VCS Locality 3

Newton Aycliffe / Spennymoor / Chilton, Shildon / Wheatley Hill / Ferryhill

Debbie Unsworth

VCS Alliance Worker Locality 3
Children and Young People’s Service
Direct 03000 268598 Mobile : 07795020057
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The Princes Trust Bishop Auckland/Darlington -See attached poster

Here’s a bit of general info:

  • The Bishop and Darlington teams both start next Monday (14th) and are for young people aged 16-25yrs. 
  • 12 week course
  • All travel expenses reimbursed and £15 per week paid on attendance.  No existing benefits are affected.
  • Times are approx. 9-4 Monday to Friday (earlier finish on a Friday!)
  • Course includes a free residential week in second week as well as a personalised work placement and projects and challenges in the local areas 

Bishop Auckland Team runs from the Four Clocks on Newgate Street: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 07553367548


Trimdon Station Womans Cree project

Wednesday 10.00-12.00noon open to all woman of any age and is free to attend.  If childcare is a barrier the children are welcome to go along too. See attached poster

+++new +++Baby Group Wheatley hill Family Centre

10 Week free session Beginning Monday 21 January, 1.30pm - 2.30pm Running every Monday.   See attached poster

Wheatley hill Family Centre Job Club

Every Friday 1.00-3.00

They can provide help with:

CV writing, Job searches, Interview skills, Job applications, Volunteering, Further training.  Parents can call  in for a friendly chat and free refreshments.

+++NEW+++ Parents and Toddler Group

Thornley Village Centre

Commencing Thursday 24th January 9.30-11.30.  £1.00 adult,  children free See attached poster

Cookery Class –PCP Aycliffe

Commencing Friday 18th January 10.00-12.00 for 8 weeks –See attached poster

The Spennymoor Survive and Thrive group

1.00pm and 4.00pm every Thursday, at St Andrew's Church Hall, Spennymoor.

The sessions aim to help people improve their emotional wellbeing and members choose the activities they would like to do. Past sessions have included quizzes, cookery demonstrations, mindfulness taster sessions and relaxing group walks. People can also get one-to-one support from group leaders Julie Patterson and Paul Cooke.-See attached information 


Do you care for a child under the age of 18? We are working with Wellbeing for Life to deliver some sessions to Parent Carers on Self Harm.

Monday 21st January 2019 Woodhouse Close Family Centre, Bishop Auckland. See attached information

Adult and child swimmers needed - Spennymoor Leisure Centre

Children and parents to take part in a 2 session teaching programme for Adult and child, in the pool. We are holding a course for swimming teacher’s on Thursday 31st Jan and Thursday 7th Feb 2019.

If you are interested in booking yourself and your child onto the sessions below, please go to reception and reserve a place. Cost is £2.00 registration fee.

Each session is ½ hour long in the pool with a qualified swimming teacher, you will be lead through a play session for children giving, parent’s guidance and ways of developing the child’s water confidence.

Children must be aged 0 – 4 years, the sessions offered are:

9.30-10.00am, 10.00-10.30am, 2.45-3.15pm.

I will be on annual leave next week if you require VCS support please contact Lindsey Ellwood who will be happy to support in my absence.

Clinics Week of  Monday 21st January

Monday 21st January

Aycliffe Hub 9.00-11.00

Aycliffe Family Centre 11.00-1.30

Tuesday 22nd January

Spennymoor Family First –Green lane 9.30-11.30

Wednesday 23rd January

Denebank Family Centre

Ferryhill Hub 1.00-2.30

Thursday 24th January

Tudhoe moor family centre 9.30-11.30

Thursdays 24th January

Wheatley hill family centre 1.00-3.00

Maths-Shildon Foundation

See attached poster for new maths course starting at Shildon Foundations in February. 

VCS Clinics

Monday 7th January 9.30-11.00

Aycliffe Hub

Monday 7th January 1.00-2.30

Aycliffe Family centre

Tuesday 8th January 1.00-3.00

Greenlane Spennymoor F.F

Wednesday 9th January 1.00-2.30

Ferry hill Hub

Wednesday 9th January 9.30-11.00

Dene bank Family Centre

Thursday 10th January 9.30-11.30

Tudhoe moor Family Centre

Thursday 10th January 1.00-2.30

Wheatley hill Family Centre

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.”

Stephen Walls | Local Partnership Manager | Department for Work and Pensions | Gateshead Jobcentre

Employability Durham

Employability Durham are supporting unemployed adults over the age of 25+ who may/may not have health conditions, progress towards/in to work. Clients need to be unemployed and we can work with the economically inactive group, such as, lone parents on income support.  We offer support County Wide.  We work on a mostly 1:1 basis to help with practical job search activities, confidence building, access to courses or groups which may improve their skills and wellbeing.  We also have a flexible fund for clients to remove barriers such as transport, interview clothing or some childcare costs.

If you would like to refer anyone to our team, you can do so via the advice network portal (we should be set up very soon) or use the attached referral form and email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Adult learning and skills..

“Durham County Council’s Adult Learning and Skills Service’s new Learning Guide is now available – courses available across County Durham.  Find more information at or call today on 03000 266115”.

Early days courses Tudhoe Moor Family Centre Spennymoor

Please see the attached documents for the upcoming Early Days  and early days plus courses. If you know of any families who would benefit, please let them know. I have attached a blank referral.

CATSS (Children Achieving Through Student Support) project for 2018 County wide

For the last 17 years, CATSS has taken hard-to-reach children from the local area on a series of day trips and a residential trip during the Easter holidays. It allows children to get involved in a variety of great activities, provides respite and offers new developmental opportunities. The trips are completely free of charge. The CATSS Primary project works with children aged 7-11 years and the CATSS Secondary project works with children aged 11-13 years. For more information contact Katie Stobbs 0191 334 1797

If you know of any child who would benefit from either of the CATSS projects, please could you respond by email as soon as possible Katie can send a nomination form to you. Nominations will close on 14th January 2019.

SEND toolkit training sessions for parents

See attached poster County wide


Activities and courses at PCP Aycliffe  Newton Aycliffe

I have put together sessions and courses that are coming up at the PCP in January –See attached information.

Job Coaching for Young Adults/Adults with Additional Needs
They provide life-skills and employability training for young people and adults with intellectual disability, and run social enterprises within our local communities. See attached information.

Emotional Resilience Nurse Clinics Aycliffe Hub
See attached poster for clinic times –support for young people 5-19 years around emotional well-being.

Emotional Resilience Nurse Clinics
Bishop Hub Tudhoe Moor Family centre See attached poster for clinic times –support for young people 5-19 years around emotional well-being.

As you know we have clothes rails with in the family centres we are in need of winter clothes for children, young people and adults of all ages. We are also looking to set up a Christmas clothes rail at the end of November with party wear as some families may not be able to afford Christmas party clothes to enable children to attend their Christmas parties at their schools/nurseries. If anyone has any donations they can be dropped in at either Aycliffe family centre or Wheatley hill family centre.

Home Group….Sedgefield Homestay
We have made some changes in the community venues in which we hold our Drop Ins at and so please find attached the latest menu.

Buttle grant -
See attached information about the Buttle charity which provides grants to Families affected by Domestic Violence, Kinship care families, Estranged young people, also beds for children. I have also included a family received following a successful application.

WECAN parents support group
I had a meeting with Nicola Best from Greenfields school in Aycliffe she runs a parents support group at Sunnydale school in Shildon every Thursday and is looking for new members. If you have any parents who would benefit from the group you can refer them by contacting Nicola via email or phone. See information on attached leaflet.

Young Minds Crisis Messenger
If you are a young person experiencing a mental health crisis, you can text the Young Minds Crisis Messenger for free, 24/7 support. The Young Minds crisis messenger service provides free, 24/7 crisis support across the UK. If you are experiencing a mental health crisis and need support, you can text YM to 85258. We aim to connect every texter to a trained volunteer in less than 5 minutes to provide support in a crisis. They will listen to you and help you think through how you’re feeling, and will aim to help you take the next steps towards feeling better. Texts are free, see attached.
More information can be found on

Crafty Chatty Café
Fortnightly starting Tuesday 2nd October 1.00-3.00 at Shildon Methodist Church. A chance for people to make friends and get out the house. The aim of this session is to provide a safe welcoming environment for people to meet and share their problems. See attached poster.

Sc.out.ed play session Trimdon Village hall
Play session Mondays 4.00-5.30 5-11 years Mondays 7.00-8.30 11-16 years Only £1.00 session. No need to book just turn up. See attached poster.

Sho Shin Kai Karate
Karate Classes in Thornley and Trimdon for young people from age 7 years who would like to learn discipline, build confidence, or to learn self-defence. See attached poster.

Stop Smoking Clinic
Wednesdays 8.30-10.30 at Aycliffe family Centre. Limited spaces to book a place contact Kathryn Harbin on 0782884684. See attached poster.

Mauy Thai martial art
Ferryhill sports and education centre Wednesdays 6.00-7.00 for 7-18 years. See attached flyer

Furniture Re-use schemes
Please find attached a list of furniture help schemes across county for supporting families when needed

SEND in the Early Years useful contacts
Following the SEND in the Early Years event on Friday 5TH October I have put together a useful contact list of providers to support Children with special educational need or disabilities. Please see attached.

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.

Peoples takeaway East Durham Trust
I would like to remind you that the People’s Takeaway service is also open to referrals to people living in East Durham who are living in financial hardship. The service can be accessed by both individuals and families and offers a free freshly prepared pizza delivered directly to their door. Deliveries take place on a Friday evening between 4pm and 5:30pm. All referrals must be made and received by 5pm on a Thursday in order to receive a meal on the Friday evening. Referrals received on a Friday will be delivered the following week. I have attached referral form. Please email referrals to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

US girls –

Ferry Hill Sports and Education Centre Girls only group for age 11-14 year olds every Wednesday 5.00-6.00 – Free session- attend for 4 weeks and receive a Us Girls T-shirt. See attached poster.

St Pauls Centre –Spennymoor
Wellbeing Club – is aimed at parents who are isolated, lonely, and need to build up friendships. Employability Club is aimed at parents who lack confidence, need more skills, support and encouragement. Both sessions are held weekly on a Monday 9.15-12.30 see attached poster.

Trimdon Village hall –New Youth Club
New youth club 8-19 years starting on 5th October Every Friday night, various activities –See attached poster.