VCS Locality 1

Consett / Stanley / Chester le Street / Durham West (Brandon and surrounding area)

Lesley Clough
VCS Alliance Worker Locality 1
Children and Young People’s Service
Direct 03000267661 Mobile-07584141197

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


SEND Toolkit Training Sessions for Parents/Carers
County Durham’s Parents Forum, Making Changes Together and SENDIASS have teamed up to offer free training sessions for parents and carers of children with special needs and /or disabilities a 2 hour session that explain schools settings, SEN Support plans and EHCP’S among other items. There are multiple venues that offer the repeated session including Durham and Consett. I have attached the information leaflet with dates and times on for you to share with any families you are working with that may benefit from these sessions.

Contact Ann Connor at SENDIASS on 0191 5873541 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Christmas Foodbank Opening times
I have attached a table with the County wide foodbank opening times for over the Christmas period.

Christmas Breakfast with Santa at pact House
Pact house is offering a Christmas breakfast with Santa Christmas event on Saturday the 15th December between 10am-12pm. This is a free event and the children also receive a gift from Santa. I have attached the flier for you to print out and share with your families.

Roots and Wings Young Peoples Project is open to young people aged 9 to 16 yrs. It aims to provide a safe social place where young people can come socialise and engage in positive activities such as Art/crafts, various other equipment and games. The project is run by qualified youth workers and volunteers and is held in Blackhill Baptist Church Hall during school term times on Thursday evenings between 3.30. p.m., to 6.p.m aged 9 to 16 years.
Within the project, the youth café provides free refreshments for all young people who attend as well as a tuck shop. For further information contact Lynn Walton-, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone 01207 501863 in office Wednesdays.

Christmas in Chester Le Street
Christmas comes to Chester-Le-Street Town Centre this coming Saturday 1st December at 1pm. This FREE event sees comedy acts 'Fairly Famous' and 'There's Nothing Like a Dame' performing up and down the Front Street leading up to the Stage show from 4pm in the Market Place and the all-important Christmas Tree Lights Switch on. There will be free parking in council run Chester-Le-Street car parks from 10am. I have attached an information flier for you to share with families.

Christmas food hampers
Feeding Families are offering our families in need a food hamper for over the Christmas period again this year. This will be referral only through their website which is now open. As they are now a registered charity, they have to be assured that the families we refer in are in genuine need, and they will take your referral as confirmation of this.
They are also in need of our support to gather donations if any of you could spare some time J and have an online raffle to raise funds if any of you wish to take part at

Referrals are to be taken through their website at-

Find out more on their Facebook page

Triple P Courses
Here are the next Triple P dates arranged. I have attached the referral form.

Triple P courses planned for Spring 2019
Consett One Point (DH8 6AY), Tuesdays 12.30 til 2.30pm starting 22/1/19 for 10 weeks (ex ½-term)
Willington Sure Start, Wednesday 12.30 til 2.30pm starting 23/1/19 for 10 weeks (ex ½-term)
Edenhill Sure Start (Peterlee), Wednesday 5.00 til 7.15pm starting 23/1/19 for 10 weeks (ex ½-term)
Ferryhill One Point, Thursday 12.30 til 2.30pm starting 24/1/19 for 10 weeks (ex ½-term)

Triple P courses planned for Summer 2019
Seaham Children Ctr, Tuesdays 12.30 til 2.30pm starting 30/4/19 for 10 weeks (ex ½-term)
Stanley One Point, Wednesday 12.30 til 2.30pm starting 1/5/19 for 10 weeks (ex ½-term)
CLS One Point, Wednesday 5.00 til 7.15pm starting 1/5/19 for 10 weeks (ex ½-term)
Bishop Auckland One Point, Thursday 12.30 til 2.30pm starting 2/5/19 for 10 weeks (ex ½-term)

Pact House Winter Warmer Meals
Pact House on Front Street, Stanley are providing free hot meals, drinks and a warm place to be over the winter months for those that need it. They will be available from the 24th November on Saturday’s between 10am-1pm and Sundays between 10am-2pm. There is also free Wi-Fi and computers to use free of charge. I have attached the Information flier for you to share with your families.

Christmas Activities
I have included lists of Christmas activities that are available in the county, Please feel free to share with your families.

Clothing Rails
There are clothes rails available in all Family Centres now that have Adult and Children’s clothing available for families to take for free if in need. We would also like to ask if any staff or families have any clothing they would like to donate, it would be greatly appreciated….Thank you

I am on annual leave until the 26th November 2018, Please contact Debbie Unsworth, Samantha Friend or Susan Hutchinson if you need any support prior to this date.

Waddington Street Centre
Waddington Street Centre is a small independent mental health resource centre with over 35 years of experience offering a wide range of informal educational activities and support services.
All of their activities and services aim to effectively support individual personal development and reduce social isolation and exclusion. Everything they offer is designed to suit a range of interests and needs. They are passionate about mental health and helping people to get back on track. They believe that people who struggle with their mental health should have a safe, supportive and interesting place to recover. Waddington Street is a community of like-minded people who support one another to have the best possible lives. They offer adult and Young People support, The Young Peoples Support drop in is catered for 16-21 year olds and is a referral only service.

To refer into the adult support service please visit the website at Please note that the client may only be able to access the open access groups unless they have support from the Community Mental Health team, who can refer the client into the full service. On referral please state that the information about the centre has been given form the VCS Alliance service.
To gather further information or to refer a Young Person to the Y-ASC please contact Chris Affleck on 0191 3077030 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Ali Lee on 0191 3860702 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. On referral please state that the information about the centre has been given from the VCS Alliance service.

Consett Community Fridge
Consett Community Fridge at The ALT Group, 6 John Street Square, DH8 5AR has new opening times, It will be available Monday and Wednesday between 3-4pm and Saturdays 1-2pm. I have attached the information flier for you to share with your families.

Macmillan Joining the Dots
Macmillan Joining the Dots County Durham is a free, personal service for people aged 18 and over who have been diagnosed with Cancer, They also offer whole family support, including friends, Carers and relatives of any age. They support the family with many issues including Physical, Relationship, Emotional, Spiritual, Practical and Financial support among many others. The client can self-refer or professionals can refer for them.
Contact- 0800 8766887 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. there is Facebook, Twitter and text services as can be seen on the information flier. The website is –

Blackhill Community Centre Winter Fayre
Blackhill Community Centre, Derwent Street are holding a Winter Fayre on the 24th November between 10.30am- 1pm. There will be stalls and crafts, tombola, a hamper raffle and home-made refreshments. I have attached the information flier for you to share with your families.

Chester-le-Street Theatre Group proudly presents ‘Robin Hood (The Geordie Pantomime Adventure)’
In this brand new adaptation of the classic Robin Hood story there’s a true local twist. Featured are all of the essential characters for a true and faithful telling of the story – but there’s also a few surprises in there too!!!! Within this action-packed story are frequent swords, swashbuckling and a catalogue of festive fun and jokes! You won’t want to miss it!
TIERED SEATING AVAILABLE From Tuesday 27th November – Saturday 1st December at Chester-le-Street Community Centre Performances nightly at 7.15 pm with a 2.15 pm Saturday Matinee £10 Adults and £8 Concessions
Tickets available by calling our Box Office on 0191 3883778

The Greatest Showman
Brandon Carrside Youth Project are holding Christmas Extravaganza’s at four venues over the first week in December. The Greatest Showman, A holiday spectacular for the whole family….
1st December 3.30-5.30pm at Usher moor Catholic Club
1st December 5.30-7.30pm at New Brancepeth Village Hall
8th December 3-5pm at Esh Winning, Lady Queen of Martyrs
8th December 5-7pm at Brandon Carrside Youth Club

Tickets are £1.50 and can be bought at any of the youth clubs or Contact 0191 3784975

The Buttle Grant
The Buttle Grants are for families affected by Domestic violence With a holistic package of support the grants can include counselling and activities for children to meet their emotional needs, in addition to the more traditional essential household items such as cookers and children’s beds to meet their physical needs. I have attached details of what they do and how they can support our families, Please see the breakdown of support offered to a family at the end if the information….I think it will surprise you at how much support they can provide

FREE TRAINING @Cornerstones
Cornerstones Centre for the Community in Chester le Street will be hosting the following free training. Criteria is 19+ unemployed or 'not working' and you must live or be volunteering in Durham. All courses are 9.30-3.00pm Food Safety Friday 9th November - Level 2 Health and Safety Monday 19th November - Level 2 If you require any further information please contact the office. Deb Divanis Project Development Officer Cornerstones Centre for the Community at Chester-le-Street Methodist Church North Burns Chester-le-Street DH3 3TF Tel: 0191 3881313 07419 986883 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Young Adult Support Group in Durham
I have attached the information flier for the YASC- YASC is a Young Adult Support Café every Tuesday evening from 5-8pm which Investing in Children facilitate in partnership with Waddington Street Mental Health Resource Centre in Durham. YASC is an informal emotional wellbeing peer support drop in session which supports young adults aged 16-21 transition from Children’s to Adults Services. The session is based at Waddington Street Centre in Durham and is free to access with facilities that include a café with light refreshments facilities, art studio and media room. If any of the young person’s that are interested but are apprehensive about joining a new group then please let Chris know and he can see what support he can put in place to support them in advance of attending a session. Chris is happy to meet with young people/ parents/ carers etc. at a time and venue convenient to them. Contact Chris Affleck on Telephone: 0191 3077030| Mobile: 07453058986

Derwentside Men’s Cree
Derwentside Men’s CREE is held on a Tuesday afternoon between 1.00 - 3.30 at Wear Road Community House, Stanley, DH9 6JS. The Men’s CREE is run as a drop in where the members decide what they want to do, it could be art, board games, film day, quiz, cooking, outings or just a chat among themselves. Contact Leigh or Audrey on 01207 284063 on a Tuesday afternoon only.

Deric Youth Project
DERIC Youth Project are offering a couple of activities in Bearpark for children. They are holding a breakfast club for 8-13 yr. olds on a Saturday between 10am-12pm. This includes a light breakfast and different activities and is £1 per session. They is also a 11+ Drop in held on a Thursday between 6.30-8pm, there is a 50p charge per session. Refreshments are available and activities include free Wi-Fi, Pool Table and xbox.
Contact numbers to enquire are 0191 3732524 07469889404

Community Friends Coffee mornings
The Community Spirit CIC hold a Community Friends coffee morning every Wednesday from 10am -12pm at The Hotel 52 in Stanley. This service is dedicated to help tackle social isolation and loneliness within the local community. There is a £1 donation towards tea and coffee. I have attached a flier that you can share with any families you feel may need this service.

Help to Health
There is a volunteer patient driver scheme which supports people to get to health appointments around the county, this service has a service charge of 45p per mile, there is a £1 minimum/ £10 maximum each way journey cost. They require a minimum 48 hrs notice and can be booked up to 4 weeks in advance. This service is available Monday-Friday. I have attached the information flier for you to share.

Durham Works Health and Social Care Qualification
Specifically for ages 16 – 24, There is a Free course taking place locally at The Centre of Light, Chester le street if you are interested in a career in Health or Social Care. Lunch will be provided and help with travel costs. You can gain a qualification and receive tailored support. To book a place or to find out more about this contact Melanie Wilson Tel: 01388 317005 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

If U care share Foundation
The aim of this foundation is to provide practical and emotional support at a critical time within families by working with local and national agencies in order to provide the support needed to those affected by suicide. If U care share foundation was founded after a loss of Daniel O’Hare, aged 19 to suicide. I have attached their information leaflet to share with families affected by such a sad loss, referrals into the service can be done over the phone on 0191 387 5661.

Conversation Starter
I have attached a tool that can be used within teams to check that colleagues are doing ok in regards to mental health, If you notice a colleague is not acting as normal perhaps play this tool with them to start a conversation about how they are #Be in your colleagues corner….

North East Autism Society Parent and Toddler group- Stanley
There is now a NEAS Parent and Toddler group, which is a service for parents and carers with toddlers who have Autism and special needs. This is running weekly on a Friday between 1-2.30pm at the Stanley Children’s centre. To register interest contact Kerrie Highcock on 0191 410 9974 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. I have attached the poster for you to print and take to parents/carers.

Useful websites and links and Support groups
Making changes together County Durham have put together some useful websites and links to support parents who have children and young people with additional needs. See attached

Sexual Health Hubs
Contact the sexual health hub for free, confidential advice and treatment, either drop in on the Queue & wait sessions or telephone and book an appointment or seek advice on the phone, contact details are on the attachment.

Contraception and Sexual Health (CASH) Clinics
I have attached information for the CASH Clinics for the County with days and times.

Parent/Carer Support Groups in Co. Durham
I have attached the list of available Parent and Carer Support Groups around the County, Please feel free to print and give to Parents and Carers

Grandparents Plus support group

I have attached a list of support groups in the county that support Grandparents who are looking after family members through Kinship care. The contact details for each area can be found under group venue details.