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



Greenhill’s community Centre Wheatley hill- Get Creative session

Ways to wellbeing

Free Creative session every Wednesday 2.00-3.30 all materials provided See attached poster.

Trimdon Village Hall –Cookery plus Master Chef

A 5 week course commencing Thursday 21st March 10.30-12.30 See attached poster ring 01429 881948 to book a place.

Developing Emotional Resilience course-PCP Newton Aycliffe –See attached poster

Commencing Tuesday 12th March for 4 weeks –Parents will learn how to understand and manage their emotions and find developing strategies to suit them.

Community Floating Support –Adults with mental health

A service for people with mental health issues, over the age of 18 years, who do not have the support of a social worker or care coordinator. See attached information on how to refer and more information about the service or ring 03000 269 071.

NEPAC – Visitors Voice event –See attached poster

For families and friends of prisoners.  Wednesdays 13th March 10.00-2.00 at Bowburn community centre.  This event is free and includes lunch and refreshments. 

Topics include:

Putting family ties at the heart of the prison reform

Early days in custody

Learning skills and employment.

Youth activities in Spennymoor and Croxdale

See attached flyers for information. 

Cyper Crime Talk

Useful session during the Easter holidays for young people to attend.  Henknowle Community Centre Tuesday 9th April 10.15-1.45.  See attached poster.

Fit For Life 7-11 years - Ferry Hill Sports and education Centre –

See attached poster

New session starting Thursday 7th March 4.15-5.00 at Ferryhill Sports and Education Centre.  This session will help build young peoples self esteem, embedding a happier and healthier lifestyle.  This session is open to all abilities.

Easter holidays

I am currently gathering activities/events in the area if you know of anything going on can you let me know so I can put together a what’s on programme to share with families.

Please contact me prior to clinics if you require to speak to me about VCS Support for a family to enable me to allocate you time within clinics.

VCS Clinics week commencing 11th March

Monday 11th March 10.00-11.30 Aycliffe Family Centre

Monday 11th Match 1.00-2.30 Aycliffe hub

Wednesdays 13th March 1.30-3.00 Ferryhill Hub

Fridays 15th March 1.00-3.00 Wheatley hill family Centre

Pop up play Café-

see attached information and referral forms

Alison and Kath were volunteers for the local food bank in Aycliffe and decided to set up the pop up play café after talking to parents accessing the food bank and talking about not been able to afford holiday activities. 

Kath and Alison have just been awarded 11,000 over 3 years to continue with the programme.

One thing that was recommended was that they link with ONE Point and Families First.  The project to support families struggling financially during school holidays.  It’s a Holiday Hunger response to End Hunger UK.

If you have any families who would benefit from this project during school holidays please fill in the attached referral forms and send them back to Kath.  Parents must consent to referral. Aycliffe families only

Cyber Safety Course PCP Aycliffe

- See attached information

Durham Cyber Safety will be offering security session for children on how to stay safe online. Parents/guardians are also welcome to attend the sessions. Each session will last and hour and look at top tips on how to stay safe online.

Tuesday April 9th 1.00-2.00  PCP Newton Aycliffe 

Making Changes Together

1:1 Appointments for parents /carers of children with SEND –See attached poster for more information

Thursday 21st March 10.00-2.00 at Bishop Town Hall

Tuesday 26th March at Durham town hall.

Aycliffe youth and community Centre Youth Group 11-19 years

Every Wednesday commencing Wednesday 6th March 6.30-8.30 only 50p entry.

Groundworks are looking for volunteers for the group contact Michelle 07909231894 

Shildon Alive new premises

Shildon Alive have now  moved into their new building 91-95 Church Street Shildon. 

Craft workshops every Wednesday at 1:30,

'Fridge and Shelves for all' are full of surplus food from local supermarkets for everyone to take and help us reduce waste.

They have support services and credit union collection point which is available every day. 

Anyone can pop in for a chat and a cuppa and find out about exciting  new projects.

Blue Light Café –Middlestone moor Community Centre

Spennymoor Neighbourhood Police are opening a Blue Light Café at Middlestone Moor Community centre with some exciting projects planned.  See attached poster for drop in sessions families can go along to talk to partner agencies and enjoy a cuppa.  

Sense Early Explorers Group

See attached poster

A specialist play and communication group for pre-school children with multi-sensory Impairments

Ruff N Tumble Newton Aycliffe Thursdays 1.00-2.30

Rocsolid Supported housing –Newton Aycliffe

Rocsolid is a caring environment with 24/7 support, good life skills training, excellent role models and good quality accommodation, see attached referral form and information

 If you want more information contact Steve  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Newton Aycliffe Youth and Community Centre

+++New Youth Club+++ 11-16 years

Starting Wednesday 6th March 6.30-8.30 (awaiting poster)

Groundworks have volunteering opportunities for anyone who is interested in youth work to support within session.  Contact Michelle on 07909231894  for more information

The Newman Holiday trust

This is an Ofsted registered charity which provides free, week long residential holidays for young people with disabilities and/or SEN. They provide one-to-one care for children who might not otherwise have the opportunity to experience a week away from home. For more information see the website

Employability Durham

The team has a number of projects that can provide advice and support around jobs and training. See attached poster

Auckland Youth and Community Centre Girls Group 10-14 years

Our programme of activities are fun, but ultimately designed to develop self-confidence, life skills and resilience through being part of a supportive, non-judgmental group of girls and young women.

What’s on Cornforth Partnership

See attached what’s on guide for March

Little Rays parent and toddler group at Cornforth House Tuesdays 9.30-11.30 0-3 years  commencing 26th February see attached poster

💥💥 teachers, teaching assistants, nursery staff, family workers and childminders💥💥

Little treasures  have about 9 places left on our Peterlee sensory workshop with the amazing Claire stirland at sensory worx,  that we are opening up to people in the education setting.

You must be available for both dates and times, and it doesn't matter where you live if you can travel you can attend.

9th and 16th of march 2-4pm and its £10 per person

The training will include:

An introduction to Sensory systems and Sensory Processing Disorder

Sensory issues and eating/drinking

Sensory issues and eating/Exploring/Biting objects and food

Sensory issues and toileting

Sensory issues and washing/bathing/showering

Sensory issues and hair/nail cutting

Sensory issues and dressing.

This is an ideal opportunity to be better equip for any sensory seekers or avoiders that you teach or look after.

British Red Cross- First Aid Programme

Engaging and interactive workshops designed for 10-19 year olds to learn essential first aid skills.  Free workshops in settings in areas where young people are high risk of experiencing a crisis related to drug or alcohol use.

Useful information and links to support children with Gender Identity Issues

See attached information form the young Minds website which may come in useful for young people with Gender Identity Issues.

Trimdon Station community Centre Youth Groups

Kids club Every Tuesday 4.00-5.00 includes Hot Dog and Juice. See attached poster

13+ Youth Group every Thursday 6.00-8.00 50p entry –activities include pool, air hockey table and trips. See attached poster 

Early Explorers Pre-school Group

Thursdays 1.00-2.30 for Children 0-5 with multi-sensory impairments or those with additional disabilities.  (Places need to be booked)

Ruff N Tumble Newton Aycliffe See attached leaflet. 

Twinkle Time  Denebank Family Centre

Mondays 9.30-11.00 booking recommended see attached flyer

Little Rays Parent and Toddler group Tuesdays 9.30-11.30 at Cornforth house commencing Tuesday 26th February. Contact Emma for more information on 01740652000. See attached flyer

Family Action –Free family line service

Free FamilyLine Service tackles these issues in a new and innovative way by using a network of volunteers from across the country to support parents and carers through telephone calls, email and text message. See attached information.

Sherburn House Hardship Fund

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. £300 grants are available to families and they have quick turnaround at present. –See attached information 

Safe Families for Children

offers volunteer support for families with young children, usually with at least one child under the age of 10 in the household. Respite stays with our ‘Host Homes’ are offered to children aged 10 and under, except in instances of sibling groups when older children may be cared for together with their younger brothers or sisters.



These sessions will be at SPENNYMOOR LEISURE & are aimed at giving young children the best possible early experience of FUNdamental movements, ABCs, social development and of course football! See attached for more information.

Human Kind- Steps 4 Success

A new way of learning for 16 to 18 year olds.  See attached leaflet

Durham area Disability Leisure Group

Find attached the latest Community short breaks form DADLG also application form for parents to register for activities. 

Helping hands charity

A representative from LifeLine called in today asking if we had any families that would benefit from their support.

They are able to provide household items, cleaning products and have a ‘cold weather’ grant that could be used to buy children winter coats, for families with low income.

They are open Mon & Fri 10.00-14.00 at St Clare’s Church Aycliffe

See attached referral form

Time to talk coffee morning –PCP Aycliffe

To celebrate Time to talk day the PCP will be holding a coffee morning on Thursday 7th February 10.00-12.00.  A young champion from time to change and a PCP health advocate will be available to talk to.  See attached flyer


Job club Wheatley hill Family Centre every Friday 1.00-2.45

Trimdon Village Hall

Toddler group every Tuesday 9.00-11.00 for children birth – 4 years. See attached poster

Thornley Village Centre

They have 2 new groups

After school club every Monday 3.30-5.00   no need to book just go along –See attached poster

Toddler group every Thursday 9.30-11.00 

PCP Aycliffe

Level 2 Food safety course Monday 4th March 9.00-4.30-see attached poster Learn the importance of the food safety and gain knowledge of the procedures involved.

Junction 7 – 7 Silverdale place Aycliffe

Credit Union Launch- Monday 4th February 10.00-2.00

Join the credit union and save for 10 weeks and receive £25.00 incentive( first 50 people) Young Savers will receive £10.00 incentive after 10 weeks saving.

Jubilee Fields Community Centre  Shildon

+++New Sessions +++ Rainbow tots Every Wednesday 9.30-11.00-See attached poster

First Aid for Baby and Child –See attached poster Tuesdays 19th March 9.30-2.30

Free to anyone on benefits, Livin will also fund those tenants who do not qualify for free place. Limited spaces so you need to book as soon as possible.

Durham County Carer- Making sense of Caring

–See attached posterSaturday 16th March 10.00-1.00 with free buffet lunch Spennymoor Enterprise House For Parent/carers who want to find out what help and services are available.

Ferryhill Sports and Education Centre  

Soccer Stars Do you have any families with children who have an interest in football, Ferryhill Sports and Education Centre have Soccer stars Every Saturday for ages 2 years up to 9 years

See attached poster for times for different age groups.

CATSS Residential April 

Nominations are open to any child who is at-risk or from a hard-to-reach group. This could include young carers, looked after children, or children with very limited social opportunities.

The CATSS Primary project works with children aged 7-11 years and the CATSS Secondary project works with children aged 11-13 years. I have attached information also Nomination form 

If you know of any child who would benefit from either of the CATSS projects, please could you email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  as soon as possible or complete the attached nomination form to Katie.  Nominations will close in January 2019.

++++ Katie is  almost full on the primary project but I have a few spaces left and a few on secondary project+++++

Cookery Class PCP Aycliffe

Starting 5th February for 8 weeks 1.00-3.00- Parents can learn how to cook a range of nutritious meals to take home whist meeting new friends.  See attached poster

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

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.

Parents and Toddler Group

Thornley Village Centre

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

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.

Maths-Shildon Foundation

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

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.