham County Council, in response to a growing need to help local people get to work or college.  The idea behind the scheme is to provide a loan of a moped for 6 months to help people to establish themselves in work and/or training.

Mopeds of either 50cc or 125cc are available to people aged 16+ as long as they have a provisional or full driving licence.  The cost is £25 per week for a 50cc and £30 per week for a 125cc moped,

Riders are provided with brand new protective clothing (helmet, armoured jacket, gloves, waterproof over-trousers and high visibility vest) and a heavy duty lock, and are also covered for bike insurance, road tax, breakdown cover, as well as regular servicing of the moped. There may be a chance to buy the moped from the scheme at the end of the loan period.

Ace Motorcycles in Pity Me, Durham provides the motorcycle training (also included as part of the scheme) which involves a full day’s Compulsory Basic Training, followed by a 2 hour CBT plus session on a separate day, when clients are provided with additional road time and are issued with their clothing and bike.

Please get in touch to find out more and to ask for an application pack, or pass on our details to anyone who may experience difficulties getting to work – this scheme aims to make people more employable by helping them to be mobile and independent.

We're waiting for your call!

Tel: 0191 303 8442

Mobile 07460 068668

Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view  or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Or message us through Facebook

Wheels 2 Work County Durham is supported by the North East Combined Authority, Virgin Money Foundation, the County Durham Community Foundation, Durham County Council and it’s Area Action Partnerships and the Scotto Trust.

Council Activity Report

Please find attached the latest  Council activity report which you may find of interest.

County Durham Partnership

Transformation and Partnerships

Durham County Council

Room 5-140/150

County Hall

03000 263593

E mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Charities looking for affordable office space

Visit for more info.

We have excellent facilities at affordable prices. If you could mention us in your email campaigns if possible?

Paul Devine - Director

E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. W: T:  01429 225657 M: 07828735689

Office Space | Meeting Room | Virtual Offices

Durham Community News December 2018

Please find online the latest newsletter from Durham Community Action.  Please circulate to your networks if appropriate.

The Rural Bulletin - December 2018

This Rural Bulletin is published by the Rural Services Network and brings you a round up of our existing publications in one place! Get the latest rural news, read our current rural commentary in the Hinterland, focus in on our weekly Spotlight special feature and check out what we've been up to this week at RSN HQ!

Click Here for the Bulletin

Latest Issue of AiCD Newsletter..

We're delighted to share the latest issue of the Advice in County Durham newsletter...

Packed with useful information for advisers the magazine features:
- latest information on UC
- findings and recommendations from the FCA's latest report on high cost credit
- details of the new welfare rights campaigns team
- information on the main areas of focus in the newly-published Carers Action Plan 2018-2020
-an article on PIP and useful caselaw

You can view the newsletter at

Please feel free to share with colleagues and staff A massive thank you to everyone that contributed to the issue. If you’re interested in submitting a piece for the next issue please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

PCP pledge to help end mental health discrimination

PCP is incredibly proud to be joining the Time to Change campaign aiming to end the stigma around mental health problems. Around 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem yet there is still a shame and silence about talking about how people feel. On Wednesday 10th October 2018, World Mental Health Day, PCP officially signed the Employer Pledge and to publically showing their commitment to helping end mental health discrimination in the workplace.

Carol Gaskarth, PCP’s Chief Executive said, “Mental health problems can affect anyone yet people can find it hard to open up to others. Sometime we say we’re fine when we’re not and we are encouraging everyone to get behind the Time to Change campaign of asking twice. By asking people if they’re okay and double checking you can give people the opportunity to share how they’re truly feeling, and then friends, family, work colleagues or employers can offer help and support. “The nature of what PCP does means we are well placed to champion change and tackle stigma around mental health in the communities we serve. Our pledge extends to empowering staff to talk freely about past or present experiences and providing practical help to build resilience whilst offering support when it is needed. PCP aims to make a lasting change for the benefit of current and future employees. It is in all of our interests to be more open about mental health problems and be able to share experiences in the same way we do with physical health problems.”

PCP signed the Employer Pledge at the County Durham Partnership Event at Ramside Hall Hotel in front of a range of partners, stakeholders, community groups and champions to demonstrate widely their pledge to tackle discrimination and stigma associated with mental health. To find out more about the Time to Change campaign go to

Savings for schools

"Traincon Learning provide training within schools and business around the Newcastle and Durham areas. Until recently I was also a school governor at Wyndham Primary School and I have gone through numerous Ofsted inspections where the inspectors are looking for major innovations that schools undertake to make major budget decisions.

As you may be aware, the government want to see all schools become sustainable by 2020. We are working closely alongside a company working on the ‘Greener schools initiative’ which is being overseen by Ofsted. They work alongside schools and large premises at identifying savings in their energy bills. They recently saved Hadrian school in Newcastle £17,000. I referred them to a school in Newcastle two weeks ago and it has been confirmed that they will be making a saving of £88,640 and a rebate of over £3,600 on their gas & electric bills which is amazing'. This releases money that can be benefited elsewhere.

If you would like further information please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Rural Services Bulletin - October 2018

This Rural Bulletin is published by the Rural Services Network and brings you a round up of our existing publications in one place! Get the latest rural news, read our current rural commentary in the Hinterland, focus in on our weekly.

Environment Partnership Autumn Newsletter

Please find attached the latest Environment Partnership Newsletter. Our Edible Gilesgate project is featured this time.

Dr Liz Charles, Project Manager (Food)
Usual working days: Wednesday – Friday
Durham Community Action, 9 St Stephen’s Court, Low Willington, County Durham DL15 0BF
Direct line: 01388 742044 Main line: 01388 742040 Mobile: 07825 211746 E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Holiday Hunger and Activity Provision…

As you will be aware as part of the council’s work around poverty, we have been looking at the issues of ‘holiday hunger’ and activity provision during the school holidays.

Learning Following on from the good work which was delivered by many groups and organisations to provide activities for children and young people during the school holidays (some of which provided snacks/food whilst others did not), we are keen to hear of any evaluation you may have carried out on the sessions/projects you delivered. If you did deliver something, we are particularly keen to learn:
· What did you deliver?
· What was it you wanted to achieve from the sessions you delivered?
· What difference did the session make?

If you could take the time to provide a brief response to these questions, it would be much appreciated, and please feel free to submit more detailed information and any learning you gleaned. The council’s Child Poverty Working Group will use this information to feed into the work they are doing on Child Poverty and holiday hunger. ***Please send your responses to Emma Gardner at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. before close of play on Friday 21 September 2018. October half term/Christmas We would like to repeat the data capture exercise which was carried out in earlier in the year and capture and publicise activities/schemes/sessions etc. which are planned for the October half term, and for the Christmas holidays.

The information we previously gathered was published on the Family’s Information Service website under the category school holiday activities which can be viewed by anyone with access to the internet. Users can filter the list to display only activities which provide food or those activities within a specific location etc. Search results can be displayed in a list format or on a map. Any new information we receive for the October/Christmas holidays we will check to see if this is already on the site and if not we can publish. Alternatively, because storing and publicising this information here means individual organisations and groups etc. can update their own entries as and when changes occur, you can help us by encouraging the teams and organisations you work with to check their entries and keep them up to date, or if not already on this system register and advertise their activities/schemes etc.

We are hoping that over time this information grows and proves to be a valuable resource not only for our residents but for teams and organisations working with residents etc.

Thanks for your time on this, and any questions please give me a call. Emma Gardner Policy & Executive Support Manager Transformation & Partnerships Durham County Council County Hall Durham DH1 5UF Direct Dial: 03000 268054 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Durham County Council has partnered with Protech City to offer low-cost computer equipment to County Durham based registered charities under the Digital Durham Reboot scheme. A quarter of Durham County Council owned desktops and laptops are replaced each year to ensure they are technically up to date and perform well. Some of these devices are suitable for reuse, and are being offered through this scheme. The equipment starts at just £75 for a desktop and £105 for a laptop. Both come with genuine Microsoft Office 2010 Home & Business software and a Windows 10 operating system that includes anti-virus.

More Information

The Wood Pile Latest...

Hello everyone, we'll have a new newsletter coming up soon, but in the meantime we wanted to let everyone know that we're going to be closed Friday 5th October until Tuesday 16th October. Our website will still be up and running and we'll be keeping an eye on social media if you have any queries do get in touch. We still have places available on some workshops, we have Gold Leafing on 22/09/2018 Mosaic on 29/09/2018 after this the weather starts to get rather cold in the warehouse so we'll just be running Shabby Chic on 20/10/2018 03/11/2018 and finally 01/12/2018. You can see all workshops on our website, and we're taking contact details for our wait list for next years workshops.

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SJKT Update 

The Sir James Knott Trust will be moving office on 17th of September 2018.

The new telephone number and address will be as follows:
Sir James Knott Trust, Suite 103 Broadacre House Market Street East Newcastle NE1 6HQ Tel: 0191 4328990

Please can you update our contact details

*Please also note that the office will be closed between Thursday 13th to Tuesday 18th of September and we shall not be able to send or receive e-mails during this period.*

As of December this year, Mrs Vivien Stapley will be retiring as Trust Secretary and her replacement will be in post from 1st October. We therefore advise that should you wish to contact the Trust, it would be best to use This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Miss Vicky Willis - Trust Administrator Sir James Knott Trust Floor 2b 16-18 Hood Street Newcastle NE1 6JQ Tel 0191 2304016 Registered charity number 1001363