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News & Updates
from across Co Durham

February 2017 Unemployment Summary **New**


The factsheet covering the February 2017 unemployment figures is now available on our IA website:



Environment Partnership Newsletter **New**

Please follow this link to see the latest Environment Partnership Newsletter. The Big Dig is on the front page and a couple of the groups we have worked with via Growing Durham are also featured:




Sustainable Food Cities Newsletter March 2017 **New**

Welcome to the Sustainable Food Cities newsletter. We are passionate about towns and cities taking a joined up approach to food and want to help public agencies, NGOs, businesses and communities to work together to make healthy and sustainable food a defining characteristic of where they live. If you have news, events or questions for discussion for the newsletter get in touch.

Children's Commissioner's Takeover Challenge Gold for Durham **Current**

Following agreement to apply to the ‘Up for the Challenge’ Commendation Scheme at the last Children and Families Partnership (CFP) meeting, I am pleased to be able to tell you that the CFP has been awarded a gold commendation. This is the highest level of recognition by the Children’s Commissioner for the successful events which took place under the banner of the Takeover Challenge in 2016.
The Children’s Commissioner considered the evidence we submitted against a range of criteria and awarded gold based on the level of involvement that children and young people had in partners work through the Takeover Challenge.
Anne Longfield, Children’s Commissioner for England, will be invited to attend a future meeting of the Children and Families Partnership to talk about her role, share any advice and good practice.
At the previous CFP meeting partners agreed to champion the Takeover Challenge within their own organisations and encourage take up for 2017. Please contact Jayne Watson (jayne.watson@durham.gov.uk 03000 268371) if you require any support or advice.
Kind regards,
Andrea Petty
Strategic Manager, Policy, Planning and Partnerships

Reaching Out Across Durham **Current**

A partnership of 12 voluntary and community organisations and hosted by Groundwork NE & Cumbria, ROAD wants to make a real difference to the lives of 625 people who aren’t currently in any form of employment and unable to access current provision. A Building Better Opportunities Programme, ROAD is funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund until July 2019.
Participants will receive tailored, 1-to-1 support from our Partners and specialists, who via ROAD, will compliment and add value to existing services by working with the long-term unemployed and economically inactive who need support the most.
We will engage with those who have chaotic lifestyles, face deep-rooted obstacles, have continuing health issues and focus on the hardest to reach. Where applicable, we will refer Participants to the range of excellent programmes already delivered in County Durham, or if specific gaps are identified, provide bespoke delivery around the themes of health & wellbeing and financial and digital inclusion.
With consideration to Durham’s local labour markets, we will focus on employability advice and skills that are geographically relevant and timely, and provide supported volunteering linked to employment opportunities by working with employers and offering employment training to individuals with multiple barriers. We wish to celebrate the achievement of those who progress by promoting their stories, involving them in the design of activity and enabling them to be peer mentors to demonstrate real life experiences.
For more information, please email ROAD@groundwork.org.uk or call 01207 524 833.

The needs of many people aged 25+ in County Durham are still to be met, and by working closely with these individuals, Reaching Out Across Durham (ROAD) aims to provide a positive experience, with a full and personalised package of support in a way which overcomes barriers and challenges perceptions.

ROAD is funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund until July 2019

Sleep out to raise awareness of homelessness in County Durham **Current**

“On Friday 3 March I joined SHAID (Single Homeless Action Initiative Durham) staff and volunteers as we slept out under the stars in order to raise awareness of homelessness in County Durham. We started at 7pm and finished at 7am, sleeping in the doorway of a community building used by SHAID in Stanley. The night was really difficult, and I want to share with you my three observations from sleeping rough:
1. The cold and damp
The weather couldn’t have been worse for us – low temperatures and fog meant most of our sleeping equipment was soaked. Cardboard and tarpaulin seeped water into our sleeping bags, and resulted in the inside of the bags dropping in temperature further. The ground was really wet, and even though we had all layered-up, water still seemed to penetrate through to feet and legs. This damp, cold feeling was horrendous, and I think a reason why alcohol can be used as a support for some homeless people – I can imagine it would warm you up, and try and help you sleep through the bleakness of it all.
2. The vulnerability
Before Friday night, I used to be cautious around homeless people in city centres, but after our experience, I felt the vulnerability that comes with sleeping out in the open. We were fortunate to have each other in a group, and we picked a secluded part of town. Yet, at 2:30am, a group of six men cut across the building on their way home from a night out. They were shocked to see us, and I felt very vulnerable at first. However, they carried on walking, and stood by the end of the building to collect some money together. They came back, and offered us money for breakfast – a really kind gesture, which for me, shows you the best of our town and County – honest, decent people who really care about those in need.
Obviously we explained about the charity and our sleep out, but if they weren’t as kind as they were to us, I would have certainly felt vulnerable and exposed to crime. This would have been even more so if I was on my own, as many rough sleepers are.
3. The hygiene
Lastly, I want to make it clear I was very lucky – I was in a group, with access to toilet facilities, and decent weatherproof clothing. And yet I still felt damp, cold, and dirty the next morning. We were all counting down the hours to 7am, and we all had only a small amount of very light sleep. After 12 hours, my first action was to have a hot shower – yet so many cannot do this, and have to go night after night before using a hostel, leisure centre or charity to have a decent wash. It was such a horrible feeling because, for me, it affected my sense of self-worth and pride. I can now start to imagine the mental health issues that come with homelessness, and the need to escape through alcohol or drugs from the bleakness of living on the streets.
My 12 hours were hard, but they are nothing compared with those people to whom this is reality – trying to get by through street-living and sofa-surfing, unsure just what is coming day by day.
I want to offer my thanks and gratitude to SHAID for their amazing work to help those in this situation, and the fantastic team I stayed with that night. I really hope you can support their work by donating on this link: https://shaid.charitycheckout.co.uk/ 

Thank you.”
Cllr Thomas Nearney
Annfield Plain Division
Durham County Council


NEFirst new project **Current**

Exciting New Project Aims to Save County Durham Families Thousands of Pounds An exciting new project aimed at inspiring people to start saving money again, has been launched by Durham County Council. The Council has appointed Paul Atkinson to work with businesses and schools to help promote a savings culture.

Businesses The project aims to make it easy for businesses in Durham to offer employees a simple method of saving directly from their pay, with the flexibility of online access and additional help and support if required. Research shows that being more in control of our finances generally leads to better health and wellbeing, in other words happier, more productive staff.
The project is part of a wider County Council strategy aimed at tackling in-work poverty, and promoting the use of the Credit Union. Our research has found that over 70% of working families in County Durham are worried about their finances with many becoming reliant on high cost, short term credit. This is costing our local economy an estimated £5m a year.

Schools The project aims to get every school in the South of Durham involved. Secondary schools can play an important role in help-ing to prepare children to manage money, but primary schools, where children are often learning about money for the first time, can have the most influence.
Paul added “when children learn about both the positive and negative aspects of money, understand the concept of debt, and see the benefits saving, many will take those ideas and experiences into adult life, so the outcomes can be very positive for them and the community”

Contact Businesses and schools can contact Paul directly to discuss the process of delivering the scheme, his email address is paul.atkinson2@durham.gov.uk

Support/Funding The project is funded by the County Council and Area Action Partnerships that include GAMP, supported through the Neigh-bourhood Budget allocations of Cllrs Eddy Adam, John Clare, Mike Dixon, Joan Gray, Jed Hillary, Kate Hopper and Sarah Ive-son, EDRC & Spennymoor, and Paul will be working closely with local social enterprise NEFIRST to deliver the project in the south of the County.

NEFIRST, who are regulated by The FCA, are providers of ethical and socially responsible financial services, are providing the systems, training and administration of the project, and all savings are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

The contractual relationship is directly between NEFIRST and members of staff, therefore there is no risk to employers re-garding loan repayments and saving security.

Partnership News March 2017 **Current**

Welcome to the latest edition of Partnership News.

If you would like any additional information about any of the articles in our newsletter please visit the County Durham Partnership website or, alternatively, follow the links provided throughout the newsletter. Please feel free to contact us if you require any further information.
Please get in touch if you have any partnership news or issues you would like us to cover in our future newsletters or on our website. We look forward to hearing from you.

A councillor has praised a Newton Aycliffe-based charity after it won a prestigious award proving it was at the “Heart of the Community”
Durham County Councillor John Clare was one of the judges at Aycliffe Business Park’s "Make Your Mark" awards at which northern charity won the Heart of the Community Category.
Cllr Clare, a former teacher at Greenfield School in the town, said: “As one of the judges, I was impressed by the depth and the sheer scale of the work DISC is doing with young people. 
“And perhaps the most impressive thing of all was Lindsey Smith's acceptance speech, in which her commitment and care were clear for all to see.

“I was proud to have taught such a caring person, and the young people are lucky to have such an advocate.”
The award celebrates excellence in corporate, social and ethical activity.
DISC, with its head offices at Horndale Avenue on Aycliffe Business Park, won the award for work undertaken by its education service which provides tailored support programmes to students that was recently recognised as Grade 1 Outstanding by Ofsted.
Lindsey Smith, Senior Team Leader at the charity, said: “It was a very proud moment when the award was announced. This was the first year we have entered the Make Your Mark awards, and to be shortlisted alongside some much larger organisations was an achievement in itself; to win was simply outstanding!

“The award is recognition of the hard work that the whole of the Education Services team do on a day to day basis, something that we are all very proud of and it’s fantastic to have this recognised by the local business community.”
DISC’s Chief Executive Officer Paul Townsley said: “Achieving the Heart of the Community Award is another affirmation of the excellent work undertaken by DISC and I congratulate everyone in the Education Services team.
“We’re currently speaking to several local businesses about how they can help us develop more work experience positions for our students, and we’d love to hear from any Ayclifffe business that may be interested in helping.”
For more information on the Education Service at DISC, please visit http://www.disc-vol.org.uk/services/employment-training-and-education/

Buzz Magazine (March) **Current**

The March edition of Buzz has now been published.
This issue includes:
• Double success at Keep Britain Tidy Awards
• Energetic leisure centre staff raise money for Red Nose Day
• How we are working towards the Time to Change pledge
• It’s time to put Fairtrade in your break! Fairtrade Fortnight campaign
• Act Fast and Smokefreelife County Durham health campaigns
• National Apprenticeship Week feature
• Chance to win tickets to see Educating Rita
• Link to our ‘Working Well’ staff survey with the chance to win a number of great prizes
You can view Buzz externally using our web-based version.


Use of Mobile Phones when driving **Current**

As of Wednesday 1st March 2017 the penalties for using your mobile phone when driving will double.  At the moment drivers who are stopped while using a mobile phone are issued with three penalty points on their licence and a £100 fine. Under the new legislation, drivers will receive six points on their licence and a £200 fine. For new drivers this could mean losing their licence, as drivers who receive 6 penalty points in their 2 year probation period will have their licence revoked.
Please see below for some Think! Advice Tips to keep you safe and legal on the roads.
·         Switch off before you drive off.
·         Even if you’re using a hands-free phone you should avoid making or answering calls when driving.
·         All phone calls distract drivers' attention from the road.
·         Park safely before using your mobile phone.
·         DO NOT park on the hard shoulder of the motorway.
·         Don't call other people when they're driving.
·         If you call someone and they tell you they are driving, ask them to call you back when they have parked up safely.

Charity Flies the flag for LGBT History Month **Current**

Workers at Northern Communities’ charity DISC are completing a busy few weeks promoting LGBT History month.
Billijean Summerbell, Jo Dixon and Rebecca Jackson pictured with the iconic Rainbow Flag have been discussing LGBT History at events and group meetings around the North.

Team leader Billijean Summerbell, said: “LGBT History month is about having discussions with people about the struggles Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay and Transgender people have had over the years – and how people have stood up for LGBT rights, often paying the ultimate price.

“We have been able to show how far LGBT rights have come and how difficult the struggle has been over the years, especially in the last century.”

As well as speaking with the charity’s own service users, the team conducted discussions with teachers and lecturers at a special event at the National Glass Centre, in partnership with Sunderland University.
Billijean added: “The talks and groups discussions have been really great. Many people knew about the history but many others did not know how hard it’s been.

“It has been so worthwhile and our young people, who still face discrimination in their everyday lives, have found great strength in it.”

DISC’s LGBT Services provide help and support for some 200 young people between the ages of 11 and 26.

Have you heard about our Listening Service? **Current**
Are things difficult at the moment? Need to talk?
We know life can be full of challenges.
Our new Listening Service provides a safe and confidential place for women to talk and feel supported through difficult times.
The Listening Service is here to help if you:
Are feeling worried, upset, confused or stressed
Need the space to talk about things that may be negatively affecting your health and wellbeing
Want to consider your options and find the confidence to move forward
Our trained volunteer listeners are friendly, compassionate and non-judgmental. One-to-one appointments take place at our women-only centre in Chester-le-Street. It may also be possible to speak with a listener over the phone.

Want to talk?
Call Val or Hannah on (0191) 389 1504 or email sisters@aspire-northeast.co.uk for more information or to book a Listening Service appointment.

Solutions 4 health Newsletter** Current**

Click here for our latest Newsletter

Sustainable Food Cities Newsletter February 2017 **Current**

Welcome to the Sustainable Food Cities newsletter. We are passionate about towns and cities taking a joined up approach to food and want to help public agencies, NGOs, businesses and communities to work together to make healthy and sustainable food a defining characteristic of where they live. If you have news, events or questions for discussion for the newsletter get in touch.

Update on Drug and Alcohol Recovery Service Procurement **Current**
Report of Jane Sunter, Public Health Portfolio Lead for Drugs and Alcohol, Public Health Department, Durham County Council
Dear Colleagues,
Durham County Council is proposing to re procure the Drug and Alcohol Recovery Service in April 2017, with the new contract to commence 1 October 2017. 
This is in response to the reduction in the Public Health Grant in 2017/18. The proposed changes will provide an exciting opportunity to utilise more creative and innovative approaches to drug and alcohol service delivery, utilising a more mobile and reactive workforce based within local communities.
As part of that process the Drug and Alcohol Procurement Board has instigated a consultation process to enable a number of key stakeholders the opportunity to view the newly proposed model for Drug and Alcohol Recovery Services.
These proposals will build on the current model and transition services into a more family focused approach, with staff encouraged to engage with clients within their own community setting.
Changes to service delivery may include:
A new emphasis on breaking the intergenerational aspect of substance misuse in the family by engaging with adults, families and carers.
Recovery Services based in Consett, Newton Aycliffe and Seaham, to be transitioned in to community outreach venues in those areas, working with other partners to provide holistic support.
retention of current Recovery Centres in Durham City, Peterlee and Bishop Auckland.
An increase in targeted service based other areas across the County including Spennymoor, Stanley and  Chester-le-Street
Enhanced referral pathways from criminal justice partners, family services, schools, mental health services, primary care, hospitals and wider health and wellbeing services.
Durham County Council is keen to ensure that any reduction in Recovery Centres does not affect front line support for service users, but makes treatment more accessible to those families in need.
If you would like to talk to someone about what these changes might mean to you, your family or anybody you might work with, please don't hesitate to contact Jane.Sunter@durham.gov.uk or call 03000 266897

New Resources and Information **Current**

Here at The Children’s Society Include Programme we have recently updated our resources to include the new The Care Act 2014 which requires a whole-family approach to assessing and supporting adults, considering the impact of the adults’ care needs on the child, identifying any children who undertake caring roles and considering parenting responsibilities of the adult.
Supporting young carers and their families is an introductory guide for professionals including information on identification, impacts, support and legislation for all professionals working with young carers and their families.  This can be downloaded from our website  Accompanying leaflets to this booklet specifically around specialist needs, i.e. HIV, will also be available shortly.
We are also in the process of completely updating and revamping our website with lots of new information and this will be updated regularly with any forthcoming events.  Details of this will be available presently.

Conversations that Matter: The Children's Society in Torbay (Checkpoint) Conference
Checkpoint Torbay is 25 years old this year. This event marks the decades spent supporting children and young people suffering extreme hardship, abuse and neglect.
The Children’s Society Torbay - in conjunction with Dr Margot Sunderland, Director of Education and Training at The Centre for Child Mental Health London - is holding a conference  ‘Conversations that Matter’ for  professionals committed to improving the well-being of children and young people. The conference takes place on Monday 27 March 2017- ticketsavailable now.

Youth Homelessness North East Newsletter **Current**

Please share this information with your colleagues.  If you would like to share your own information and have it posted on the Youth Homeless North East website please email: info@youthhomelessnortheast.org.uk

Wheels to Work in County Durham **Current**
A brand new Wheels to Work transport scheme is now running in your area!
If you’re struggling to get to your job, can’t cope with the college commute or can’t afford a car, Wheels to Work can help.
This new moped-loan scheme 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 Chester-le-Street, Stanley and Mid Durham Area Action Partnerships (AAP’s) in partnership with Durham County Council, in response to a growing need to help local people get to work or college.  Applicants can lend a 125cc scooter for 6 months to help establish themselves in work and/or training and at the moment anyone living in Chester-le-Street, Stanley or Mid Durham can apply to join the scheme.
There are a number of conditions that applicants must meet in order to be eligible, but some of the main criteria include a minimum lower age limit of 16, the possession of a provisional driving licence and the means to pay the weekly fees; The scooter loan costs £30 per week, although there is a reduction for those on apprenticeships, and participants receive a wide range of benefits, including full personal protective equipment (brand new helmet, gloves, armoured jacket, high visibility vest, waterproof over-trousers and heavy duty lock), insurance, break-down cover, road tax and servicing, as well as motorcycle training at Ace Motorcycles in Durham. Participants also get the chance to buy the moped from the scheme, in partnership with a local Credit Union, after the loan period.
A number of people from Chester le Street, Mid Durham and Stanley have already joined Wheels to Work and are now independently mobile, using their new scooters to get to work on time – it could be you!
If you’re  interested in applying for a scooter loan, or if you’d like to find out more, get in contact with the Wheels to Work team on 0191 3897153, or mobiles 07460 068668/ 07472 668884.
More information can also be found on the website http://www.wheelstowork.org

New Partners for Justice Advocacy Service **Current**

Advocacy Centre North (part of Newcastle CVS) has just launched an exciting new service to provide a voice for vulnerable people. The new Partners for Justice Advocacy service which is funded for a year by the Office of the Durham Police and Crime Commissioner, will provide support for victims of crime experiencing mental ill-health across County Durham and Darlington and will support and guide victims through the criminal justice system.
Ron Hogg, Durham’s Police, Crime and Victims Commissioner (PCVC) is committed to putting services in place that assist and enable people to cope and recover from the impact of the crime, to help them regain control of their lives.
Ron said: “Being a victim of crime can impact on many aspects of an individual’s life. While the level of impact will vary depending on the type of crime and an individual’s personal circumstances, victims of crime with mental health needs are deemed to be significantly more likely to report adverse effects than the general population or people with other types of disability.
“That’s why I am delighted to appoint Advocacy Centre North to provide this specialised service across County Durham and Darlington.”
The new service is not intended to replace existing services, but will enhance support to those with mental health needs.
Jacqui Jobson, Director of Advocacy Centre North, said: “Advocacy Centre North is delighted to be part of this service in County Durham and Darlington. We welcome the pioneering approach by Ron and his team and their willingness to work with vulnerable victims of crime. We support vulnerable people each day to help them have a voice, access services and know their rights.
“Recent work has shown that victims of crime with mental health needs are particularly disadvantaged within both society and the criminal justice system. Our service aims to help them understand the situation they face, weigh up their choices, make decisions, have their voices heard and overcome stigma.”
Information about Advocacy Centre North and how to make a referral to the new services is available at: http://www.advocacycentrenorth.org.uk

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The Woodpile December/January Newsletter **Current**

The project supports the wider community including those who we would support into and towards employment and those who would like to participate in a voluntary capacity.  The client groups we work with in terms of disability and disadvantage include; physical disabilities, mental ill health, learning disabilities, people with sensory impairments, substance misuses, lone parents, carers, long term unemployed, low income families and homeless people.  We feel that there are no groups that would be less likely to take part; this project is all about inclusion and supporting those clients who are normally excluded from society.
Clients and volunteers work together supported by staff and each other, external agencies are sought to support with any problems or barriers clients may face to overcome this and progress into a more inclusive life.  Activity takes place out in the community, including marketing, media, demonstrations of furniture restoration to community groups, and offering courses to the local community on furniture restoration.  The community will be encouraged to upcycle their own furniture or purchase from local charities and restore furniture, this allows low income families to refurbish their homes stylishly on a budget.  Local business also benefit from low cost recycled wood, and the reduction to landfill in the community we support the local authorities' targets, we also partner with a network of local charities who are selling furniture, they also gain from the activity as we seek all our furniture restored from local charities.
Clients and volunteers are supported to access training, gain new work related skills, and progress towards and into employment.  The project is so varied that it allows clients and volunteers to learn a range of new skills and in house training, opportunities are offered in; customer service, retail, furniture restoration, joinery, logistics (collection and delivery), business administration, also supporting the delivery of our restorations courses to clients and the general public, demonstrations in furniture restoration in the community, marketing and media activity.
Furniture can also be made from the wood that is collected, there are a range of different products that are manufactured and sold.  All of these activities increase the skills that individuals will learn; we link with other agencies who can offer additional accredited courses to allow people to increase their skill base.
Our day rate for individuals that need additional support is £31 per day, if you would like to visit please contact Karen Stubbings at thewoodpilecic@gmail.com or telephone 0191 3869735.
Click Here for the latest newsletter

Sustainable Food Cities Newsletter January 2017 **Current**

Welcome to the Sustainable Food Cities newsletter. We are passionate about towns and cities taking a joined up approach to food and want to help public agencies, NGOs, businesses and communities to work together to make healthy and sustainable food a defining characteristic of where they live. If you have news, events or questions for discussion for the newsletter get in touch.

Ben & Bullock New Website **Current**

Hope that you are well.
We have just launched our super swish new WEBSITE.
Please do take a look and see if any of our acts or workshops might be suitable for your festival or events programme.


Award for Newton Aycliffe based Charity **Current**

Bosses at Northern communities’ charity DISC say they believe renewed IIP recognition will help fuel more growth of the organisation in 2017.

Unveiling a plaque, commemorating the charity’s newly acquired Silver status with Investors In People, the chairman of Newton Aycliffe-based DISC, Jim Black said: “DISC is winning new contracts and our commitment to excellence, as the IIP award testifies, is incredibly important to us.
“Achieving IIP Silver is a great affirmation of DISC. It demonstrates DISC’s commitment to high performance through excellent people management.”

The charity, which employs over 500 people, has a turnover of more than £26m.
It runs services in the North East, across Yorkshire and the Humber and in the North West in fields such as drug and alcohol misuse, housing and related support, employment, training and education, health and well-being, children, young people and families and offender rehabilitation.

The charity’s Chief Executive Officer Paul Townsley said: "This accreditation reinforces our view of the high levels of competence and dedication in our workforce. It also highlights the strength of our management systems and processes and that our plans to improve are robust and match IIP’s criteria.”

For more information about Investors in People please visit www.investorsinpeople.com


Caring Matters February 2017 **Current**

Our latest newsletter is now available!

Please visit http://www.dccarers.org/media/wysiwyg/PDF/Caring_Matters_Feb_2017.pdf to view our newsletter
Your feedback is always welcome so if you have any comments (Good or Bad) about our latest newsletter please let us know!

Sustainable Food Cities Newsletter January 2017 **Current**

Welcome to the Sustainable Food Cities newsletter. We are passionate about towns and cities taking a joined up approach to food and want to help public agencies, NGOs, businesses and communities to work together to make healthy and sustainable food a defining characteristic of where they live. If you have news, events or questions for discussion for the newsletter get in touch.


Partnership News January 2017 **Current**

A Happy New Year to you and welcome to the latest edition of Partnership News.
If you would like any additional information about any of the articles in our newsletter please visit the County Durham Partnership website or, alternatively, follow the links provided throughout the newsletter. Please feel free to contact us if you require any further information.
Please get in touch if you have any partnership news or issues you would like us to cover in our future newsletters or on our website. We look forward to hearing from you.

Finchale Newsletter Issue 4 **Current**

Please find attached issue 4 of our Newsletter here at Finchale.
Kind regards
Katharine Hawking
Social Media and Marketing Officer
Pity Me
T:  0191 3862634
M: 07540963734

Sponsor a Grown Up - There is still time to get involved!! **Current**

Planning is underway and we would like to invite sports and physical activity clubs in the Spennymoor AAP area to be part of an exciting project called Sponsor a Grown Up.  The Sponsor a Grown Up project engages young people and their ‘grown up’ relatives in physical activity.  We hope to work with up to 9 sports clubs or physical activity providers to offer family physical activity sessions.  There will be two blocks of 5 weeks, one hour per week coaching sessions will be offered from each club hoping to engage up to 200 participants.
The first block of activities will run week beginning Monday 6th March, 13th March, 20th March, 27th March & 3rd April (break for Easter) and the second block will be week beginning 24th April, 1st May, 8th May, 15th May & 22nd May.  There will also be sessions during the Easter holiday subject to availability.
What’s in it for you?
•             The project is funded by Spennymoor AAP which enables you to take part without any additional costs to your club
•             An opportunity to provide new provision or adapt existing provision to meet the needs of families
•             Receive funding for this (£35 per session – can be used for room hire and/or coach fees)
•             In the longer term provide opportunities for adults to take up sports leaders, coaching or volunteering roles within your club (County Durham Sports Development Team can help with this)
What’s next?
Complete the Activity Provider form (attached) and get in touch to discuss your availability. If you have any questions or if you would like to get involved please email kerryann@sucess.coop or telephone 01388 824800 extension 247 or 07415 495 006
We look forward to hearing from you!
Kerryann Stewart
Project Development Officer

DISC & SMHS Announcement **Current**

Dear Colleague

DISC and St Martin’s Healthcare Services are pleased to announce that they are seeking to complete a merger, subject to due diligence.

Our two organisations, which have worked successfully together for some years, plan to complete the process by 1st June, 2017.

This merger means we will form an organisation which has the ability to offer interventions across clinical, health and social care.

We will keep you informed with further updates over the coming weeks. - More Information

Kind Regards,
Paul Townsley

Finchale Activities 2017 **Current**
Please find attached Finchale’s 2017 overview of the services available for customers here at Finchale. In addition to the programmes stated we do have other provision available and I will send through an updated version as soon as we have sign off on the marketing materials. The number and range of programmes that we can offer is increasing so I’ll certainly keep you posted.
If you require any further information please do not hesitate to let me know.

Katharine Hawking
Social Media and Marketing Officer
Pity Me
T:  0191 3862634
M: 07540963734

East Durham Community Transport Ltd **Current**
“Does your group need transport?  East Durham Community Transport Ltd is a registered Charity, based in Peterlee but can be accessed by any community or voluntary group, school, sports club or any non profit making organisation across County Durham.  

We offer Minibus hire to any eligible member group 365 days per year at very reasonable prices.  Drivers must have the D1 entitlement on their driving licence, experience of driving minibuses and preferably hold a valid MiDAS certificate.  We do have 2 volunteer drivers but it is better to have your own driver as ours are committed to our current member groups so their availability is limited.  

Please take a look at our website www.edct.co.uk for further details or give us a ring on 0191 5182633.  We also run a travel club which is open to residents in the old Easington District area.  We offer outings and daytrips 3 – 4 times a week to some really interesting and scenic towns and villages in and around the Lake District, Northumberland, North Yorkshire and also local areas.  Please contact Tony on 0191 5863136 for details.
Hope we can be of some help to your group and your members.
Angela Kent
Operations Manager
East Durham Community Transport Ltd
Unit 7a, 3 Cook Way
County Durham
General Tel: 0191 5182633
Travel Club Tel: 0191 5863136
Email: angela@edct.co.uk

Office Premises Available for Rent in Durham**Current**

Due to the closure of an existing Voluntary Organisation, we have available an office premises that is suitable for a small charity, or business.

The details are:  I large room 899 sq ft, with four allocated parking spaces. Rent is £2,300 per quarter, inclusive of service charge. 

The address is Unit 4 Kingfisher House, St Johns Rd, Meadowfield, Durham, DH7 8TZ.

Anyone interested, could contact me in the first instance. I can be contacted on 01207 232357, or by email at olga0@tiscali.co.uk

We would like this space used asap and would be keen to talk to organisations who may be able to use it

TO LET: Imperial House, 2 High Chare, Chester-Le-Street **Current**
We are delighted to announce the availability of this spacious six bedroomed house, situated around the corner from the centre of Chester Le Street.
As the premises are being used as an office, it comes equipped with commercial standard cabling and enhanced WiFi.
Full planning permission has been granted for use as a HMO, meaning there’s little to be done in terms of paperwork or conversion!
The property comprises:
Ground Floor
Three large rooms with a separate kitchen that has enough space for a dining table. Spacious hallway and staircase leading to the first floor. Ladies’ and Gents’ toilets
First Floor
Three large rooms One smaller room that would make an ideal lounge for people to sit and relax in. Bathroom including shower.  (Please note that there is no bath.)
Lease Details
Lease Term: Long term and negotiable.
Lease monthly rate:   open for discussion.
Altruistic partner wanted
We are seeking a partner that can put the premises to good use within the community. We will happily consider any usage ideas. Ideally, you will be a decent sized and established organisation that can offer us peace of mind in terms of paying the rent and being responsible for the property via a self-repairing lease. The term of any lease is totally negotiable.

Call Now - For further details or to begin our partnership and give a new home to some deserving people, in the first instance, please contact Mr Dav Kumar on 07943 862190 or e-mail: dav@imperialclaims.uk

A Fond Farewell from Kevin **Current**

Hi all,
I have been in talks with our board for a number of months and we have found a fantastic replacement for me, who's details are don@teesdaleymca.com 
After 6 amazing years here at Teesdale YMCA I am leaving the organisation for pastures new. We have achieved so much over the years and I leave the organisation in a really strong positive position to take Teesdale YMCA forward.
I have set up a new company called Education Plus NE which will work with, support and develop young people struggling with mainstream education. It is a holistic, therapeutic education centre working alongside schools in Durham.
My last day for the YMCA after many years at both Sunderland and Teesdale will be the 22nd December.
May I take this opportunity to wish you all well and thanks for the kind support you've given me over the years.

Kevin Wake
Chief Executive Officer
YMCA Teesdale
46 Galgate
Barnard Castle
County Durham
DL12 8BH
01833 695780 / 07888 832458

GOALS Winter Newsletter **Current**

Please find attached the winter edition of the GOALS newsletter


'The Haven' at Home on the Range, Misty Blue Farm **Current**

Dear All,
Following our successful application to the People’s Health Trust, I write to introduce myself as Project Coordinator for our new two year programme to support community socialisation and lasting friendships in our neighbourhood.
The activities and projects within the programme will be peer lead and will be chosen by the individuals on the programme meaning they get the most out of attending and would result in skill progression and experience within their chosen area. There is an option for individuals to attend up to three days a week and sessions will run from 10-4 and best of all its free!
We are holding an Opening Day Wednesday 11th January 2017 and it would be great if we could get a few new faces along to see what we have to offer. If you know someone who would benefit from socialising with others, building new relationships and learning new skills then it would be great if you could invite them to our Launch Event. It would be great to see you too if you can make it.
We have also attached a leaflet to this email if you would like to take a look and hand it to anyone you think may be interested. Please feel free to also forward this email to other organisations or individuals you feel could benefit from the programme.
In the meantime, if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
I would like to also take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy Christmas and I wish you all the very best for 2017.
Kind Regards
Project Coordinator

Care Leavers Challenge 2017 **Current**

At the recent Executive Group meeting, it was discussed as to a challenge that has been set by Durham Children in Care Council – ‘Life in the footsteps of a Care Leaver’ – which will run from 16th to 29th January 2017.
Durham Children in Care Council are holding a two-week challenge for any policy and decision makers in the area to ‘live in the footsteps of a care leaver’.
This challenge consists of living off a care leavers budget of £57.90 for either one or two weeks.  This includes having to pay bills, buy food and other things such as toiletries and clothes out of this budget. We aim to make as many decisions makers more aware of the difficulties care leavers face so that things improve.
I have therefore attached the necessary documentation as required for those wishing to participate.

Massive Lottery Boost for Burnhope **Current**
Plans to develop a much needed community centre in Burnhope received a massive boost when the Big Lottery Fund Reaching Communities programme offered a grant of £529,000 to the community centre management committee.
The committee, who have been working with residents for the past 5 years to look at rebuilding a community hub for the village were ‘over the moon’ when they received the offer letter and immediately replied to the Big Lottery with a great big ‘YES!’.
The overall cost of developing a new community centre is about £720,000 and with the support of several other funders including the Mid Durham Area Action Partnership and its associated County Councillors, as well as several Trusts including Garfield Weston, Bernard Sunley, Sir James Knott and the County Durham Community Foundation they are fast approaching their target budget.
Kenny Barron, Chairman of the Burnhope Community Centre Committee stated; ‘This is fantastic news. We have been working hard for several years on something that the whole village has been telling us is much needed and we are now within touching distance’.
‘We have over 30 volunteers who have come forward to be part of running and looking after a new centre.  We would like to focus support and usage on our younger and older residents as well as providing much needed support and advice to those residents who are unemployed or in need of training’. 
The village and indeed the Parish of Burnhope has very limited community facilities and the development of a new centre will have the backing of several local service partners who are keen to come in and utilise the facilities including the police, health service, Age UK County Durham, Leisureworks and Durham County Council’s outreach employability team.
For more details on this development contact Andy Coulthard (Acting secretary on andy.coulthard@durham.gov.uk) or Janet Box (Treasurer on janb1831@gmail.com).

County Durham Dementia Advisor Service Newsletter No. 3, December 2016 **

Please see attached the third newsletter from the County Durham Dementia Advisor Service.  I hope that you find it useful and informative.
Please feel free to share the newsletter with your colleagues as appropriate

End of year update Food Durham **Current**

This will be my last update for 2016 and it is good to be ending the year with some real achievements behind us (e.g. Sustainable Fish City Award, Growing Durham’s successes) and looking forward to an exciting year ahead as we get our Food Hub up and running. This one has been a long time coming, with a lot of planning work and a feasibility study behind it, so it is very rewarding finally to be able to start putting it into practice. Some of you (many of you?) will remember taking part in workshops to develop the Sustainable Local Food Strategy and all of our current work links directly back to the aspirations in that document, so should be owned by everyone. 

I’m delighted to let you know that we have appointed Keith Gill as our Food Hub Manager, and he will be joining us on 18th January. Keith has an immense amount of experience in the food industry and has just the right skill set to run this project, combined with real commitment and enthusiasm. His past successes include setting up local companies such as Derwent Valley Foods and Tanfield Foods – you may have come across Phileas Fogg Crisps and ‘Look What We’ve Found’ ready meals.
Growing Durham features in the winter edition of the Environment Partnership newsletter which you can find here:
Altogether greener newsletter Winter 2016
Wishing you all a peaceful Christmas and New Year, with lots of delicious local produce on your tables!
Kind regards

GOALs beat Bobbies in Chester-Le-Street Challenge **Current**

Members of a County Durham project for people with learning disabilities have scored a success with their local police force in a recent football challenge.
Service users from GOALs (Go Out and Live) played against the local police, including beat officers and police community support officers at Chester-le-Street FC’s multi-use all weather pitch. The GOALs team won 10-6.
Simon Walters, a PCSO based at Pelton, organised the match between GOALs service users and the local policing team. He said: “I’ve been going into the GOALs sessions at Pelton quite a bit and they always go on about football. We play football at work as well and I said can we come along and they were more than happy for us to come along and have a game with them.
It’s nice to try and do something with everyone in the community, especially sort of groups that sometimes probably get left behind by services. All the Officers here today are based up at Pelton; Special Constables, PCSO’s and a PC as well. It’s been brilliant fun! However, after losing 10-6, we definitely need a rematch!”
GOALs Support Worker, Adrian Geary said: “Today has been fantastic. All the service users have really enjoyed the game. They have been training hard for some time now and it’s been a real joy to watch them display their football skills in a friendly game. We are currently in the process of arranging a rematch with the police for after Christmas as Simon is desperate for revenge.”
David Robson, a service user from GOALs and member of the winning side, said: “I’ve really enjoyed today and it was great to score a goal past the police. I’m now looking forward to a rematch and beat them again!”
Joe Burlison, Chairman of Chester le Street FC, said: “The Club wants to support what they have been doing. We’re happy to support anything of this nature. It is part and parcel of what we do - we’re a charity so if we can help anybody we will do.”
The County Durham GOALs programme is managed by Northern communities’ charity, DISC, and is designed for those with learning difficulties to Go Out and Live – to enjoy life to the full. For more information on GOALs, please visit http://www.disc-vol.org.uk/projects/goals

Sustainable Food Cities Newsletter December 2016 **

Click here for the Newsletter

Durham foodbank: Referrer Bulletin **Current**

Information for all County Durham foodbank Referrers
RSVP Christmas Newsletter **Current**

Please find attached our Christmas newsletter.
We hope you have a lovely Christmas
Many thanks
Angela and Ashleigh
RSVP North East
Volunteering Matters
Bullion Hall
South Approach
Co Durham
0191 3891155


NEAS Newsletter - Winter 2016 **Current**

Welcome to the first North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) Specialist Skills newsletter. As valued customers, partners and contacts, we want to ensure that we keep you up to date with the latest health and safety news, as well as bringing you updates from our team and details on how we can support you and your organisation. 

NE befriending Service **Current*
The aim is to tackle social isolation in adults 18 plus in our community . 

I would appreciate it if durham voice could circulate it on their website particularly this time of year can be difficult for lots of adults in our community do suffer alone .

I can be found on County Durham locate and have a FB page called north East Befriending - this shows some of our work and how we support clients . 

Training Company looking for weekend community venues **

Chester le Street and Durham City (surrounding areas)
We’re a North East based training company looking to accommodate learners  for our “Getting a New Job” course  and need a venue which can accommodate up to 20 people in a classroom/training room environment. We have the projector, PPT equipment and training materials so just need a suitable room.

Important that the classes can be run on Saturdays 10am -4pm and that the venue has good public transport links and preferably free car parking.

There’s a potential for regular paid bookings if we can find the right venue
Please email andy@cbwss.co.uk with details of your venue.

Safe Families - We're moving offices **Current**

North East Update - We're moving offices!

We just wanted to drop you a note with some exciting news. Our Safe Families North East Team, jointly with the National Team, is moving from our Venture House, Durham office to Kingston Park, Newcastle.
We continue to share our new office with the National Team, and our growing teams required us to have our own dedicated facility.
You can now find us at: 5 Diamond Court, Kingston Park, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE3 2EN. Our new North East number is: 0191 707 0034 alternatively you can reach the National Team on 0191 707 0030.
We will also have a smaller North East satellite base at Jubilee Church in Middlesbrough who are very kindly sharing their office space with us.
Many of you will have been aware this move was coming up, but for those of you that it has come as a surprise to, we apologise for the short notice!

Hospital of God Durham Newsletter **Current**

Please find attached the Christmas newsletter for the Durham office of the charity the Hospital of God. The Hospital of God works with people with dementia, their friends and families, as well as older people who may be socially isolated, to help people live well and enjoy community activities. We have a range of services across Hartlepool and County Durham, and for information on these, please see our website or contact myself.
This month the newsletter is focussed on our newest venture, a Thursday Evening club which be running from January 2017 at Minerva House in Horden. The Thursday Evening club has been developed as a way to expand the charity’s horizons, and offer something different to people who may not have previously heard about the work of the Hospital of God. This club is open to anyone, regardless of their age, and will offer a range of activities based on the interests of the people going e.g. social dancing, art, cooking, gardening etc. The Thursday Evening club will be a place where people can come to learn new skills, meet new friends and most importantly have fun!
We are also looking for volunteers who may be able to give some of their time to help share their own skills and passions with this Thursday Evening Club. If you, or anyone you know may be interested in either volunteering or attending the new group, please do not hesitate to contact me for further information.
Finally, from everyone at the Hospital of God, may I wish you a very happy Christmas and wonderful New Year.

Welcome to the December Business Durham newsletter **Current**
This month's features include information about:
Business incubator at Salvus House
Matching labour with vacancies
Call for hub partners
Business Park Forums
Networking events
Meet the Team
If you have any projects you would like to discuss with Business Durham please get in touch with the contacts at the end of this newsletter.
More Information

Durham Cancer Young Carers - Award**Current**

Last week was the National Children and Young People Now Awards in London, and we were nominated by Durham County Council under the Young Carers category: Supporting Children in a Cancer Caring Role. We won the ‘Highly Commended’ Award under this category, and as you can imagine we were delighted with this! We took two young people with us, and it was all the more special with them there. 
So thank you for your support, and I hope that we can sustain this project in the new year so that we can continue supporting cancer young carers – in County Durham and beyond!
Belinda Tweed
Macmillan Family Support Worker
Family Action The Bridge Young Carers
South County Durham Young Carers                North County Durham Young Carers
Butterwick Hospice                                           West Walk 4B
Woodhouse Lane                                               Bowes Bus Park
Bishop Auckland                                               Lambton Park, Ch-le-st
DL14 6JU                                                          DH3 4PQ
T:0191 383 2520
M: 07805 990908

Personal Assistants on Locate **Current**
Personal Assistants can help people with care and support needs live independently in their own home.
Personal Assistants looking for employment can register their details on Durham County Council’s Locate website and prospective employers can search for Personal Assistants using a range of criteria.
If you are a Personal Assistant and wish to register, contact the Direct Payments team on 03000 268 200 for an application form.

Life in the Footsteps of a care leaver - Challenge! **Current**

Durham Children in Care Council are holding a challenge for policy holders, decisions makers and anyone working with children and young people to sign up to one or two weeks: ‘Living life in the footsteps of a care leaver’. This means living on a budget of £57.90 a week.
The aim of the challenge is to raise awareness of the difficulties care leavers face on a daily basis and hopefully get more people talking about it so that it leads to a change. We want to try and get as much PR as possible.
Lots of Councillors, managers and decision makers within Durham County Council and further afield have signed up already. We wondered if yourself and any of your team/board would be up for the challenge too?
Attached is further information about the event that’s running from the 16th to 29th January. You can sign up for one or two weeks. Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions.
If you want any further information about our Children in Care Council (CICC) you can have a look on our website. www.durhamcicc.co.uk

Woodhouse Close Church Community Centre **Current**

As some of you already know, I am leaving my current post at Woodhouse Close Church Community Centre. My last day is today. Once arrangements for my successor have been confirmed, you will be contacted by the Centre. For any queries in the meantime, please call the office on one of the numbers below.

On a personal note, it has been great to work with you all and I'd like to thank you for your wonderful support for our projects. I hope many of us will stay in contact: this is quite likely, as next week I'll be moving back over the road (literally) to my former Business Development Manager role at Auckland Youth and Community Centre.

All the best, John.

Tel: (01388) 450838 / 602935

Website: http://www.woodhouseclosechurch.org

National Carers Rights Theme for 2016 **Current**

“Getting the right information at the right time”
If you provide unpaid help and support to a family member, friend or neighbour then there has never been a more important time to make sure that you are getting the right advice. Changes in services, benefit rules and challenging times for our economy often means that Carers are under pressure to combine multiple caring roles and the needs of their employers, if they are in work. The peak age for caring is between 45 and 64 and workers of this age have valuable skills and experience yet many say the lack of support with the stress of combining work and caring is the main reason they give up work to care. Nearly one in seven workers is a Carer. One in five Carers gives up work to care.
There are many ways to manage a caring role away from home to make life easier for working Carers, such as medication boxes which “prompt” with an alarm, falls detectors and epilepsy sensors. Welfare reform is focussing very heavily on getting people back to work and Universal Credit is geared towards employment being the “better off” option. We are due to feel the effects of the benefit cap in County Durham in late December this year, so if you are a Carer with any concerns please contact us.
At Durham County Carers Support, we have no requirements around the amount of time spent caring or the need to be in receipt of any benefit to be eligible for our service and we can offer access to a small amount of money for the Carer to access a break such as cinema tickets, mini spa days, a kindle or small notebook. Registration gives Carers access to the Carers Card discount scheme as well as information via free newsletter and a named worker to contact with any issues about the caring role.
Please call us on 0300 0051213 to see how we can help you or visit www.dccarers.org for more information.

Stakeholder announcement from Auckland Castle Trust **Current**
I am writing to confirm that Auckland Castle Trust has signed a short term lease for three floors of Vinovium House, Bishop Auckland, which have stood empty for several years.
Effective from January 2017, the lease will provide interim office accommodation for the charity’s growing number of staff, who are currently split between Auckland Castle and 42 Market Place.
This will allow all staff to remain in a town centre location until building work is completed in the Trust’s £70m development project, including creation of the new Spanish Art Gallery and Faith Museum, which are both due to open in 2019.
Staff currently based at Auckland Castle will move to Vinovium House in early January, with the teams from 42 Market Place following during February and March.
Once the move is complete in March Auckland Castle Trust’s postal address will be Vinovium House, Saddler Street, Bishop Auckland, DL14 7BH.   The main switchboard telephone number will remain 01388 743 750.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any queries

Claire Buchan
Communications Manager
T: 01388 743 750 | D: 01388 743 799
E: claire.buchan@aucklandcastle.org | W: aucklandcastle.org

Growing Durham Newsletter **New**

Welcome to our Autumn Newsletter!
Many of us put the garden to bed at this time of the year, although we will still continue to tidy, mulch the vegetable beds and go on harvesting winter veg like kale and leeks. It's time to get the seed catalogues out and dream about the wonderful things to grow next year. We hope you enjoy our last newsletter for 2016 and look forward to a brand new growing season in 2017.

The Woodpile October/November Newsletter **Current**


Click for more information

Advice network Update **Current**

It is with great pleasure that I can confirm that Sam Scotchbrook has been recruited to replace me as Network Development Officer for Advice in County Durham.

Many of you will know Sam from her involvement in the network to date and we are delighted that she has been able to take on this opportunity.

She will not be taking up her post immediately but all communication to my email address will be redirected to and should be picked up.

As ever, you know that Rachel will be able to field any queries you may have and further details about official Sam’s start date will be released in due course.

I wish her and you all well for the future and look forward hearing of the continued progress of Advice in County Durham.
Kind Regards and thanks for all your support.- Kate
A new way to locate care and support in County Durham **Current**

Locate is County Durhams online directory for care and support information and contains over 3500 services and activities to support adults to live independently

Durham County Newsletter Winter **Current**

Durham County Carers Support address change **Current**

As a charity we are always looking at making our organisation as effective as possible to ensure we can support Carers in the way they need. Over the last few years we have moved buildings several times whilst ensuring our front line staff were still visiting Carers in every town and village in County Durham. We have now decided that it makes sense for all the staff and volunteers to be based in one central location. We have been extremely fortunate in finding premises to  accommodate us all and so we would like to take this opportunity to advise you of our new address.

On the 7th of November we moved to:

Enterprise House
Enterprise City
Meadowfield Avenue
Count Durham
DL16 6JF

Our phone numbers, email addresses and website will all remain the same.

Jan Burden
Durham County Carers Support
Health and Social Care Development Worker
Sustainable Food Cities Newsletter November 2016 **Current**

Welcome to the Sustainable Food Cities newsletter. We are passionate about towns and cities taking a joined up approach to food and want to help public agencies, NGOs, businesses and communities to work together to make healthy and sustainable food a defining characteristic of where they live. If you have news, events or questions for discussion for the newsletter get in touch.
Gateway North East Newsletter **Current**

Please find below an updated from Gateway North East

Co Durham Staff Newsletter November **Current**

The November edition of Buzz has now been published.
This issue includes:
·         Great Staff, Great Stuff Award finalists
·         Gourmet Society staff offer - plus your chance to win an annual membership.
·         Inward investment campaign shines a light on county
·         New home for Newton Aycliffe Library
·         Go Smarter to Work winter roadshows
·         Gala panto returns.

Welcome to PCP's Newsletter! **Current**

  • Please feel free to send it on to friends, family and colleagues who would be interested in learning more about how we promote "health, wellbeing and learning for all" with projects in County Durham, Tees and Sunderland.
  • We, here at PCP, are proud to share the results of our hard work with our valued supporters. This newsletter is one way to thank you for your continuing enthusiasm and involvement in what we do.
  • Click for more information
  • Business Durham Newsletter November 2016 **Current**
  • Welcome to the November Business Durham newsletter. This month's features include information about:
  • Competitions
  • Business Development Programmes
  • Young People & Durham Works
  • Sustainable Transport initiatives
  • Events Durham 2sday & Rail Alliance
  • Aycliffe Business Park event
  • Meet the Team
  • If you have any projects you would like to discuss with Business Durham please get in touch with the contacts at the end of this newsletter.
  • Click for more information
Co Durham Takeover Challenge 2016 **Current**
Activities for the County Councils Takeover Challenge
Identifying VCS stakeholders for children injury prevention workshop  **Current**
  • I am organising a workshop with partners and stakeholders to review the Durham strategy for the prevention of unintentional injuries for children and young people 0-19.
    I am trying to identify organisations, or groups who would have a major remit or interest in prevention of unintentional injuries among child and young people in county Durham.
    Numbers for the workshop are limited, so I’d be seeking contact with organisations who have a particular focus to invite their contribution at this stage.  I have St Johns and Red Cross in mind, but there may be others, or local accident prevention groups. I also have a contact with Carole Hewison (ex Whoops). I have also invited investors in children.
    Carole Wood
    Locum Public Health Consultant
    Public Health Team
    Room 3/56 – 3/71
    Durham County Council
    County Hall
    DH1 5UJ
    Tel:   03000 267680
    Email:  carole.wood@durham.gov.uk  

  • County Durham Partnership Newsletter  **Current**
  • Welcome to the latest edition of Partnership News.
  • If you would like any additional information about any of the articles in our newsletter please visit the County Durham Partnership website or, alternatively, follow the links provided throughout the newsletter. Please feel free to contact us if you require any further information.
  • Derwent Valley News - Winter 2016  **Current**
  • Please find attached the latest edition (winter 2016) of Derwent Valley News, the quarterly newsletter produced by the Derwent Valley Partnership (DVP).
  • This publication will be delivered to homes across the area between w/c 7th November and w/e 25th November 2016.
  • The newsletter promotes our forthcoming Priority Voting Event taking place on Wednesday 30th November, 6pm-8pm at Consett Academy – refreshments will be provided and we will be running interactive workshops so you can come along and vote for your local priorities for the area for 2017/18. If you wish to come along, please contact a member of the team on 03000 260 725 to book your seat – the deadline for bookings is Monday 28th November.
  • In addition to our Forum Event, we will also be hosting our Christmas in Consett event on Friday 2nd December, 4pm-6.30pm in Middle Street, Consett – a range of entertainment will be taking place, our popular Christmas jumper competition is back for its second year and join us as part of our new Illuminated Christmas Parade to view the displays in the shop windows.
  • Food Durham Annual Report  **Current**

  • Please see attached the Food Durham Annual Report

  • Durham County Carers Newsletter  **Current**
  • Please find attached a copy of our latest newsletter. We hope that you that enjoy it and find it of interest. Please feel free to share it with friends and colleagues
  • News from St Margaret's Centre **Current**
  • Autumn 2016
  • Last month St. Margaret’s Centre celebrated its Silver anniversary: 25 years of supporting adults suffering from a wide range of mental health problems. The centre's aim was the same then as it is now, to improve the health and well-being of the community of County Durham through a variety of recovery activities, programmes and courses. We had a lovely day to commemorate the occasion, inviting former colleagues and guests, including two of our founders Ken Garbett and Colin Tonks, to join current staff, trustees and service users for a buffet lunch and cake-cutting ceremony.
  • Click for More Information

Local women celebrate launch of Supporting Sisters **Current**

Local women are set to benefit from the launch of a new project that aims to help them improve their lives. 
Aspire Learning, Support and Wellbeing, a women’s centre based at Rear of Front Street, Chester-le-Street, unveiled a range of exciting new community services as they launched their Supporting Sisters project on Friday. 

Supporting Sisters, funded by a five-year-grant from the Big Lottery Fund, will focus on improving support and wellness for women. It will offer access to one-to-one mentoring, befriending and listening services, as well as support groups, wellness sessions and wider availability of the on-site crèche. 

The project will be supported by trained volunteers who will use their own lived experience of issues to help others. It is hoped the diverse range of services on offer will help women to raise their aspirations and achieve their potential. 
The launch event was attended by local government and community organisations from across the North East and women were invited to celebrate with free hand massages and foot care treatments. 

Speaking at the launch event, Aspire director Janice Rokni, said: “This is such an exciting new journey for Aspire. Supporting Sisters will help women to feel supported and stay well so they can live the lives they want to live. 
“The fantastic level of support we received today shows how much services like this are in demand from local women and other organisations working across the community.” 

To find out more about Supporting Sisters, including how to volunteer, contact Aspire on (0191) 389 1504 or email sisters@aspire-northeast.co.uk 


Sustainable Food Cities Newsletter October 2016 **Current**

Welcome to the Sustainable Food Cities newsletter. We are passionate about towns and cities taking a joined up approach to food and want to help public agencies, NGOs, businesses and communities to work together to make healthy and sustainable food a defining characteristic of where they live. If you have news, events or questions for discussion for the newsletter get in touch.
CHAPS Chairman recognised by Stanley Town Council **Current**

Douglas Carmichael, Chairman of CHAPS, was personally recognised by Stanley Town Council along with seven other residents, who each received the Chairman's Award, for "services to the community".  The Town Council put on a gala evening with dinner, entertainment, awards, and entertainment to finish.  Each recipient had an excellent story of their service/action in Stanley over the past year, and the honour of receiving the awards were stated in their acceptance speech.  Douglas thanks Town Councillor Geoff Graham for the nomination, and for those who turned out to support him on the evening; Thomas Nearney, Daniel O'Brien, Susan Tron, Karen Pinnell, Bev Briggs, Tony Harrington, Geoff's wife Marcelle and Doug's wife Sheila.
CHAPS - Community Horticultural And Planter Society
25 Viscount Close
Catchgate, Stanley
Co. Durham
Tel: 01207 658 483
Follow CHAPS on Facebook on link https://www.facebook.com/groups/517451211770945/

Transport help to Access Employment **Current**

A new scheme is helping people get established in their first six months of employment.


Funded by Chester-le-Street, Stanley and Mid Durham Area Action Partnerships (AAPs), with a £50,000 grant contribution from the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (NELEP), Wheels to Work aims to ensure travelling is not a barrier for those starting in their new role or training. 


Anyone aged 16 or over who has a provisional licence can hire one of 30 mopeds. People have the option to borrow either a 50cc moped for £25 a week or a 125cc for £30 a week.


The cost will cover Compulsory Basic Training (CBT), protective clothing, a heavy duty lock, insurance, breakdown cover, servicing and maintenance of the moped.


After the loan period, and in partnership with the local Credit Union, there may be an option to buy the moped.


Mandy Hall, Chair of Trustees of the Wheels to Work Project, said: “We recognised that often jobs exist but due to shift patterns and transport routes across County Durham it can be difficult to get to work for the time you need to start.


“If you are in the North Durham area then I would encourage you to get in touch to see if this scheme can be of benefit. The referral process also looks at other possible transport solutions such as car sharing as well as a scooter loan.”


After working on similar schemes in Derbyshire, staff from Rural Action Derbyshire will now be based in County Durham to deliver the project across County Durham.


Sandie Abberley, Wheels to Work Manager said: “This is an exciting opportunity for us to use what we have learned through the development of a successful Wheels to Work scheme in Derbyshire over the past 12 years.

“We are looking forward to offering residents in the eligible areas of County Durham the chance to take up work or training opportunities where lack of transport has up to now been a barrier.”  


To find out more information about the scheme or to sign up, visit http://www.wheelstowork.org/county-durham, email info@wheelstowork.org or call 01629 592975.

Investing in Children Film #4 **Current**

Investing in Children had their 21st celebration event on 1st September 2016 and we made a film that represents Investing in Children and their values.

Please see the link to #4 https://youtu.be/2EVSCOkreXs

We hope you enjoy it :)


CHAPS - Big Lottery Fund Good news **Current**


Great news for Stanley’s award winning, community cohesion, grassroots group, CHAPS. 

CHAPS, Community Horticultural And Planter Society, has built on its successful Planter Projects in neighbourhoods around Stanley, to capture a Big Lottery Fund grant to promote Celebrating positive spirit in the communities. 
CHAPS was born out of a 2015 Planter Project in Catchgate, by the retired couple Douglas and Sheila Carmichael, recently from Canada.  The Carmichael’s chatted with all their neighbours, but noted that they didn’t talk to each other.  Believing that good neighbourhoods relied on personal interaction of the residents to create a friendly and positive spirit, the Planter project was started to get neighbours out of their house and participate together in a fun event.  Every household involved received FREE a handmade wooden planter, summer bedding plants and soil and compost.  To get it they had to come out and plant it up themselves … and while doing it, meet and talk to their neighbours.  The planters were placed in their front gardens which made a great display for our corner of the estate in Catchgate.

This first effort was funded through the Stanley Area Action Partnership, assisted by Civic Pride County Council and everyone proclaimed it to be a rousing success!
In 2016 we expanded the project in Catchgate and started another in South Moor and did a major planter on Stanley Front Street in support of Stanley in Bloom.  And we continue to grow.

In July 2016, The Big Lottery Fund launched a £5m Celebrate grant programme to highlight what makes neighbours great.  They want local groups to hold events that will bring people together and celebrate positive living in England. 
Now that CHAPS has secured the grant, we will finalize our plans to celebrate a good time with our neighbours.  Our Autumn replanting with Winter plants and Spring bulbs will take place in Horizon Estate and Harperley Gardens, Catchgate on the weekend of October 22/23.  The Famous Ladies Estate in South Stanley and The Haven, South Moor events will take place October 26th and 27th.  The Stanley Front Street Planter replant will be November 3rd/4th subject to weather, and all “hands on” volunteers will be treated to a free fish and chips lunch courtesy of the Big Lottery Fund Celebrate programme. 
CHAPS is planning their 2017 programme right now, and if any neighbours would like to get involved for their neighbourhood, just email CHAPS at chaps.planters@gmail.com or call 01207 658483.  We are looking for eight groups of neighbours in and around the Stanley area, two in each of the four electoral Wards.  It’s free and you end up with a better neighbourhood … what do you have to lose!!!


Older workers are vital for the future of the economy **Current**

This week, Business in the Community launched a major new report - Age in the Workplace - which is supported by Centre for Ageing Better and advises employers on how to implement practical changes to create age friendly workplaces. At this time of change and uncertainty in the UK, harnessing the benefits that older workers can bring to workplaces and the economy is more important than ever.

As part of the report’s launch, leading businesses are calling on employers across the UK to do more to retain and recruit older workers. Those calling for action include Aviva, Barclays, Boots, the Co-operative Group, EY, Home Instead Senior Care, the Royal Air Force and the Department for Work and Pensions.

See the full story here.

Talent Match Helps More Young People Find Work And Training **Current***
Two young men from County Durham who underwent a training scheme and  and then were taken on by a local company have told unemployed over 18’s how they did it.

Kieron Johnson, 21 and Scott Musgrave, 25, both from Newton Aycliffe, spoke to visitors at the National Careers Service event in Bishop Auckland to encourage them to sign up to the Talent Match Scheme. Northern communities’ charity DISC runs the Talent Match programme in County Durham for local young people.
The scheme provides tailored support with job searches, funding, training and work experience for people aged between 18 and 24 who are struggling to find work.

Kieron said: “Before working with Talent Match, I was stuck in dead end jobs.
“Now, after working with people on-site with different trades and ages, I’m much more confident.
“I’m happy that I’ve got a real job that offers career progression and getting my Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card means I can work on building sites across the country.”
Kieron now works for More Time, a not-for-profit social enterprise based in Newton Aycliffe. He spoke to young people who showed an interest in the programme.

Scott has also started working for More Time. He said “this is the first proper job  I’ve had. I never thought that I’d be able to do something like this. Or to be able to speak to other people to persuade them to get some good training.”
Kate Thompson, DISC’s Youth Coach, manages the Talent Match programme.
She said: “Kieron and Scott’s positive attitude helped recruit more than 30 people at the event for one-to-one sessions, to begin the process of securing training or employment.”

The event was organised by The National Careers Service and was held at Bishop Auckland Town Hall. As well as Talent Match, well-known organisations including the NHS, HM Revenue and Customs and The Army were also in attendance.
Hospital of god newsletter **Current***

Please find attached the autumn newsletter for the Hospital of God Durham services, which gives an outline of what the charity has been doing over the past couple of months when working with people with dementia.

Bullion Hall DBS Checks Service **Current***

We offer DBS checks for vol orgs and community groups, organisations will need to become members of Bullion Community Resource Centre ( free of charge) see attached .

Charges are              Volunteers       £15  Paid staff VCS Organisations    £60  Statutory/commercial organisations   £80
This may be subject to review
For a DBS check please contact Karen Smith (cc’d into this email). Or ring 0191 3890293

New commission set up after collapse of North East devolution deal **Current***
A North East Devolution Commission has been founded to explore ideas for the region’s future following the collapse of the devolution deal.  Chaired by North East businessman and former LEP board member Jeremy Middleton, who also wanted to become the region’s first directly-elected mayor, the commission is made up of experts in areas of policy that could be devolved to all or part of the region.
The commission will address how devolution could help secure the region’s NHS and social care; create more and better-paid jobs in the North East; help to provide the region’s young people with the skills they need for work, provide a better planning process and deliver more homes; improve the North East’s environment; and boost volunteering, charities and philanthropy in the region. The commission will now release a series of policy papers over the coming months.
Surviving or Thriving - Latest results show a significant increase in demand **Current***
The 8th VCSE sector survey ’Surviving or Thriving’ results are out, with the most significant headline figure showing an increased demand for services alongside increases in the number of people organisations are supporting.72% have had an increase in the numbers of beneficiaries, no doubt down to the impact of cuts to local authority budgets and services, welfare reform and increases in those living in poverty and debt.
However, the increase in demand and beneficiaries isn’t matched by a significant increase in income, nor is it matched by a corresponding increase in human resources. The majority of respondents in this latest survey reported no change to numbers of volunteers or paid staff, which indicates the sector is attempting to meet increased demand without expanding its human resource capacity. Read more and download the full report here.
Partner Update: Brighter future for youth employment with DurhamWorks **Current***

Almost 6,000 unemployed 16—24 year olds are to benefit after Durham County Council secured £17m to kick start the DurhamWorks project to help them on their pathway to employment.
DurhamWorks is a dedicated service for all young people aged 16-24 living in County Durham who are not in education, employment, or training including young people with caring responsibilities.   It provides information, help and guidance to help young people get on in education, work and in life.
It’s a complete package of support that provides young people with all the help and support they need to reach their potential.  Young people will be able to access an array of activities and personalised support to enter and remain in training or employment (including self-employment and social enterprises). And there is specialist and mainstream training and education to support them on their career pathway.
With a range of tailored activities and pathways DurhamWorks can support in a wide range of ways to help young people move into traineeships, work experience, volunteering opportunities, supported internships, apprenticeships and much more.
There is additional support to help young people who need extra help, with specialist support to remove any barriers to taking part. This may include putting support in place to help manage caring responsibilities or childcare; or getting support for managing behaviour or substance misuse. 
Supportive and non- judgemental DurhamWorks highly qualified and experienced careers advisors will provide tailored one-to-one support throughout the journey. And there is support for local employers to help them create meaningful opportunities for young people who are signed up to the DurhamWorks project.
If you would be interested in finding out more about how DurhamWorks can help you or you would like to make an appointment to see an advisor contact us on 03000 262619 or email DurhamWorks@durham.gov.uk
Children's mental health 'linked to family debt' **Current***

Around five per cent of children living in households that have no difficulties with debt are predicted to have low wellbeing, compared with 23 per cent of those with debt arrears, research by The Children's Society shows. The charity, which carried out a series of interviews with young people and parents, as well as analysing data including the Millennium Cohort Study, also found that the number of debts, rather than overall amount of debt, is linked with poorer mental health in children. 

Munby warns of looming care system 'crisis' **

Sir James Munby, president of the Family Division, said the court system is struggling to cope with the demands being made of it, adding that there does not appear to be a strategy for addressing the situation. In August, a total of 1,254 applications were received by Cafcass, an increase of 34 per cent compared with August 2015's total of 941.  

Childcare funding reform allocations fail to plug provision gaps **

Funding allocated to individual councils under the government's proposed early years national funding formula does not prioritise areas that most need to boost childcare places, the Family and Childcare Trust (Fact) has warned.

Investing in Children Film #3 **Current***

Investing in Children had their 21st celebration event on 1st September 2016 and we made a film that represents Investing in Children and their values.

Please see the link to #3 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XV8AhsgZ-FU
We hope you enjoy it :)


Investing in Children Film #2 **

Investing in Children had their 21st celebration event on 1st September 2016 and we made a film that represents Investing in Children and their values.

Please see the link to #2 https://youtu.be/e5S4vL0xkR0 We hope you enjoy it :) 

New IIP award for DISC **Current**

Northern charity DISC has been awarded silver accreditation against the Investors in People Standard, demonstrating their commitment to high performance through good people management.
The organisation, which has over 500 people and 80 volunteers, has an annual turnover of £23m. It has more than 35 delivery centres across the North East, North West, Yorkshire and Humberside. DISC 's services cover areas such drugs and alcohol, housing related support, housing, employment, training and education, health and well-being, children, young people and families, women, criminal justice and community and offender rehabilitation.  It also runs the MoreTime social enterprise.

Investors in People is the international standard for people management, defining what it takes to lead, support and manage people effectively to achieve sustainable results. Underpinning the Standard is the Investors in People framework, reflecting the latest workplace trends, essential skills and effective structures required to outperform in any industry. Investors in People enables organisations to benchmark against the best in the business on an international scale.
Paul Devoy, Head of Investors in People, said: “We’d like to congratulate DISC. Investors in People accreditation is the sign of a great employer, an outperforming place to work and a clear commitment to success. DISC should be extremely proud of their achievement.”
Commenting on the award, Judith MacPherson, Director of Central Support Services at DISC, said: “We have demonstrated our commitment to high performance through good people management.
“Silver accreditation is expected to be awarded only to the top 5 percentile of organisations assessed.
“This is a fantastic achievement for DISC, especially bearing in mind the significant growth and change to the composition of the workforce that has been experienced recently.”
The charity’s Chief Executive Officer Paul Townsley said: "Achieving IIP Silver is a great affirmation of DISC.
“This accreditation reinforces our view of the high levels of competence and dedication in our workforce. It also highlights the strength of our management systems and processes and that our plans to improve are robust and match IIP’s criteria.”
For more information about Investors in People please visit www.investorsinpeople.com

Sustainable Food Cities Newsletter September 2016 **Current**

Welcome to the Sustainable Food Cities newsletter. We are passionate about towns and cities taking a joined up approach to food and want to help public agencies, NGOs, businesses and communities to work together to make healthy and sustainable food a defining characteristic of where they live. 

If you have news, events or questions for discussion for the newsletter get in touch.

Environment Partnership newsletter - Altogether greener**Current**

The autumn edition of the Environment Partnership newsletter is now available on the Environment Partnership website.


Altogether greener newsletter Autumn 2016

The Wood Pile Newsletter **Current**

Click here for our latest newsletter

DISC Recovery Community attends Recovery Event **Current**


Members of staff and service users from DISC’s drug and alcohol projects based in North Yorkshire, Leeds, Manchester and Calderdale will be travelling to Merseyside this weekend to take part in the UK Recovery Walk.

More than 40 people from Leeds’ drug and alcohol service Forward Leeds and the recently opened Recovery Academy on Hollis Place, off Burley Road, will be joined by up to 50 others from The Space, Spacious Places, Learning to Live Again, Change Live Grow and Mabgate Mills.

Meanwhile, over 50 people from North Yorkshire’s drug and alcohol service North Yorkshire Horizons, and 35 from Recovery Steps Calderdale will also be taking part.

The annual Recovery Walk is being held this Saturday (September 10th) in Halton near Liverpool, and DISC has continued to sponsorship the event again this year in recognition of the importance of it as a means of encouraging the recovery community to come together to celebrate success.

The event is a chance for staff and service users to get together meet people from other parts of the county to celebrate the achievements of individuals in recovery, and to acknowledge the work of prevention, treatment, and recovery service providers.

Lisa Parker, Executive Director at DISC says; “This is the largest number of people we’ve ever had sign up to attend the Recovery Walk.”

“It’s a chance to highlight the citizenship of groups and to show they have joined together to publicise their journey to recovery. Lots of people attended the Durham event last year and it was great fun so I am sure everyone is really looking forward to it again.”

Funding for the coaches was awarded by DISC, with £450 donated by the charity from its Service User Fund to help groups attend the event.

Training and Conference Room Hire at East Durham Partnership **Current**

East Durham Partnership is a registered charity based on the coastline of Horden in East Durham, within easy access of the A19.

We now have available, two training and meeting rooms which boast full IT provision and meeting facilities.
EDP has wheelchair access and disabled parking bays, car park and  full cafeteria facilities.

Room 1 – Meeting Room & Training Suite
Fully IT equipped training room consisting of:
15 networked computer stations
1 x Tutor computer station that can be used through a multi-point connection
Overhead Projector and white screen
Meeting table that seats 16 chairs or tables can be separated for training purposes and small group work.
Hire rate is £10 per hour with free, unlimited Internet use.

Room 2 – Meeting Room, Training Suite & Business Centre
Please note: This suite is situated up stairs with no wheelchair access.
The suite has three main areas, which includes, 20 IT stations, Meeting Room to accommodate 14 people, plus a fully integrated, self-contained kitchen and air conditioning.
This larger room is £15 an hour
Block booking rates available on request for both rooms. Full admin and IT support is on hand
Call  -  Derek Hardy  0191 5868493 East Durham Partnership, 1 Kilburn Drive, Sea View Industrial Estate, Horden SR8 4TQ

County Durham Locate **Current**

Do you work with people who with people who may need help to live as independently as possible?
Locate, Durham County Council’s online directory of information contains over 3,500 services and activities to support adults to live independently.

A new development on Locate, called ‘My needs’ gives people the opportunity to consider how or where they may require a little extra help in their daily lives.

By answering a few simple questions, those with care and support needs may be able to find services to help them.
For further information, please access the user guide and short video on Locate.

Nouveau Wellbeing September Newsletter **Current**

Welcome to Nouveau Wellbeing  SEPTEMBER NEWSLETTER

We are an award winning Social Enterprise working across the North East & Yorkshire

New 105 Power Cut Phone Line Launched **Current**
The free service, delivered and funded by electricity network operators including Northern Powergrid, is a first for the UK energy industry and will help ensure people across our region get the support they need.
It complements the choice of ways Northern Powergrid customers can contact us to report a power cut and get updates, which include 24-hour support through our contact centre, Facebook and Twitter, and our online power cut map.
To find out more about how Northern Powergrid is supporting this new service visit our new-look website which will promote 105 and showcase how we deliver new connections, engage with local communities and invest in the region's power network.
Raising awareness of 105 will continue in the weeks and months ahead and a national radio, bus and digital advertising campaign started today.
Any support you, or your organisation, can provide to maximise 105 awareness is welcome and a range of downloadable materials are available for use on websites, social media and appropriate external or internal publications.

If You Care Share **Current**


It’s that time of year again when you can register for If U Care Share Foundation’s (IUCSF) annual ‘Inside Out’ day. Registration via the website is now open!

The national campaign aims to raise awareness of suicide prevention and start a conversation about how we are feeling. Far too many people who take their own life have no prior signs or contact with mental health services. The aftermath of suicide is both devastating and life changing not just for families and friends but whole communities as they feel the impact of such a loss. The result? Those that are left behind have their lives quite literally turned ‘Inside Out’.
IUCSF believe that suicide is preventable and sometimes talking about our feelings can save lives. 

The campaign itself is very simple; all we are asking is for people from all over the country and all walks of life to get involved on the 10th September (or 9th September if your organisation is not open on Saturdays), to coincide with Worldwide Suicide Prevention Day and wear at least one item of clothing ‘Inside Out’.

As well as this, we ask you to wear an ‘#ASKMEWHY’ sticker, which we will provide you with, as this is a perfect way to start a conversation,  enabling us to bring the ‘Inside Out’. Then simply take a #ASKMEWHY selfie of you with your sticker in your ‘inside out’-fit and share on social media. 

Council budget consultation – until 7 October 2016 **Current**
The council has now launched its council budget consultation which will continue until 7 October 2016. 
Over the last five years we’ve faced one of the greatest financial challenges in our history, having to save more than £180 million. By contrast, the combined budgets of all previous seven district councils in Durham was just over £60 million. Funding from government has gone down year after year while demand for services has increased. As a result, we have made huge changes to the way we work and deliver services.
We aim to get as many responses to our proposals from the general public, the community and voluntary sector, our partners and businesses.
There are a number of ways in which you can have your say.  Please go online on http://www.durham.gov.uk/Budget  for details of how to get involved or to complete an online survey.  Please circulate as widely as possible through your networks.
If you have any queries, please contact 03000 263593 or email countydurhampartnership@durham.gov.uk

Training for Community Peer Mentors extended to Bishop Auckland **Current**
VOLUNTEERS who are keen to support vulnerable and isolated people in Bishop Auckland are being sought to take part in the second ever Community Peer Mentor training course.
The Community Peer Mentors project supports those suffering from anti-social behaviour or neighbourhood disputes, perceived or real. It also aims to help reduce the pressure on frontline services by engaging with individuals who make frequent calls and demands on services.
The free-of-charge training course in Bishop Auckland follows a successful course held in Darlington earlier in the year. Once trained, Community Peer Mentors will work in pairs with individuals to find the reasons behind their behaviour or why they feel the way they do and encourage them to find ways to get the help and support they need.
Durham Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner (PCVC) Ron Hogg said: “This project is really going from strength to strength which is great news for our communities. Our Community Peer Mentors in Darlington have helped people who are isolated and feel vulnerable, and in turn they have found it a rewarding experience to help others when they need it the most.
“I strongly encourage new volunteers in the Bishop Auckland area to come forward and get involved in this unique and rewarding scheme.”
The five-week course will take place at Bishop Auckland Community Fire Station from 6pm, from Wednesday 28 September; sessions last for 2 ½ hours.  No previous experience in volunteering or supporting people is needed as training is provided. There is no upper age restriction and relevant travel expenses will be paid.
Cllr Joy Alan, Portfolio Holder for Safer Communities and Bishop Auckland County Councillor said “I am delighted that this ground-breaking scheme is being rolled out in County Durham.  I have every confidence the Community Peers Mentor programme will build on the early successes achieved in Darlington and help those most in need of support here in Bishop Auckland.”
Councillor Bill Dixon, Leader of Darlington Borough Council, said:  “I am delighted at the success of our earlier project and pleased that more people have the chance to get involved. This is a fascinating and intensely rewarding area of voluntary work where you can make a real difference to people at a very difficult time in their lives.”
Applicants are invited to contact Jim Cunningham for more information or to register their interest on: 0300 003 1818 or email: jim.cunningham@restorativehub.org.uk.

A DURHAM-based firm has expanded within its first year and taken on four new recruits.
Concision, a specialist writing company, began trading in Durham just under a year ago. Since then they’ve helped businesses from different sectors all over the world get their message across by using just the right words.
Concision’s CEO Daniel Roe explains: “More and more, companies are beginning to realise how important it is to cut through the noise by communicating simply and clearly. Quality content is now the key strategy in marketing.”
As a result Concision has been able to expand within their first year, creating four new jobs.
“County Durham is a good place for creative businesses like ours,” continued Daniel. “There is a lot of expertise in the North East that has really benefited us as a start-up, including access to great talent. We have been well positioned for growth from the start.”
Business writers Joseph Costello and Iglika Lax started working with Concision at the beginning of July. Published author Michael Dormandy and Pete Holt will be joining the team at different points in the summer.
Concision has been given financial guidance and support by Jesmond-based Robson Laidler accountants and business advisors. Robson Laidler director and tax advisor Martin Wardle said: “We are proud to have been involved with the business right from the start. It is always satisfying to work with driven business owners to help them achieve their goals.
“Durham is an area of extensive growth and increasing popularity; a hub for entrepreneurs and small businesses looking to develop their brand and reach out and captivate their audience. We love the feeling of supporting local businesses just as much as we relish the opportunity to help a small business get off the ground, wherever they are based.”

Action on Hearing Loss - County Durham & Darlington **Current**

This is to update you on the recent changes to Action on Hearing Loss services within County Durham and Darlington.
Since Jan 2013, 22 drop-ins has been established by Action on Hearing Loss within County Durham and Darlington. These drop-ins provided valuable hearing aid support to patients of Minor Ops Audiology services, as well as information on hearing loss, befriending and signposting to the general public.
Unfortunately, the hearing aid support service has recently come to an end. Clients who attend Action on Hearing Loss drop-ins for their hearing aid servicing will now be referred to Minor Ops Audiology. As far as I’m aware, Minor Ops are delivering a hearing aid servicing drop-in at a few of our drop-in venues. For more information, please contact Minor Ops on 0845 017 9085.
Action on Hearing Loss aim to continue delivering our drop-in services within County Durham and Darlington, offering information on hearing loss and befriending. We are currently organising a new rota for the drop-ins which we will update you in due course. Please dispose of the previous rota of our drop-ins as it is now invalid.
Given the above circumstance, I am saddened to tell you that I will be leaving. I have accepted a job transfer within Action on Hearing Loss to Belfast, Northern Ireland. Although, I am excited too, this will be a new chapter. My contact details will stay the same so please feel free to contact me should you need to.
In my place, Lisa Rankin, will be the contact for County Durham and Darlington. Please find Lisa’s contact details, below.
Lisa Rankin
Head of North Region
Email: Lisa.Rankin@hearingloss.org.uk
Mobile: 07552165776
I wish you all the very best and many thanks for your support over the years. It has been a pleasure working with you all.
Many thanks
Heather Quayle
Community Support Officer – County Durham & Darlington

County Durham Carers Support Newsletter **Current**

Please find attached the latest newsletter from County Durham Carers Support for your information.

St Margaret's Centre - Newsletter #5 **Current**

Welcome to this special edition of the St Margaret's Centre newsletter.
We have just about recovered after our wonderful Open Day last week! The day was a massive success and brought in a lot of old and new faces to take a look at what we do in the centre. It was great to see the place buzzing with activity and real interest – we spoke to a some people who have driven by the centre for years not knowing what we do, and others who used to go to school here many years ago!

Sustainable Food Cities Newsletter August 2016 **Current**

Welcome to the Sustainable Food Cities newsletter. We are passionate about towns and cities taking a joined up approach to food and want to help public agencies, NGOs, businesses and communities to work together to make healthy and sustainable food a defining characteristic of where they live. If you have news, events or questions for discussion for the newsletter get in touch.

Rural Vulnerability Service - Rural Transport - August 2016 **Current**

Welcome to the latest Rural Vulnerability Service newsletter - brought to you by the Rural Services Network in association with Calor.

The vulnerability service aims to disseminate information about three key rural issues: fuel poverty, broadband and rural transport.

County Durham Partnership Newsletter **Current*

Welcome to the latest edition of Partnership News.

If you would like any additional information about any of the articles in our newsletter please visit the County Durham Partnership website or, alternatively, follow the links provided throughout the newsletter. Please feel free to contact us if you require any further information.
Please get in touch if you have any partnership news or issues you would like us to cover in our future newsletters or on our website. We look forward to hearing from you.

DurhamWorks hit 500 participants ** Current**

DurhamWorks is a European Social Funded,Youth Employment Initiative led by Durham County Council. The project aims to increase the participation of young people aged 16-24 living in County Durham who are not in education, employment or training (NEET). Since early 2016, working in partnership with a range of organisations, DurhamWorks
has worked with hundreds of young people and helped many of them into training, apprenticeships and employment. As of
July 2016, the project has already helped over 500 young people to access support and improve their future.
Lucy is one of many young people who have taken part in the project so far. She has developed her social skills, confidence and self-esteem with support from DurhamWorks. Her youth coach helped her to apply for jobs and apprenticeships and to prepare for interviews. Following a successful interview, Lucy was offered a work trial and has now
been taken on as an apprentice in a coffee shop. She is doing brilliantly and has settled in well. She still works with her youth coach and receives extra support when necessary. Lucy is so pleased with the support she received she has recommended her friendto DurhamWorks!
If you know of any young people who need assistance in accessing opportunities, please contact DurhamWorks on 03000 262930 email us at durhamworks@durham.gov.uk or http://www.durhamworks.info

County Durham Dementia Advisor Service Newsletter No. 1 Aug 2016 **Current**

Please see attached the first edition of regular, bi-monthly newsletters from the Durham Dementia Advisor Service.  I hope that you find it useful and informative.
Please feel free to share it with your colleagues as appropriate

New Website For Prisoners’ Families Charity In The North East**Current**
Nepacs, a long standing north east charity, has launched a new website this week to support families and friends of prisoners and professionals in the north east.
Staff and volunteers from Nepacs provide a number of services to support friends and families of prisoners in the seven prisons within the north east. These include prison visitors' centres and tea bars, play sessions for prisoners' children, special family visits, youth projects, family support services, and support within Middlesbrough and Durham courts. Nepacs also provides family and parenting support to offenders and their families in the Northumberland, Tyne and Wear area.
Nepacs new website (www.nepacs.co.uk) includes a range of information to help families and friends of prisoners or offenders and professionals working in the north east, including:
-       Prison visiting information – how to book, ID requirements, location of the prison
-       Availability of special family visits – including parent/child, family learning and new dad visits
-       Support available from Nepacs at court, at prison, on release and in the community
-       Training opportunities for professionals working with families and children
-       How to get involved with Nepacs – as a volunteer, through donations etc
The new website is also accessible to non-English speaking visitors thanks to the translate feature.
Helen Attewell, chief executive of Nepacs, said: “When people go to prison, they sometimes feel like they are on a dead end path with no way to get back to a productive life. We know that families can be the key to helping prisoners get back on a path to a positive future - by providing love, support, somewhere to live and a positive identity within the family (dad, mum, son).
“This is why we work with prisoners and their families or friends to help maintain family ties throughout a sentence, helping families (especially children) survive the difficult and sometimes distressing journey, and giving the prisoner the chance to take a new road to a better future.
“Our new website supports the work of our staff and volunteers by providing an additional route to information, which is easier to navigate for families and professionals, and gives up to date advice, information and support.” 
For more information about Nepacs and the services available to anyone impacted by imprisonment in the north east visit www.nepacs.co.uk  

SMC Newsletter **Current**
Welcome to the fourth edition of the St Margaret's Centre newsletter. Our featured artwork above is  by  Mick,  who  has  been  working  on  this hand-painted  alphabet  jigsaw  for  a  while  now  –  a mammoth project and a wonderful gift to his niece!

Youth Homeless North East Newsletter**Current**

Please share this information with your colleagues.  If you would like to share your own information and have it posted on the Youth Homeless North East website please email: info@youthhomelessnortheast.org.uk
New Manager - Moving On (Durham) Limited **Current**

I would like to inform everyone that we have appointed a new manager here at Moving On – Charlotte Lee. Charlotte started her new role with us yesterday and I wonder if you could add her to the circulation list for any future correspondence.
I am remaining in post until the end of the year to help settle Charlotte into her new post and to complete some specific projects.
Sue Ryland
Manager, Moving On (Durham)
Mobile 07540 821545

MHNE Bulletin August 2016 **Current**

Please find attached the August Mental Health North East bulletin which includes regional and national news, events and opportunities as well as the latest MHNE updates. 
If you have any comments on this or a previous issue or contributions for future bulletins please email me at victoria.mcgowan@mhne.org.uk


Finchale Newsletter **Current*

It’s been a really busy couple of months here at Finchale and we are excited to announce that our new course prospectus is no w out!!!  I’m delighted to be able to share our new developments with you and trust that you’ll find our information useful, engaging and informative. 

Be sure to follow us on Twitter @Finchale_org for additional articles on health to work, plus Finchale news more frequently!  Here at Finchale we are always keen to hear from like minded people so do get in touch and please feel free to share our information  with your friends, colleagues and contacts

New outreach service for vulnerable and intimidated witnesses **Current**

I would like to raise awareness of the new Outreach Service provided by the Witness Service for vulnerable and intimidated witnesses giving evidence in criminal trials.

The service will be provided in all three counties in the North East by trained volunteers, overseen by myself, and will include meeting vulnerable and intimidated witnesses away from the court environment, either at their home or other agreed safe place, to assess their needs and provide support. Together with the witness, and where appropriate their carer/support worker/parent/guardian, develop a tailored plan of preparation and support.

Using this plan, the volunteer will offer sensitive and supportive preparation to vulnerable and intimidated witnesses prior to them giving evidence in criminal trials. The purpose of this preparation and support is to help reduce their anxiety and trauma and enable them to give their best evidence.

I would be grateful if you could advertise the outreach roles to volunteers on your website. If you would like to know more, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Ami Dodd
Team Leader (Outreach Services)
Northumbria, County Durham and Cleveland
Citizens Advice Witness Service
Newcastle Crown Court: 03003321279 
Mobile: 07775414245

You Tube Link for County Durham Credit Union Promotion **Current**

Hello All County Durham Campaign Contacts
County Durham Council have made a fantastic video to promote the local Credit Unions being Prince Bishops and North East First. The video is fantastic it warns against pay day lenders, door step lenders and more importantly from my point of view loan sharks.
Click on the link below to view this short video. Or copy and paste it into your internet search bar
Live link - https://youtu.be/qexYQ4sBHdY 

I would  encourage you to put this on Facebook and Twitter pages you have to get your tenants, residents customers to sign up and be made aware of Credit Unions.

The Right Voice: latest news on IiC's work with children and young people **Current**

What a mess adults seem to be making of the world, of the UK in particular at the moment. The aftermath of Brexit could not be a better example of how not to go about things. More than 70% of young voters voted to remain part of the EU, unfortunately there was a higher turnout of older voters many of whom voted to leave. 

What a legacy we are leaving behind us! Investing in Children, along with other young people’s organisations throughout the UK, was involved in a campaign with Bite the Ballot to encourage young people to register to vote. There was a massive increase in numbers of young people’s registering, unfortunately maybe not enough. Maybe now is the time to re-think young people’s involvement in democracy and to make the case for participatory democracy rather than representative democracy and now is exactly the right time to re-ignite the debate about children’s human rights.

Barnard Castle Office  Has Moved!**Current**

We have recently moved our Barnard Castle office into new premises, therefore for your records the new address is shown below:
Flatts Road
Barnard Castle
Co. Durham
DL12 8AA
Allison McAlroy
Management Administrator
0191 372 6702
Extn 6702

Growing Durham July Newsletter **Current**
Here at the DCA office we decided it was time to practice what we preach and grow some edibles for staff to munch on over the summer months.  We have some green space but also a lot of rabbits so we decided to go for hanging baskets planted with tomatoes, strawberries and some bits and pieces left over from our own gardens (purple basil and nasturtiums). 
Growth is a bit slow - maybe due to sporadic watering? but they are all still alive and the black cherry tomato has set fruit so we are hoping for some pickings later in the month.  In the meantime, they are looking quite decorative and we can pick basil and nasturtium leaves to jazz up our salads!

Nepacs family support for prisoners works! **New**
An independent evaluator of a local charity’s family support programme working in north east prisons states “Nepacs family support works!”
Dr Christopher Hartworth, from Barefoot Research, presented findings of an end of year three evaluation of the Nepacs’ integrated family support project (2013 to 2016) at an event which took place in Durham last month – for Nepacs staff and volunteers working across the north east.
Nepacs is a long standing north east charity which works across the north east region to support a positive future for prisoners and their families. The Big Lottery Reaching Communities programme funded the Nepacs family support project which consisted of three family support workers (based in HMP Holme House, HMP Kirklevington Grange and HMYOI Deerbolt) and two integrated family support advocates.
The specialist family support workers provided prison based family-focused casework to prisoners, most of whom self referred into the project.
The advocates raised awareness within community agencies of the needs of prisoners’ families and their support requirements to help them develop and deliver services. A key way of achieving this remains through the delivery of Hidden Sentence training to professionals working with children and families, which highlights the impact of a prison sentence on the family.
During the last three years alone the family support team has provided support to a total of 1,379 prisoners and 301 families in the community - focusing on maintaining and strengthening family relationships. The project has also delivered Hidden Sentence training to 594 professionals in community venues and prisons.
When data on participants in the project was entered into the Police National Computer a year after they had been released from prison, a clear link with reduction of reoffending was demonstrated.
Dr Christopher Hartworth, author of the report states: “Nepacs family support work has been instrumental in supporting and improving conditions for prisoners who are parents, delivering new or adding value to existing visiting opportunities such as parent child visits, delivering parenting courses and advocating for the needs of prisoners’ families at strategic opportunities with prisons and with partner organisations across the north east.
“It also shows a number of beneficial impacts on prisoners, families and children. The children, in particular, had an exceptionally positive experience spending quality time on special visits with their family member in prison.”
Helen Attewell, chief executive of Nepacs, said: “The family support project has been growing and developing for over five years and we are thrilled with the most recent evaluation report. Not only has the project demonstrated real benefits for prisoners and their families, in terms of strengthened family relationships, improved parenting skills, and better mental health but for the first time, we are able to show how our project has helped reduce reoffending on a regional level.
“Over the next three years, thanks to additional funding of £300,000 from Big Lottery Reaching Communities, we will be able to build on our existing work at HMP Holme House, Kirklevington, Deerbolt and Low Newton, and develop new services at HMP Durham and HMP Northumberland.”
The family support team are supported by volunteers, who work with families in the visitors’ centres, in prison and in the community. If you are interested in volunteering with Nepacs find out more on their website www.nepacs.co.uk 


Durham LSCB Training 2017 - Venues **Current**

We are planning our training programme for 2017 and are seeking venues at either no cost or low cost. If your organisations has training facilities or uses training facilities in the area that hold up to 25 people please provide us with further details.
Durham LSCB Office
3rd Floor, County Hall
03000 262901

Environment Partnership Newsletter **Current**

Please find below a link to the summer edition of the Environment Partnership newsletter:

Good Fishy News!**Current**

Dear Food Partnership Member

At our procurement conference last Friday we were finally awarded 5 Star Sustainable Fish City status for Durham City. It has taken nearly 2 years to achieve this and a lot of the credit goes to John Turner from Durham University Catering, who put in a lot of work visiting businesses to get us this award. 

We have influenced over 12m meals, and you can find out more about why this is important at http://www.sustainweb.org/sustainablefishcity/

You’ll see from the attached screen shot that we are the 2nd in the UK (or World, as someone tweeted!) to achieve this. I’ve attached the press release and a photo. Despite being widely circulated to local press, I’ve seen no evidence of publication. We did get articles online at The Fish Site and Durham Markets (thanks to both!).
The presentations from the event, including one by Ruth Westcott from Sustain about the Fish City campaign will be available on our website next week.

Contact The Elderly North East News **Current**

We need your help!!
Please see the link below to the brand new and still developing Contact the Elderly North East Facebook page.
If you have Facebook – please visit the page and “like” and encourage anyone you know to do so too.
We’re working hard to reach as many isolated and lonely older people in the North East of England and trying to get the message out to new and existing volunteers and guests so we can keep on developing groups and signposting to partners.
We’ll be updating the page regularly, but would love to hear from you about any stories from groups, news you would like to share, or any suggestions for what you would like featured.
Partner organisations – please let us know if you would like to link up your page with ours – a great way to reach even more people
You can contact me valerie.walker@contact-the-elderly.org.uk  , or my wonderful Communications volunteer Libby, contacttheelderlynortheast@gmail.com  (who did in fact do all of the work!!), to discuss any content, suggestions or joint working
Thanks very much and  best wishes
Valerie Walker
North East Development officer
Telephone 0191 2420186

Updated Contact Details The Feel Good Factory **Current**

Feel Good Factory now has a new address and contact number, can you please update your records and share these details around your networks.

Feel Good Factory North East C.I.C.
The Old Brewery,
Castle Eden,
County Durham.
TS27 4SU
Tel: 01429 839 273

Kind Regards,

Donna Zepernick
Business Coordinator

Brexit: VCS Overview from NCVO **Current**

Please find attached a document produced by NCVO on “Brexit: Implications for the Voluntary Sector”, sent on behalf of Jo Laverick.
Kind Regards
County Durham Partnership
Partnerships and Community Engagement
Durham County Council
Room 4/129
County Hall
03000 263593
E mail: countydurhampartnership@durham.gov.uk

St Margaret's Centre - Newsletter #3, Pebbles and Prints **Current**

Welcome to the third edition of the St Margaret's Centre newsletter. Our featured artwork above is by Sam, who used skills from Olwyn's Discoverability course to make this amazing pebble mandala.

St. Margaret’s Centre supports adults suffering from a wide range of mental health problems. The centre aims to improve the health and wellbeing of the community of County Durham through a variety of recovery activities, programmes and courses.

With the help of our service user reporters, we will be producing a regular newsletter to showcase some of their fantastic work, talk about what St Margaret’s Centre means to them, and tell you how you can get involved in a range of activities.
More information can be found on our website.

Brighter future for youth employment with DurhamWorks **Current**
Almost 6,000 unemployed 16—24 year olds are to benefit after Durham County Council secured £17m to kick start the DurhamWorks project to help them on their pathway to employment.
DurhamWorks is a dedicated service for all young people aged 16-24 living in County Durham who are not in education, employment, or training including young people with caring responsibilities.   It provides information, help and guidance to help young people get on in education, work and in life.

It’s a complete package of support that provides young people with all the help and support they need to reach their potential.  Young people will be able to access an array of activities and personalised support to enter and remain in training or employment (including self-employment and social enterprises). And there is specialist and mainstream training and education to support them on their career pathway.

With a range of tailored activities and pathways DurhamWorks can support in a wide range of ways to help young people move into traineeships, work experience, volunteering opportunities, supported internships, apprenticeships and much more.
There is additional support to help young people who need extra help, with specialist support to remove any barriers to taking part. This may include putting support in place to help manage caring responsibilities or childcare; or getting support for managing behaviour or substance misuse. 

Supportive and non- judgemental DurhamWorks highly qualified and experienced careers advisors will provide tailored one-to-one support throughout the journey. And there is support for local employers to help them create meaningful opportunities for young people who are signed up to the DurhamWorks project.

If you would be interested in finding out more about how DurhamWorks can help you or you would like to make an appointment to see an advisor contact us on 03000 262619 or email DurhamWorks@durham.gov.uk
Mps Praise For Discs Work With Young Unemployed In County Durham **Current**

Workers at a local charity running a Big Lottery project to get young people into work and training, have been praised by their local MP after achieving a 91% success rate.
Northern Communities charity DISC run the Talent Match programme in County Durham for local young people aged between 18 and 24 who are long term unemployed.
Out of 120 young people they have worked with since the DISC project launched in June 2014, 64 have received more education and training and 45 have found a job.
Sedgefield Phil Wilson MP said: “This is excellent news. DISC has done so much to reach young people and help them achieve employment and training.  Ninety one per cent is an amazingly high figure. Congratulations to everyone involved.
And he added: “DISC is a credit to the community.”
DISC’s Youth Coach, Kate Thompson, said: “Even those who have not yet managed to get into employment, training or education with us have gained new skills and moved closer to the labour market”.
The programme works with individuals to provide tailored support, enabling increased confidence by involving the individual in work experience, up skilling and volunteering.
The young people may face barriers such as lack of qualifications, lack of confidence, homelessness and drug and alcohol use. They may attend at DISC’s offices on Horndale Avenue, Newton Aycliffe but youth coaches also meet young people in local community centres, cafes and libraries.
Kate said: “Once successful in moving someone forward, we don’t just abandon them – DISC’s Talent Match staff stay in frequent touch through one to one appointments, phone and social media to ensure continued support.
“We see our service users’ confidence grow and we’re always excited and proud to see how they take on the world from there.”
Kieran Patton, of Newton Aycliffe, who began work at Pound World in Darlington in the Spring said Talent Match’s input was invaluable.
Kieran said: “I’m a much more confident person now – when I first joined the group I was quiet but now I can’t stop talking. I was recently described as a natural at customer service by a mystery shopper – this would have been unthinkable before I joined Talent Match. It did me the world of good and I would recommend it to everyone.”

The Woodpile Newsletter **Current**

Welcome to our dual monthly newsletter, thank you very much for taking the time to read it, we really appreciate all the support, to all the new readers thank you also, some of you we have met at fulfilling lives and others at a volunteers fare. 

If you'd like to get in touch regarding working together in some way please do drop us a line and we can arrange something. enjoy the newsletter. 

Equipment Advice Service **Current*
Do you work with people who struggle with everyday activities due to illness or disability?
Our Equipment Advice Service offers members of the public free impartial advice and guidance on a wide range of daily living equipment and aids.
People can also make an appointment to visit our Independent Living House demonstration centre in Spennymoor to try out products and equipment including a stairlift, bathlifts, walking aids and kitchen equipment before they commit to buying. 
Although equipment cannot be purchased at the Independent Living House, members of staff can provide a list of suppliers.
You can contact the Equipment Advice Service by:
Telephone 03000 265 667
Text message 07880 044719
Open between 10am and 3pm Monday to Thursday.

Parking Wanted in Durham for a Minibus **Current**

We have a minibus that helps take our clients about Durham city area.  We do not have anywhere secure where we can park it overnight and was wondering if there was any charities or other businesses that could help us out.  

Ideally we would like a favour but if we had to pay a small fee this could be arranged. I would be most grateful if you could ask your contacts.
Kind Regards
Mark Roberts
Recovery Academy Durham
Senior Practitioner
County Durham
07912 308 198
0300 266 666 (Option 3 ext:497877)

If U Care Share Need Your Help Please **Current**

You may have seen the article recently announcing we are hoping to move to new offices in the very near future.
As part of the move we need to do a lot of work to make the building as open and welcoming as possible and with your help we can  achieve that. The even better news is it only takes two minutes! We have attached the instuctions of how how to vote.
We have been shortlisted for the Jewsons Buidling better communities fund and have until 19th June to get as many votes as possible. You can vote via Facebook and here is the link to the voting page 

https://www.buildingbettercommunities.co.uk/submission/if-u-care-share-foundation/ We can’t put into words the positive difference this will make in the lives of the people we work with.

There is a lot of competition for this funding and we are currently way behind the leaders in the number of votes. We do know that your support in the past has enabled us to win other competitions and we believe with your help we could do the same again. Every vote counts, so we really appreciate your support! Please pass this email on and ask as many people as possible to vote for us. We’ll keep you updated on our progress - thank you. 

Office Vacancy at Bullion Hall **Current**

From 1st July 2016 we will have an office vacancy at Bullion Hall. The room is 13.35m square .Would suit one or two staff members.
Bullion Hall offers tenants access to the building from 8am -9pm Monday to Friday and weekends by agreement. Other meeting rooms are also available for hire. The building is fully accessible throughout .There are car parking facilities on site as well as access to the neighbouring school playing field outside of school hours. We are within easy reach of the train station, major road networks and regional bus services.
There are staff permanently on site (Walter Smith our Centre Manager and Caretakers – Ian, John and Colin) all of whom are fully trained including  first aid , Levels 3 and 4 in Health and Safety, Fire Marshall , etc. We have a volunteer who is also able to paint and decorate your new office if required.
More tempting than this is the Wait er While café housed at Bullion Hall which provides meals and light refreshments, in-house buffets or food to take away. It has become infamous for the cakes and scones at temptingly low prices.
For further information or to view please contact Walter Smith and his team on 0191 3871149.

Belinda Lowis
Bullion Community Resource Centre is a Company Limited by Guarantee. Registered in England and Wales. Company Number 4046498. Registered Charity Number 1084105. Registered Office: Bullion Hall, South Approach, Chester-le-Street, County Durham. DH2 2DW.Tel 07914755068.

The Right Voice: latest news on IiC's work with children and young people **Current**

These are exciting times for Investing in Children. We have moved into new office accommodation (read on...) which has created lots of new space and given us scope for new opportunities and to look at how we might grow and expand in the future. So watch this space. We also continue to be involved in new areas of work right across the UK, Ireland and in Europe with visits to Sweden, Dublin, Belfast, Salford, London and Gloucester.

The Investing in Children Membership Award™ now has over 500 active sites and we deal with frequent new enquiries. And later this summer we are looking at celebrating our 21st birthday. Please get in touch with any news or stories that you want to share with colleagues.

The Equality Act 2010; the impact on disabled people - House of Lords report **Current**

The House of Lords Select Committee on the Equality Act 2010 investigating the Act's impact on disabled people has concluded that the Government is failing in its duty of care to disabled people.
From taxi drivers refusing to take disabled people, to "disgraceful" accessibility at sports grounds, to pubs and clubs failing to provide disabled toilets, the report, entitled 'The Equality Act 2010: the impact on disabled people', says practice in all areas must be improved.
Developments in recent years have made fighting discrimination more difficult for disabled people. New tribunal fees, less access to legal aid, and procedural changes have combined to create barriers to the effective enforcement of disabled people’s rights. 

Resolver - the free online complaints tool **Current**

Complaining isn't always easy – companies often ignore you, or fob you off with legal jargon. The free online tool Resolver takes the hassle out of making a complaint, by helping you draft a letter, send it, monitor replies and then escalate it to an Ombudsman or key complaint body if it's not sorted.

You can raise almost any kind of complaint with around 29,700 firms and public bodies, including shops, restaurants, energy and telecoms firms, banks and insurance providers. If a company is not listed, you can even ask Resolver to add it by emailing support@resolver.co.uk.

RSVP Volunteer Matters newsletter **Current**

Please find attached summer newsletter for RSVP - Volunteering Matters.  Please feel free to pass to anyone else you think may benefit.

Kate Welch is a recipient of The Queens Award for Enterprise Promotion 2016 **Current**

The Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion recognises individuals who have played an outstanding role in the promotion and growth of business enterprise and/or entrepreneurial skill and attitudes. I am sure you will join us in congratulating a very worthy winner. 

Click for more Information

Caravan available to hire at South Shields in 2016 **

There are many well known benefits to having a holiday or a break away from your home, the barrier at times is finding the right location and being able to afford it. 
Waddington Street Centre may have the answer - our 6 berth 2 bedroom caravan in South Shields on the Sandhaven site - far enough to be away but at the same time close enough so as not to take up 2 precious days travelling there and back. The Centre offers the caravan for low cost holidays at a considerable saving on the commercial price, a great saving in itself and is available to hire for 11 months of the year. The caravan, which is a 2012 model, benefits from having double glazing and central heating and is situated only a matter of 5/10 minutes walk away from the beach and South Shields town centre’s shops and restaurants. An ideal location. 

Wed offer prices at a discount of 65% of the Sandhaven site prices as follows: 
Peak Period --- June,,, July and August
3night peak£220
7 night peak £450
3 night off peak £140
7 night off peak £260
Subject to availability
Should anyone who uses the services provided by your organisation wish to hire the caravan, please get in touch with our Administration Officer Peter Graham-Smith who will be able to advise about availability and the booking procedures. A brochure is attached that you can print out for people who may be interested in hiring the caravan. Should copies of the brochure be required please get in touch. 

We look forward to hearing from you. 
Steve Wakefield 
Centre Manager 

St Margaret's Centre - April Newsletter **Current**

St. Margaret’s Centre supports adults suffering from a wide range of mental health problems. The centre aims to improve the health and well-being of the community of County Durham through a variety of recovery activities, programmes and courses.

With the help of our service user reporters, we will be producing a regular newsletter to showcase some of their fantastic work, talk about what St Margaret’s Centre means to them, and tell you how you can get involved in a range of activities.
More information can be found on our website.

Better Health at Work Awards Evening **Current**
The County Durham Better Health at Work Awards ceremony took place at the Ramside Hall Hotel and Spa to celebrate businesses in County Durham who have successfully achieved the Better Health at Work Award (BHAWA). 
A total of 32 businesses and 164 employees attended the ceremony organised by the Pioneering Care Partnership (PCP) who manage the County Durham sub region of the North East BHAWA.
The ceremony was hosted by Lee Mack, Head of Service Health Improvement at County Durham and Darlington Foundation Trust (CDDFT) who work in partnership with PCP to deliver the award across County Durham. 
Lee Mack said “I am delighted to see so many companies and employees who have gone that extra mile to develop a sustainable culture of health and wellbeing. Businesses of all sizes and sectors were represented including services, manufacturing, engineering, commercial, independent and the public sector – all had a fantastic evening celebrating their achievements. 
It was also great to see the enthusiasm of new organisations, alongside those who have committed to the framework for a number of years and are achieving continuing excellence. As well as employee health and wellbeing, the scheme supports decent work, economic growth and commercial success – goals we can rightly celebrate together.”
The criteria to achieve the awards includes identifying staff ‘health advocates’, providing support to help staff stop smoking, creating a better awareness of how health can be affected by work activities, asking staff what health issues they would like help with and running subsequent health improvement campaigns to address the most popular topics.
Carol Gaskarth, PCP Chief Executive said “PCP were delighted to be hosting this year’s event, and to be delivering the BHAWA in County Durham. It’s so important for employers to encourage good health. Not only does it help the staff themselves but brings enormous benefits to business, the economy of the region and the quality of life of all those who live in the North East. Helping PCP achieve it mission to improve health, wellbeing and learning for all. PCP also picked up a Continuing Excellence award for our commitment to staff health and wellbeing.”
Participation in health improving activities through a workplace health programme allows individuals to develop knowledge, self-management and coping skills as well as build a social support network among co-workers, managers and family.
Businesses which have signed up to the Award have seen a reduction of absence by 0.26 to 2.0 days per employee and an increase in productivity, which means it makes economic sense to be part of the North East BHAWA. Healthy workplaces also benefit from fewer injuries and illnesses, improved job satisfaction and positive workplace morale.
For further information contact PCP at the Pioneering Care Centre, Carer’s Way, Newton Aycliffe DL5 4SF, call 01325 321234, email enquiries@pcp.uk.net or visit

Heel & Toe Tarmac Volunteer Day**Current**

We were delighted to welcome a team of eight volunteers from Tarmac Birtley yesterday who came out to tidy up our garden area.  The volunteers worked hard power washing all the paving stones, removing all the weeds and giving the woodwork a bit of TLC.

The company started supporting us last year, by taking collection tins in their offices and also organised a Fundraising Day in January, where they raised a fantastic £426.  We would like to say a big thank to them all for their continued support and also thank Homebase Team Valley, for donating a lot of the items which the team needed.  

If you or your company would like to support us in any way, please contact us on tel: 0191 386 8606 or email: info@heelandtoe.org.uk 

Durham County Carers Newsletter **Current**

Please find attached a copy of our latest newsletter.
We hope that you enjoy the articles and find it useful. Please don't hesitate to forward it to friends and colleagues.
Office Vacancy at Bullion Hall **Current**

From 1st July 2016 we will have an office vacancy at Bullion Hall. The room is 13.35m square and the rent is £2725 per annum ( subject to between  2%-5% increase as at 1st Oct 2016).
Bullion Hall offers tenants access to the building from 8am -9pm Monday to Friday and weekends by agreement. Other meeting rooms are also available for hire. The building is fully accessible throughout .There are car parking facilities on site as well as access to the neighbouring school playing field outside of school hours.
We are within easy reach of the train station, major road networks and regional bus services.
There are staff permanently on site (Walter Smith our Centre Manager and Caretakers – Ian, John and Colin) all of whom are fully trained including  first aid , Levels 3 and 4 in Health and Safety, Fire Marshall , etc. We have a volunteer who is also able to paint and decorate your new office if required.
More tempting than this is the Wait er While café housed at Bullion Hall which provides meals and light refreshments, in-house buffets or food to take away. It has become infamous for the cakes and scones at temptingly low prices.

For further information or to view please contact Walter Smith and his team on 0191 3871149.

Bullion Community Resource Centre is a Company Limited by Guarantee. Registered in England and Wales. Company Number 4046498. Registered Charity Number 1084105. Registered Office: Bullion Hall, South Approach, Chester-le-Street, County Durham. DH2 2DW.Tel 07914755068.

NEMHDU Newsletter **Current**

Please find attached our latest newsletter, detailing:

a further cohort of our Living Well with Dementia programme;
a project with Newcastle and Gateshead vanguard focusing on older people’s mental health;
partnership working with our local football clubs focusing on men’s mental health;
the recent appointment of the new National Clinical Director for Mental Health, Professor Tim Kendall;
a Department of Health consultation on improving support for carers;
a call for evidence from the Commission for Health and Social Care Integration;
this year’s Positive practice in Mental Health Awards;

and of course our usual round-up of policy news and publications.

Innovative support at court project for families receives funding boost **Current**

A ground breaking project providing befriending support to friends and families of defendants visiting Teesside and Durham courts has received a boost thanks to new funding from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

Nepacs will receive £148,551 from the Foundation over five years towards the cost of supporting families who are in court at the crucial point of sentencing and incarceration.
Nepacs is a long standing charity which works across the north east region to help support a positive future for prisoners and their families. Staff and volunteers from Nepacs provide a number of services to support friends and families of prisoners, in seven prison and young offender establishments across the north east and within the community, including prison visitors’ centres, play areas, youth projects, integrated family support and the courts project.
Since it was established in July 2013, with funding from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and the Durham Police and Crime Commissioner, the Nepacs court project has provided much-needed support and comfort to families who come to court to support a loved one facing a custodial sentence.
Support is offered to families attending court by a team of volunteers, under the leadership of Jane Leak, the Support at Courts coordinator.
They offer families of defendants information, support and a listening ear.  They provide information about the court process including the workings of the different prisons and courts, how and when to arrange visits and how to stay in touch with a loved one in prison. 
Since its launch in Teesside in July 2013 and in Durham in 2015, 1,292 families have accessed support and information in the courts and via the Befriending telephone line. Of those families 285 have received a substantial intervention and accessed long term befriending support.   
The project volunteers work closely with Nepacs’ prison visitor centres teams and family support workers so that we can help to reduce families and friends worries and anxieties about visiting their loved one in prison.
Jane Leak, Nepacs court project coordinator, said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive further funding from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation to enable us to continue to support families attending courts on Teesside and in Durham.
“Every year thousands of families experience court proceedings and the impact of a custodial sentence despite never having being involved in or committed a crime. From the moment of arrest and throughout the court process families are at risk of social isolation and stigma which can affect their emotional, physical, financial and social wellbeing.
“For those families who are unfamiliar with the judicial system or who are unprepared this can be a distressing time. Our dedicated team on the ground offer a listening ear, a helping hand and friendly support to help make things a little easier.”
The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, said: “We are very happy with the progress that the Nepacs court project has made over the past three years in establishing the support service for families of offenders in courts and through befriending, and are keen to support the continued development of the project.”
Some family members said:
“There has been a lot of worry throughout the time my son has been in prison but regular telephone contact has helped me get through this .”Mother of a prisoner
“Before accessing a befriender I felt very alone and that nobody understood how I felt and what to do….We have talked about my husbands imprisonment and the affect it has had on my day to day existence and really anything I need to talk about, personal or financial which is a great relief to me and I don’t feel under as much pressure.  I feel I am more positive and able to cope than before, just knowing there is someone there for me is a great comfort and relief.”  A woman whose husband is in prison
The team are always recruiting new volunteers who would be willing to give up a few hours of their time to support this worthwhile project.
Jane added: “We are looking for volunteers who may have travelled a similar journey, or have relevant skills or experience, and who can offer genuine understanding, empathy and emotional support. Volunteering with families and making a difference, can be very rewarding and can also provide you with valuable training and experience.”
If you are interested in volunteering with the Nepacs court project please get in touch with Jane Leak at jleak@nepacs.co.ukor visit our website www.nepacs.co.uk to find out more.
If you are a family experiencing similar issues and would like to talk to someone please get in touch with the befriending team on 07774 385276.
Prince Bishops Community Bank **Current**

We would like to introduce ourselves to you we are Prince Bishop Community Bank based in Bishop Auckland,Tynedale &  Stanley.

Prince Bishops Community Bank , is a 'not for profit' Credit Union. We are here to offer local people a savings and responsible lending organisation that is run in the community, by the community, for the community with any profits going back into that community. 

Our member¹s savings are protected under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. By joining Prince Bishops Community Bank and saving with us, you are not only helping to build up your own financial security, you are also helping the wider community. 
Prince Bishops Community Bank encourages everyone to start saving on a regular basis (including children) for Christmas, holidays or maybe unforeseen expenses. As a member of the credit union, you can watch your money grow, and any money left over from the running of Prince Bishops Community Bank is paid back to the members as a dividend. There are not fat cats and no bankers bonuses.
We offer the opportunity to save from as little as £1 per week to a maximum account value of £15,000. Payments can be made via head office, collection points, standing order, swipe card (pay point or post office), Debit Card or payroll deduction. The minimum age for our adult savings product is 16 years. Members must always leave a minimum of £5.00 in their savings account.
To withdraw money from your savings account, contact or go to the Head Office before 2pm each working day and your money will be transferred into your bank the same day.
Your money is covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme meaning the government provides 100% protection of your savings.
Any surplus at the end of the Financial Year is rewarded to members in the form of a dividend.
Prince Bishops Community Bank is a community bank that helps people to save and manage their money, and offers access to affordable credit, including instant loans at very low rates. Research shows that one in three consumers hide financial problems from their family which in turn exposes them to serious emotional and physical stress.
The most important thing to remember is if you do need to borrow money NEVER go to a loan shark, they charge huge interest rates and often resort to violence, intimidation and other drastic measures in order to collect their money.
DO NOT borrow from a loan shark because they are criminals and once in their hands you may never get out.
DO NOT borrow from a legal doorstep lender because it will cost you a lot more than a credit union loan and you might end up owing thousands when in fact all you needed was a small loan.
Do Borrow from Prince Bishops Community Bank
DO Borrow from Prince Bishops Community Bank! All you need to do is save for 12 weeks and then you can apply for a loan with an interest rate of between 0.5% and 3% depending on loan amount.Your loan is covered by free insurance. 

Durham County Carers Support Newsletter **Current**

Please find attached the latest newsletter from Durham County Carers.

DDES CCG Community Newsletter **Current**

Please find attached the 1st Edition of the DDES CCG Community Newsletter –February 2016
Welcome to the first edition of our new Community Newsletter! We will publish it on a bi-monthly basis to keep you up to date with opportunities to get involved in local health services, and to give you information about how local voluntary organisations can support you in getting involved.

We want this to be YOUR newsletter, so if you have any ideas of what topics would be of future interest, or have any ideas about how we could improve this newsletter, please get in touch! If you know anyone that doesn’t have access to a computer but would like to receive a hard copy of this newsletter, please contact us.

Wellbeing in South Moor and Quaking Houses **Current**

New project bridges the generation divide

A project bringing together people of different ages is taking place in County Durham with the aim of increasing understanding between the generations.
Students from North Durham Academy and residents of the over 55s housing scheme Oakwood Court in Stanley have been meeting weekly as part of The Ageless Project.
During the sessions, which have been developed by the social enterprise CONTiNUUM CIC, participants discuss different aspects of their lives including education, hobbies and future aspirations.
Chloe Macallister is one of the teenagers taking part. The 17-year-old said: “I’ve found it really interesting, I didn’t realise how much had changed over the last 50 years or so, like the developments in technology – some of the people we’ve spoken to didn’t even have televisions when they were our age and now we use technology for almost everything we do.
“I would never have thought to sit down and talk to my own relatives like this but I’ve found it really fascinating and I think it’s something we should all try and do more often.
“It’s made me realise that even though we are very different we also share a lot of the same experiences and have more in common than I would have thought.”
Residents of Oakwood Court, which is owned and managed by local social landlord Derwentside Homes, have also been taking part in the project.
Among them is Pamela Smith, 57, who said: “It’s been great talking to the young people about their lives and aspirations. One difference I’ve noticed is that there seems to be much more equality nowadays and in areas such as sport and education the girls have the same opportunities now as the boys which is really good.
“I think we all started this with a few preconceptions but have quickly got to know each other and I think it’s broadened all of our minds and made us think about how we treat others and looking for the similarities we have rather than the differences.”
The course has been funded through the Area Action Partnership (AAP) for Stanley and delivered by Jeanette Harold, Director of CONTiNUUM CIC, who said: “We have always worked in the community but this is the first time we have run a project like this so it’s a new and exciting venture for us.
“We were aware that there was a growing gap between the generations and wanted to do something that was discussion-based which would get people talking and break down those barriers and preconceived ideas they may have had about each other.
“The connection with Derwentside Homes has been great as we’ve been able to engage with their older residents and match them up with young people from the same communities. It’s been a fantastic experience so far and we have plans to run similar sessions in the near future with local youth groups.”
Michelle Graham of Derwentside Homes helped organise the pilot project and said: “Both generations have so much to offer each other and it has been really fascinating watching them interact.
“These are people living alongside each other in the same communities but until now they had very few opportunities to meet and talk. Now they have been able to learn more about each other and break down any stereotypes which may have existed.”
The North Durham Academy students taking part are all studying for a Level 3 qualification in Health and Social Care and The Ageless Project will provide them with valuable experience they can use when applying for jobs or university places.
Teacher Rebecca Pallas-Gill, learning leader for food technology and health and social care, said: “Many of our students are interested in establishing careers in areas such as social work so this is a fantastic opportunity to learn some really valuable skills such as communication, caring and working with older generations.
“I’ve already noticed them applying what they are learning to their work and am sure it will be very useful when it comes to job interviews or applications.”
For more information about The Ageless Project, including future projects, please contact Jeanette Harold on 07872 058175 or email jeanette.harold@continuumcic.co.uk .
The true cost of the rent to own sector **Current**

The APPG issued a call for evidence on the Rent to Own Sector in September 2014 amidst long-standing concerns about poor treatment of customers that developed under the previous regulatory regime. The APPG received written evidence and held an oral evidence session on 9 December 2014 hearing first-hand the experiences of customers, consumer groups, the regulator and the firms themselves. We here present a summary of our main concerns and recommendations. 
County Durham Partnership Newsletter **Current**

Welcome to the very first e-newsletter edition of Partnership News.  This new format newsletter can be read on mobile phones, tablets and other mobile devices.
In this first edition we are celebrating the success of our partnership working. Highlights in this edition include the Council being honoured by the Ministry of Defence for its support of the armed forces community, celebrating the winners of the Environment Awards 2015,  winning the Carnegie UK Trust, Enabling State Challenge and being shortlisted for three Local Government Chronicle Awards.
Spennymoor AAP -  Local Cancer Support Group **Current**
I have been running this group since Feb 2014 and is now very successful but we know that there is so many other people struggling with the disease or that care for someone who has cancer. Although we hold the meetings in Aycliffe the group is available to any area and we have had a few from Spennymoor. As well as the monthly meetings we raise funds so we can take the group on day trips etc.

The next Meeting for the Great Aycliffe Cancer Group is Thursday 5th November at 6pm at Newton Aycliffe Youth Centre. This group is for anyone in the North East and it covers all cancers. We have 2 Special Guest Speakers the first one is Maureen Flatman who is the Sister in Charge on the Chemotherapy Ward in Darlington Memorial Hospital she is going to talk about all the treatments that is available from Chemotherapy  to Radiotherapy and more and there will be chance for members to ask questions especially for members who have just been diagnosed or worried about their treatment. The next speaker is a Macmillan Energy Advisor who will be able to help Cancer Patients get the correct tariff for their Gas and Electric bills, they will explain how they come to your house and look through your previous bills to find out what you are being charged for and find you a better tariff, as we all know as Cancer Patients we feel the cold more.
Starting from our next meeting on 5th November we are offering monthly transport to anyone that would like to attend our group meetings who might of not been able to come previously due to problems getting there either because they can’t drive or they are too poorly to drive. It will be offered to members new and old free of charge as it will come out of our funding. We will be operating the small mini bus through the Town as well as a few other pick up points such as Bishop Auckland, Darlington and surrounding areas. 

Please contact Allison for more details on 07762258696 or allisonwhite75@yahoo.co.uk Also we now have our website up and running where you can find out what our group does www.greataycliffecancersupportgroup.co.uk
Successful North Charity DISC to Merge **Current**
DISC, one of the North’s most innovative social care providers, has announced it is to merge with one of its partner organisations, the North Yorkshire based Cambridge Centre.
The two organisations have been in merger talks for the last six months and have worked closely together on North Yorkshire substance misuse services for the past eighteen months.
A further announcement will be made in the next three months on the new organisation’s structure.
Paul Townsley, Chief Executive of DISC said today: “We believe this merger between two well-established, dedicated charities in the North will benefit existing service users and create the potential to help more people. Service users have been at the forefront of our thinking throughout our talks.
“To fully achieve the strategic ambitions of both organisations and whilst in a strong position, it was felt a good time to merge.”
Avril Tully Executive Director for DISC and Nikki Orrell CEO of The Cambridge Centre are leading the transition to merger for both organisations.
Both charities have been working since the mid-1980s to provide services for the vulnerable and disadvantaged in local communities.  DISC currently employs 450 staff from its headquarters in County Durham, and in service provision across the North East, Yorkshire, the Humber and the North West. Services include those for children and young people, LGBT support, housing services, offender rehabilitation and drug and alcohol misuse programmes.
The Cambridge Centre has a twenty nine year history of providing high quality drug, alcohol, women’s and offender services to the community within North Yorkshire. 
Nikki Orrell, Chief Executive of The Cambridge Centre, said: “We have shared values and are a good fit for merger. Our approaches to client work are similar and we want to continue to develop and deliver a multi-thematic offer to the communities we serve.
“The Cambridge Centre was founded on the principles of integrity, respect and equality. This chimes exactly with DISC’s ethos.”
And she added: “We are delighted to take a really good partnership into a more strategic alliance that allows us to deliver greater social value in North Yorkshire and use the experience and skills of The Cambridge Centre to develop our housing, specialist women’s and offender services.
Paul Townsley said: “DISC is a well-placed Northern provider of social and health care services with the infrastructure and innovative multi-thematic offer to make a merger partnership between the two organisations’ work.
For DISC working in partnership is a key part of developing services that address our service users’ and communities’ needs.”
Prior to merger, the organisations would be working with funders of the services to make sure their views were fully considered in our strategic planning. They would also be consulting with affected staff to ensure a smooth transfer into the new organisation.
Mobile Bowling Offer to Charities from AMF Bowling Washington **Current**

The team at AMF Bowling alley are regularly get involved with the community by providing our V.I.B. package.

This includes…
·        Hire for a minimum of 2 hours
·        The Mobile Bowling Lane with all accessories
·        Two team members attendance
With any registered charities or fundraising groups who will be holding fundraising events this service is completely free in order to help raise those extra pennies!
The V.I.B. package is also available for private hire, please email Washington@amf-bowling.co.uk to enquire about prices and availability.
Please double check that you can accommodate the bowling lane prior to making any reservations. The Mobile Bowling Lane is roughly 7ft wide and 17ft long. It will require a power source to assemble the lane, however, it could be moved once assembled if required! We do conduct risk assessments upon arrival and the mobile bowling is fully covered by our public liability insurance!

New Success Website **Current**
Our website is now live!! Please have a look and get back in touch with any feedback.  We are also on social media and would like to connect with you on there; please like/share/follow us:
Whizz Kids - Young Wheelchair Users **Current**

Have you heard about Whizz Kidz and our amazing services for young wheelchair users? Our team has recently expanded in the North East and we are keen to work in partnership with families, youth services, and schools to offer these opportunities to young people.

Whizz Kidz offers a range of opportunities for young wheelchair users. Here in the North East we offer the full range of programmes which include monthly Ambassador Clubs, Wheelchair Skills Training, Work Skills Training, Work Experience Placements and Camp Whizz Kidz.

Our Ambassador clubs run in Middlesbrough, Newcastle, Sunderland and York on a monthly basis. These are youth clubs for young wheelchair users aged 12-18. We already have young people involved in our clubs here in the North East, taking part in all sorts of activities including sports, arts, life skills and campaigns, but we're on the look out for new members to join our friendly and sociable groups!

Our Wheelchair Skills Training Programme aims to help young wheelchair users to be more confident using their wheelchair, become more independent and less reliant on others, prepare them to manage transitions in their lives and to be more involved in their community. We offer beginner, intermediate or advanced Wheelchair Skills Training programmes across four age ranges: ages 2 to 7, ages 8-14, ages 15 -18 and ages 19-25. Each Wheelchair Skills Training Programme can also be adapted to meet the specific needs of the young people who attend.

Our Work Skills Days and Placements help young wheelchair users to consider their future career path and develop skills for work. Young people can join a skills day with other young people from their area or go on an individual placement with a company that advertises a placement or one that they are interested in working for and we can help organise.
Camp Whizz Kidz are short breaks focused on independent living for young people aged 12-25 who are signed up as Ambassadors with us.

Our services are supported by Health Care Assistants which enables young wheelchair users to spend time away from home and be independent.

Interested? To find out more please check out our website at http://www.whizz-kidz.org.uk or contact our Regional Services Co-ordinator Graham Thomas on 07833 566470 or by email: g.thomas@whizz-kidz.org.uk 

Silver Talk Befriending **Current**
Hello! We’re Silver Talk, A telephone befriending service/charity.

We offer regular, friendly telephone calls to older & vulnerable people in the comfort of their own homes. 
Our volunteers offer a free, confidential service and are well trained in chatter, chin wagging and are all ears to any more serious concerns our clients may have. It really is a great opportunity to help older people re-connect with their community and make new friends

You can always give us a ring & schedule yourself in for a good old chit chat! You can reach us directly on: 0800 093 0092

Relative Experience- a Kinship Carers project **Current**

A project working to tackle the issues and challenges faced by Kinship carers

Are you bringing up a relative’s child? Across County Durham and Darlington, many children are being brought up by close relatives – grandparents, aunts and uncles – because their parents are unable to care for them, often because of difficult family circumstances. 

In the UK, there are up to 300,000 children cared for by relatives in this way, four times the number in foster care.  Often the relatives involved are on low incomes with many having to give up work or reduce hours when a child moves in. 

Relative Experience (Durham) is a new Big Lottery funded project to help and support people who are bringing up their relative’s children.  As well as setting up support groups, Relative Experience (Durham) is asking for volunteers to befriend these carers. 

Run by three charities – Family Lives, Grandparents Plus and the Family and Childcare Trust, the project is there to offer support and information.   The project will be setting up support groups in your local areas and is asking for volunteers to help befriend carers.

If you need support, wish to attend a support group or would like to volunteer with Relative Experience, please contact Mark den Hollander on 07711556811 or email to markdh@familylives.org.uk.

Engagement between VCS and HWBs- third survey results published **Current**
Regional Voices has published the full survey report from the survey conducted earlier this year about how the voluntary and community sector (VCS) is engaging with health and wellbeing boards (HWB). Thanks again to everyone who responded, sharing their experiences from across England- making it a grand total of 780 people responding over the three surveys.

Bringing in expertise of the voluntary sector to address key services and priorities, for example around:  mental health, young people’s services, physical activity/exercise, services for older people, carers and approaches to dementia
The VCS can support government programmes, for instance development of the Better Care Fund programme, Making Every Contact Count and around the preventative agenda. It can support co-design of creative solutions to systemic problems, such as accident and emergency overload.
Specific questions were asked to VCS representatives on health and wellbeing boards, Healthwatch reps on the boards and to the wider VCS, interested in engaging with the HWB. This has been the third survey about VCS engagement with health and wellbeing boards.  Encouragingly, some good practice for how boards involve the VCS is emerging. However, some challenges remain. It feels like the VCS is continuing to be under-utilised by local partners in health and care. Although there is considerable desire in the VCS to work with HWBs, only 22% of respondents reported being able to link in with local Healthwatch or a sub-group of the HWB and around 30% were able to raise issues with a VCS rep and only 9% of respondents felt their organisation was linked with the work of the HWB (a reduction since the last survey).
We heard some nice examples of where the VCS was adding value to HWBs. Where it works well, VCS representation and engagement with HWBs can add a lot of value to partnership work and strategy development:
The VCS has close links to the communities they work in - it can reduce duplication- with better awareness of what’s going on in an area. It can improve engagement- particularly to address specific inequalities. The VCS is a large part of the work force- it can bring expertise as a provider.
However, this wasn’t a universal experience. Many respondents felt that health and wellbeing boards didn’t work well with the VCS in their area, or it was too soon to see any benefits from this partnership working.
The survey captures good practice and challenges and makes recommendations to help improve development of working links between the VCS, Healthwatch and health and wellbeing boards.  Link to read the survey report and summary with recommendations. The survey findings will be added to the findings from the Health and Care Voluntary Sector Strategic Partnership survey findings, due to be launched next month- and used to influence health, wellbeing and care policy development.
Youth charity calls for change to improve chances for young people **Current**
A new manifesto, launched by national youth charity, YMCA, is calling on politicians from all parties to consider the needs of young people, the future generation.

The 30 page manifesto, ‘We Believe’ which draws on the experience and opinions of young people across the country, highlights five key areas for change: housing and accommodation, family work, health and wellbeing, training and education, democracy and youth engagement.
Recommendations made in the manifesto, range from a need to build more affordable housing, through to proposals for a ‘Help to Rent’ scheme which could help more young people negotiate the challenges of saving for a deposit and costly monthly rents as well as better mental health support and incentives to encourage companies to take on more young apprentices.

Denise Hatton, chief executive, YMCA England said: “Young people represent the future of our country. In our work, we constantly find ourselves supporting young people who are keen to learn skills, pursue job opportunities or who, once someone takes time to listen, reveal big plans and ideas for how they would like to contribute to society.
However, limited educational opportunities, a lack of suitable jobs and an inflexible welfare system can leave young people feeling cast aside and unsupported. With a just a little bit of extra help to help them on their way in life, the young people of our country would be able to give back so much. It makes sense for representatives from all political parties to listen to the recommendations in our manifesto.”
One of the young people in the manifesto, is Josh an 18 year old from Barnard Castle, County Durham. Growing up in a rural town in the North East, job opportunities are limited and Josh found school challenging. With more interest in hands on work, Josh joined YMCA Teesdale’s alternative education programme. Learning practical skills, Josh flourished and is now seven months into a YMCA apprenticeship in bench joinery and furniture making, and acts as a mentor to other young people at the centre.

Josh says “When I left school I wanted to be a plumber or a mechanic but there were no opportunities at local businesses. Instead I tried to go back to sixth form but it just wasn’t for me. I needed something with a more practical focus. I felt so lucky when the YMCA apprenticeship came along, but I think that lots more young people like me could also benefit from this type of training if they were given the chance.”

To pledge your support for the YMCA manifesto, and call for more support for young people, simply visit: http://www.ymca.org.uk/webelieve. The widget will then give the opportunity to share the pledge with your networks on Facebook or Twitter.

To download a copy of the full manifesto, visit:

County Durham Implementation Newsletter (Integrated Drug and Alcohol Service) **Current**

Please find attached a Newsletter which relates to the implementation of the new substance misuse services across County Durham. Hopefully this will provide you with some further information about the implementation and the process we are currently following. 


Updated List of Libraries & Links **Current**

Please find below links to all 39 of our Libraries in Co Durham

·        Annfield Plain Library

·        Barnard Castle Library

·        Belmont Library

·        Bishop Auckland Library

·        Blackhall Library

·        Bowburn Library

·        Brandon Library

·        Chester-le-Street Library

·        Chilton Library

·        Consett Library

·        Cornforth Library

·        Coundon Library

·        Crook Library and Customer Access Point (CAP)

·        Durham Clayport Library

·        Easington Colliery Library

·        Esh Winning Library

·        Ferryhill Library

·        Horden Library

·        Lanchester Library

·        Langley Park Library

·        Murton Library

·        Newton Aycliffe Library

·        Newton Hall Library

·        Pelton Library

·        Peterlee Library

·        Sacriston Library

·        Seaham Library

·        Sedgefield Library

·        Shildon Library

·        Shotton Library

·        South Moor Library

·        Spennymoor Library

·        Stanley Library

·        Thornley Library

·        Trimdon Library

·        Willington Library

·        Wingate Library

·        Wolsingham Library

·        Woodhouse Close Library

Just Ask ! - Confidential Text Helpline **Current**

ASK is a free confidential text service for young people, aged 14-25 years living in County Durham. We are open 10am-9pm Monday to Friday & 3-5pm Sunday. We offer confidential out of hours support. To the most vulnerable and isolated young people living in County Durham. 

Ask has an extensive network of organisations across County Durham who we signpost and refer young people to for additional support. We never turn a young person away; we feel the provision of a friendly service offering non-judgemental support can be a much needed lifeline especially to those who feel isolated and unable to talk to anyone around the most sensitive issues.

More Information

Ask Marketing Material order Form

The Durham Friendship Centre Information **Updated**
The Durham Friendship Centre is group made up of mainly retired persons both single and couples.
The DFC meets monthly for 2pm start on the second Tuesday of the month at the Belmont Community Centre. There is a programme of speakers covering a wide variety of topics.

There is also a pub lunch each month on the fourth Tuesday and Tenpin bowling every Monday morning at the Washington Bowling Centre to get the week off to a good start.

Events include day trips, Theatre visits and weekend trips.

If this appeals to you two visits are allowed without any commitment to join. A warm welcome awaits you.
Should you wish to talk to someone meantime, the following may be contacted
Barbara on 0191 384 4966 or Isobel/Dave on 01913861291
Although the venue favours people living in the Gilesgate and Belmont Area of Durham many current members come from as far afield as Stanley, Chester-le-Street, Lanchester and Stockton.

The venue has good car parking facilities and is well served by bus from Durham Bus Station to the stop opposite B&Q on the Sunderland Road which is virtually on the doorstep.