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.


Derwentside College Retail Course

Derwentside college are offering a Level 1 Qualification in Retail starting on Monday the 14th January, the free course will run for 6 weeks on Monday-Wednesday between 9.30am-2.30pm. I have attached the information flier for you to share.

Contact 01207 585900 to book a place.

Emotional Health and Resilience Nurse Drop In.

I have attached the new dates and times for the Emotional Health and Resilience Nurse Drop in in Consett and Stanley.

Food Safety and Health and Safety Course

Cornerstone are offering a Level 2 Food Safety course that will be running on Tuesday the 15th January and Tuesday the 12th February. They are also offering a Level 2 Health & Safety course on Tuesday the 29th January and the 22nd February. To be eligible for this FREE training you must 19+ UNEMPLOYED OR RETIRED/VOLUNTEERING IN County Durham. Courses run 9.30-3.30 pm and will be held at Cornerstones Centre at Chester le Street Methodist Church DH3 3TF. I have attached the information flier for you to share

Further information is available at:

TEL: 0191 3881313

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

Pelton Mindfulness course

Humankind and Skills for life are offering a Mindfulness course for adults with learning disabilities at The Pelton Community Centre in Pelton. The course will run for 8 weeks and begins on the Wednesday 20th February between 10am-12.15pm. There is a taster day organised on Wednesday the 30th January from 10am-12.15pm. I have attached the information flier for you to share with your families.

Contact Anne at Humankind on 07786156739 or Kathy at Skills for people on 01912818737 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Staying Cool Courses

There are a number of Staying Cool courses available across the county, this is a 1 day course that is an Emotion, Anger and Aggression Intervention session for Adults and Teens delivered by Tom Clark. I have attached the timetable for the next couple of months which also has the contacts for each session. 

Hearts and Minds Course

Cornforth Partnership are offering a Hearts and Minds Course for 8 weeks starting on Wednesday the 23rd January between 10am-12pm at Brandon One Point Family Centre. I have attached the Information leaflet

For you to share.

Contact Rachel on 01740 652000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Princes Trust Team Brochure

The Princes Trust team Programme is a 12 week personal development course for young people aged 16-25, they will receive an attendance allowance of £15 per week and travel expenses are covered and they can gain a nationally recognised L1, L2 or E3 qualification. These courses are available to young people county wide, the nearest are Bishop Auckland and Darlington. The course is available to anyone who isn’t currently in education or employment. They have courses available in Bishop Auckland, Darlington, Catterick, Stockton, Middlesbrough and Redcar.  I have attached the information leaflets and timetable brochure.

The Bishop Auckland course starts on the 14th January, contact Marc Iveson on 07553 367548 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

YMCA Furniture Project

The YMCA has a great furniture recycling unit in Consett and they clean and re-sell at affordable prices, Please take a look at their Facebook page with directions of where they are located.

Clinics for the week commencing 14th January

Monday 14th- 10-11.30am Brandon Family centre

                        1-2.30pm Chester le street One Point hub

Tuesday 15th- 1-2.30pm Stanley One Point Hub

Wednesday 16th- 1-2.30pm Annfield plain Family First Office

Thursday 17th- 10-11.30am Moorside Family Centre

Sherburn House Fund Individual Hardship (Relief in Need)

(Managed by County Durham Community Foundation)

             £300 grants available for individuals or families

             Funding for essential domestic equipment (eg cookers, washing machines, beds etc)

             North East wide (recipients must live between the River Tweed and River Tees)

Applications are invited from professionals working with clients who are experiencing extreme hardship and are in extreme social and financial need. It is likely that they have been unable to obtain funding from other sources.

Applications must be submitted by organisations willing to undertake a supervised spend (purchasing items on behalf of your client).

For full details, please visit the CDCF website

VCS Clinics will begin again week commencing the 7th January.

Monday 7th January

Bullion Lane F.C. – 10-11.30am

Chester le street Hub – 1-2.30pm.

Tuesday 8th January

Stanley One Point Hub – 1-2.30pm.

Wednesday 9th January

Consett One Point Hub – 1-2.30pm.

Thursday 10th January

Stanley F.C. 10-11.30am.

Catchgate & Annfield Plain Drop In.

There is a Youth Drop in for 11-17 year olds. There will be youth worker support available along with refreshments and Activities. This is held at The Communal room, West Road (Old Man’s Hut) Annfield Plain on Mondays from 6.30-9.00pm. 

After School Drop In @ Pact House

There is an after school drop in for 11-17 year olds at Pact House, Stanley on  a Thursday between 3.30-5.30pm. There will be youth worker support available along with refreshments, WI-FI, Computers and Activities.

Positive Steps Programme.

We are offering you the opportunity to join our 6 day course where you will manage a small budget, to plan and attend 3 leisure activities. This programme builds confidence, planning and budgeting skills and provides social opportunities.

Bullion Lane Family Centre from 9.30am to 12noon for 6 week from 8th January

For more information or to make a referral: Call 0191 5814306 or  email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Changes Programme

The Changes Programme is a new initiative by Durham County Council’s Adult Learning and Skills Service to provide information, Advice and Guidance to the parents and carers of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. The programme starts on Wednesday 9th January through to the 13th February and is every Wednesday from 10am-12pm at Ethicare, Southbrook House, Community hall, Pittington, DH6 1AH. Tea, Coffee and soft drinks will be provided.

Contact the Adult learning and Skills service support team on 03000 266115 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Is your boiler off information leaflet

County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service are working together with the local authority in North Durham to keep you warm this winter. If any families are struggling to pay bills, have heating issues or are vulnerable in cold weather please contact this service. Contact  0191 375 5604 More Information

Claiming NHS Prescription Costs whilst in receipt of Universal Credit

 In advance of official communications from NHS, please see attached workaround that has been notified to DWP.

“At present, NHS prescriptions do not have a Tick Box option for someone claiming Universal Credit.

 There have been examples of claimants choosing the ESA option and as a result have received a £135 penalty notice.

 Until a new print is available claimants on UC should tick option K indicating JSA in payment.

 This is the workaround which has been issued to Pharmacies.”

The Buttle Grants
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 an information form with 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

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

SEND Toolkit Training sessions for parents
2 hour sessions to help parents/careers understand school SEND support and EHC plans. There are a number of sessions county wide, please see leaflet for information.

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.

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.