Exciting future for Aykley Heads
Phil leads food festival line-up
Win tickets to Hardwick Live Six pages of whatâ€™s on
to the spring edition of Durham County News The start of spring always feels like a good time to look forward to the year ahead – and we’re lucky enough to have another packed calendar of events and festivals lined up to make 2018 particularly memorable. It all kicks off in April with Bishop Auckland Food Festival, which this year boasts an exciting new look and a fantastic line-up of celebrity chefs. Turn to pages 16 and 17 to find out more.
Councillor Simon Henig, Leader of the Council
Thrill-seekers will find inspiration for their next challenge at Durham Adventure Festival – there’s more info in our outdoors feature starting on page 22, where you’ll also find lots of suggestions for getting out and about in County Durham. Our plans for Aykley Heads are detailed on pages 8 and 9, while on page 15 you can discover how you can show your love for our county during May half term. This edition also includes information on the new 3rings service for older and vulnerable people and a feature on two inspirational foster carers.
I hope you enjoy reading this edition of Durham County News.
Inside... Pages 4-7 News
Page 11 3rings for reassurance
I love Durham because…
Setting our budget for 2018/19
A taste of Bishop Auckland Food Festival
Fostering and adoption
Pages 12-14 Pages 8-9
Out and about and what’s on listings
Exciting plans for Aykley Heads
great prizes in our competitions...
Enter online at www.durham.gov.uk/dcn. Or write the answer, along with your name, address, telephone number and email on a piece of paper. Pop your entries into one envelope (don’t forget the stamp) and post to Durham County News, Durham County Council, County Hall DH1 5UF, or drop them into reception at any of our access points. Entries close on Saturday 31 March 2018 (unless otherwise stated).
Planning your community’s future
Front cover: TV’s Phil Vickery will lead a line-up of celebrity chefs appearing at Bishop Auckland Food Festival in April.
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There’s lots to look forward to in 2018, with plenty of awesome entertainment for everyone to enjoy. Bishop Auckland Food Festival
Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 April Join Phil Vickery, Candice Brown and other celebrity chefs at one of the country’s top food festivals. See more on pages 16 and 17. www.bishopaucklandfoodfestival.co.uk
Durham Adventure Festival
Friday 27 to Sunday 29 April Hear from some truly motivational speakers and watch inspiring films at an event celebrating adventure and exploration. See more on page 24. www.durhamadventurefestival.co.uk
Tuesday 22 May Cheer on professional cyclists as they take on Durham City’s cobbles in a thrilling test of their skill and speed. www.tourseries.co.uk
Durham Pride Sunday 27 May
Spend your bank holiday enjoying the fifth Durham Pride, a free event at The Sands, featuring live entertainment, a fairground, selection of stalls and colourful parade through the city. www.durhamprideuk.org @DurhamPrideUK /DurhamPrideUK/
Friday 13 to Sunday 22 July Almost 40,000 people turned out for last year’s BRASS and this year’s stellar line up is bound to be another sure-fire hit. www.brassfestival.co.uk
Durham Miners’ Gala
Saturday 14 July Celebrate the county’s mining heritage at the 134th Miners’ Gala as colliery bands parade through their villages before making their way to Durham City with traditional banners. www.durhamminers.org/gala
Durham City Run
Wednesday 18 July Take on the challenges of the city’s streets for the third Durham City Run, which last year saw 2,500 runners cheered on by enthusiastic crowds. www.durhamcityrun.com
Kynren – An Epic Tale of England
Saturday 30 June to Saturday 15 September The live-action extravaganza showcasing 2,000 years of history, myth and legend is back with 17 shows which promise to be bigger and better than ever. www.elevenarches.org
Heritage Open Days
Thursday 6 to Sunday 9 September, Thursday 13 to Sunday 16 September Make the most of the last few days of warm weather by visiting some of the cultural gems right on our doorstep, from castles and gardens to museums and churches. email@example.com
Sunday 30 September Thrillseekers can sign up now for the North East’s ultimate obstacle course. See more on page 24. www.durham.gov.uk/muddymayhem
Durham Book Festival
Saturday 6 to Sunday 14 October With readings from top authors, discussions and interactive sessions, the festival is essential for literature lovers. www.durhambookfestival.com
Take Off Festival
Monday 15 to Sunday 21 October England’s leading festival of theatre for children and young people returns for a week of shows and workshops. www.theatrehullabaloo.org.uk/ takeoff-festival
News Providing homes
across County Durham
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If you need to phone us, call Customer Services
03000 26 0000 8.30am-5pm (Monday-Thursday) 8.30am-4.30pm (Friday)
The drive to provide more affordable homes for sale and rent across County Durham is picking up pace with £89 million being invested in 636 new properties on seven sites. The initiative is being delivered by the Durham Villages Regeneration Company (DVRC), a joint venture between us and Keepmoat Homes. Developments approaching completion this spring include Cobblers Hall at Newton Aycliffe, where two and three bedroom homes remain available; The Pastures at Sherburn Hill, which offers three styles of three bedroom home; and Thornvale, at Middleston Moor, where two and three bedroom homes are available. Meanwhile, work recently began at Heathway, Seaham, which will provide 116 two, three and four bedroomed houses in the Parkside area of the town. There will be 108 properties for sale – three at 30 per cent below market value for local people who qualify – and eight for affordable rent. DVRC has also secured planning permission to build 56 homes at Dipton and 84 at Peterlee and an application has been lodged for 78 homes at Chester-le-Street.
Out of hours emergency service available.
For more information about all the sites and homes available visit www.keepmoat.com and use the property search tool or call 0191 640 7641.
For social care and independent living enquiries or adult and children’s welfare issues:
Since formation in 2001 DVRC has invested more than £150 million in housing schemes across County Durham, creating over 1,300 homes – around a quarter of which are for shared ownership or affordable rent.
Social Care Direct/Children’s First Contact Service
03000 26 79 79 @DurhamCouncil /durhamcouncil linkedin.com/company/ durham-county-council /DurhamCouncil /durham_county_council
Clean and Tidy Derwent Valley Groups working to improve their village or neighbourhood could be recognised at an awards ceremony later this year. Derwent Valley Partnership is planning to honour communities where residents go the extra mile to make improvements in their area. For further information contact the Derwent Valley Partnership on firstname.lastname@example.org or 03000 260 725. Key to symbols:
N North Durham
S South Durham
E East Durham
W West Durham
C Central Durham
STEM Workshops Young people in Newton Aycliffe are being encouraged to consider careers in engineering thanks to an exciting project. The Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) initiative works with secondary age pupils to highlight the benefits of engineering as a career and is being funded in the town by the Great Aycliffe and Middridge Partnership.
Funds on offer to support regeneration Projects that help boost employment, skills and social enterprise are being invited to apply for new funding.
Is your business switched on to energy efficiency? Many businesses waste thousands of pounds leaving lights, computers and equipment turned on when not in use. A new project, supported by the European Regional Development Fund, is helping small businesses in County Durham save money by reducing their energy consumption. The Business Energy Efficiency Project (BEEP) works in partnership with Business Durham and provides free energy audits, advice and support. You could even be eligible for a grant to support the purchase of energy efficient equipment*. www.beep.uk.net, email@example.com *terms and conditions apply
South Durham Community Led Local Development (CLLD) Programme has received £1,624,375 from the European Regional Development Fund and European Social Fund, while North Durham CLLD has received £1,194,916. The programme covers the following areas: North Durham CLLD: Chester-le-Street, Pelton Fell, Whitehills and Pelton, Sacriston, South Stanley, Craghead, Annfield Plain and Harelaw South Durham CLLD: Spennymoor, Coundon and Leeholme, Bishop Auckland, St Helen Auckland, West Auckland and Shildon To be eligible for funding, projects must target one of the following themes: • • • • •
Sustainable communities Enhancing economic inclusion Stimulating entrepreneurialism Enterprising spaces Developing growth and enterprise
Visit www.durham.gov.uk/CLLD or email NorthDurhamCLLD@durham.gov.uk or SouthDurhamCLLD@durham.gov.uk News
News Successful dementia project set to expand A successful project to make areas of our county more dementia friendly is being rolled out into North Durham. East Durham Area Action Partnership (AAP) has worked with the Alzheimer’s Society to support a programme to help people living with the condition and their carers by changing environments into safe, welcoming and understanding places to live and visit. Belinda Williams, pictured, has been brought on board as East Durham dementia friendly communities co-ordinator and is tasked with gathering together the key people in the area to ensure changes can be made. Businesses and groups are being taught how dementia can affect their customers and what they can do to help. The project has proven so successful that Stanley, Mid Durham, Chester-le-Street and Derwent Valley AAPs have now agreed funding to roll out a similar campaign in their areas.
Helping you to breastfeed with confidence We are working hard in County Durham to help mums and their families feel confident and comfortable when breastfeeding in public. Look out for breast feeding friendly stickers in the windows of restaurants and cafés as we further develop our Breastfeeding Friendly Scheme. The campaign helps you identify public places and work places across the county that offer a good level of facilities and support for new mums. More information on breastfeeding friendly venues is available on our website. www.durham.gov.uk/breastfeedingfriendly
Moving and shaking in Stanley A new group in Stanley aims to improve health and wellbeing in the town. Movers and Shakers is made up of volunteers from Stanley Area Action Partnership’s Supporting Stanley Task Group which looks at ways to give support on weight loss, nutrition and healthy cooking. The group is held every Thursday between 2pm and 4pm in Stanley Masonic Hall.
Help with mental health Art sessions are helping people with mental health issues. Durham Area Action Partnership (AAP) has been supporting Gilesgate charity, RT Projects, which uses arts to engage with people. A number of sessions take place each week giving people the opportunity to try out different arts. Supporting mental health issues is a priority for the AAP.
Have your say on health services
Prison Me! No Way! A project to deter young people from a life of crime has been rolled out in Newton Aycliffe. Year 9 pupils from Woodham Academy have been getting a taste of life behind bars as part of the Prison Me! No Way! Project, which has been brought to the school through funding from the Great Aycliffe and Middridge Partnership (GAMP). The national initiative, aimed at eight to 18 yearolds, was set up by a group of prison officers and takes props, such as a life size prison cell and a street for acting out scenes of anti-social behaviour, into schools.
Which health and social care services are you most concerned about? Healthwatch County Durham, an independent organisation providing a voice to everyone who uses local health and social care services, is asking people to vote for the services they’d like to be reviewed in 2018/19. Residents are asked to prioritise the following six areas: • Mental health support services • Appointment systems in GP surgeries • Dementia support • Transition support (from children to adult services) • Patient transport • Dental charges and treatment
New legislation to support homelessness People who are homeless or at risk of losing their home will soon be guaranteed better support and access to services.
tailored advice offered to vulnerable groups.
The Homelessness Reduction Act, which comes into force in April, aims to improve the help available to people who have lost their home.
And councils should work with people to create personalised housing plans and should also look to secure suitable accommodation for homeless people.
The act states that information about homelessness should be available to all residents free of charge, with
All eligible applicants should be able to access support, regardless of their level of need.
For more information: www.durham.gov.uk/ housing or call 03000 268 000.
To vote visit: www.healthwatchcountydurham.co.uk or call 0800 304 7039 for a paper version.
New council for Durham City Residents in Durham City will go to the polls in May to elect a new parish council. The inaugural election for City of Durham Parish Council takes place on 3 May. Anyone interested in standing as a candidate can apply from Tuesday, 27 March until 4pm on Friday, 6 April. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 03000 261 212. The formation of the new council follows a consultation last year when 66 per cent of those who took part backed the proposals. More information: www.durham.gov.uk/communitygovernance
Aykley Heads redevelopment Durham City’s Aykley Heads site is set to be transformed under plans which aim to attract more than 6,000 new private sector jobs to our area over the next 20 years. Aykley Heads is already home to Atom Bank and Salvus House, our business start-up and expansion facility, with more than 1,300 workers employed at 40 companies, not including the council. We’ve drawn up a masterplan for the future of the site which it is hoped will create thousands more jobs as well as generating a £400 million economic boost for the county’s economy. This ‘once in a generation’ opportunity, which will transform the economic prospects of our area, has been welcomed by a wide range of regional organisations including the North East Local Enterprise Partnership and North East England Chamber of Commerce as well as Durham University. The region’s leading business figures, including Sir John Hall and Edward Twiddy, Chief Innovations Officer at Atom Bank have also expressed support for the initiative. Independent analysis shows that the city does not currently offer sufficient premises for business growth – despite the fact that half of the enquiries made in the North East are from businesses which would consider locating in Durham. However, sitting in an established parkland setting with views of the UNESCO World Heritage Site - and just a few minutes’ walk from a mainline rail station and the city centre – Aykley Heads offers the perfect opportunity to address this need. Our plan, which will see the site redeveloped across three phases – with the first likely to progress in the near future –
High quality private sector jobs.
Long term economic sustainability.
focuses on attracting quality jobs in areas such as finance, banking and legal services. There is also an emphasis on graduate spin-offs and research and development. The redevelopment of Aykley Heads, which will see us relocate to a site in the centre of Durham, also takes into consideration the natural landscape.
The Aykley Heads development will enable our young people to prosper. See what the younger generation has to say at:
Aykley Heads redevelopment
Sir John Hall: Aykley Heads is the business park of the future. This is what the North East needs. “Hopefully, it is going to bring, in the future, 6,000 jobs – but they’re not just going to be any jobs, they’re going to be jobs that’ll take the region into the fourth industrial revolution of robots, high technology and everything that goes with it. “It’s necessary that we redevelop our ideas, our intentions and our projects to take into account what is going to happen in the future. “It’s something which we have to do. The old industries have gone, there’s lots and lots of SMEs (small/medium enterprise) in the area who are doing their bit but if we’re going into the fourth industrial revolution, we need these high tech, skilled, intellectual jobs that go with it and I think it’s a great, great concept and idea. “Durham City is ideally placed, it’s the cultural and academic centre of this region. It’s got so much going for it and that in itself will help to bring people here and will help to give people new ideas.
The redevelopment of Aykley Heads will complement significant investment already taking place across the county, including:
»» Freemans Reach, Milburngate and The Gates developments in Durham City
Chief Innovations Officer, Atom Bank:
»» Extension of Netpark at Sedgefield »» Integra 61 at Bowburn »» Jade Business Park adjacent to Dalton Park »» Forrest Park at Newton Aycliffe »» Investment in both cultural activity and infrastructure in Bishop Auckland »» Multimillion pound investment plans by Durham University
»» Further investment by Glaxo Smith Kline at Barnard Castle
We’re in Durham and in particular in Aykley Heads primarily for location. We’re here because we employ people who come daily from Leeds, Edinburgh, Newcastle and a lot from County Durham. They need a train, they need a good car connection and then they want to work in a beautiful location as well. “We’ve also got a great building and we’ve got to be thankful to the people that have invested and had a foresight as to what Aykley Heads could be, for the fact that this building is here. “We share it with eight or ten other businesses, financial services businesses, legal businesses, charities as well as those who are involved in education and training. “And we all enjoy the space, we enjoy the light, we enjoy the community, and building that community is what we want to see happen on Aykley Heads over the next five or ten years. “We’re here for the long term and we want to build a community which will support us and which we can support. Extra content is available at www.durham.gov.uk/dcn
»» Hitachi, which originally planned to create 730 jobs in Newton Aycliffe, and is now employing more than 1,200 staff »» Res-Q, which moved to Seaham in 2016, plans to employ around 1,200 people within three years
History centre Our plans for the future of Aykley Heads mean that Durham County Record Office will need to relocate. As a result, we’re looking at the possibility of creating a history centre at the disused Mount Oswald Manor House, where the archives would be located alongside a range of other historical records. There would also be facilities for exhibitions, events, research and educational and volunteering opportunities. We’ve been asking for your views on the proposal and are now in the process of looking at the feedback we have received.
Aykley Heads redevelopment
Planning your community’s future Stanley
People across County Durham are working together to ensure they have a greater say in how their communities develop.
Decisions on where our homes, schools, community and leisure facilities are located have traditionally been made by local councils through Local Plans. However, communities now have the option to create their own neighbourhood plans, which set down planning policies that are specific to a small area. These neighbourhood plans are important because, along with our strategic County Durham Plan, they will be used to make decisions on future planning applications and may also help communities make bids for funding. Many plans are developed by the local town or parish council. However, in non-parished areas plans have been coordinated by groups which include residents, business owners and other people representing the local community.
West Auckland West Auckland and
Cassop cum Quarrington Sedgef ieldMonk Hesleden Coxhoe
Middridge Ferryhill Great Aycliffe
Barnard CotherstoneEggleston Castle
Cassop cum Quarrington Monk Sherburn Hesleden Village Coxhoe Haswell
People in 24 towns and villages have joined forces with their local representatives – town and parish councils or other organisations – to create their own neighbourhood plans, giving them the opportunity to influence future planning decisions for their area.
Gainford and Langton
© Crown Copyright and database rights 2018. Ordnance Survey © Crown Copyright LA 100049055 and database rights 2018. Ordnance Survey LA 100049055
Creating a neighbourhood plan Step 1 – identifying issues and opportunities Once a group has been set up, it must identify the issues and opportunities that a plan can address in its area. This is often the most challenging and time-consuming part of the process as it requires a significant amount of community consultation. The plan is then drafted and may include specific proposals or policies to address any issues raised. Proposals vary from area to area but may include designating local green spaces as protected areas, ensuring the provision of affordable homes or the redrawing of settlement boundaries.
Step 2 – consultation Once a plan is drafted, it is important that local residents have the chance to comment on it. It is extremely important that everyone in the local area has the opportunity to give their views – groups in Durham City and Witton Gilbert recently undertook consultations on their plans and are now considering making changes in light of the responses they received.
Step 3 – formal submission for approval The final stage in the process is to formally submit your plan to us. We will then carry out a further public consultation before arranging for an independent specialist to look at the plan in order to ensure it meets government requirements. If so, a public referendum must be held asking the community if we should formally adopt the plan. Plans for Great Aycliffe and Whorlton are the first to have been adopted and we are already using them on a daily basis when we consider planning applications in these areas.
Find out more at www.durham.gov.uk/neighbourhoodplans 10
3rings for reassurance A new service is offering a little extra peace of mind to the relatives of older and vulnerable people. 3rings sends live updates to your phone to let you know when your relative is settling down to watch the TV, putting the kettle on for a cuppa or loading up the washing machine. Simply insert the special 3rings plug between the socket and the appliance and it will connect to an app which will send information to family members. If your mum usually uses the kettle between 7am and 9am, the app will send an alert letting you know whether or not this has happened, meaning you can rest assured that your loved one is up, active and well.
Once the plug has been purchased, there is a small charge of £3 per week. No internet connection is needed as the plug contains the same type of sim card as used in a mobile phone. As many as 10 people at a time can receive alerts and the system is quick and easy to set up. The 3rings service is available through our Care Connect home alarm telecare service, which offers a
range of products designed to help people remain independent in their own home and provide reassurance to their friends and family. The choice includes devices which raise an alarm when a fall occurs, remind people to take their medication, or create an alert when a telephone rings. Many products can be purchased without the need for an assessment through social services.
Care Connect telecare services include:
Alarm service – a home
monitoring system, which is available 24 hour a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
Fall detectors – automatically raise an alarm if a fall occurs.
Temperature sensors – check for
unusually high or low temperatures to warn of sustained periods of cold or hot weather or even a build-up of heat in a kitchen showing a cooker ring has been left on.
Bed/chair sensors –
generate an alert in a number of different circumstances. Can also turn on a bedside light in order to minimise the risk of falling.
Door sensors and wandering devices – help locate people who have
dementia and who may leave the home at inappropriate times or leave a main door open for long periods of time.
For more information about 3rings or other telecare devices, visit www.durham.gov.uk/careconnect, call 03000 262 195 or email email@example.com Care Connect service
Green living Be inspired by our food festival and
eat well for less Did you know that making a few changes to your weekly shopping and eating habits can make a huge difference to your bills, lower your salt intake and reduce your waistline? Joining in with the thousands of food lovers nationally who regularly swap meat for vegetables, source recipes for left overs and plan ahead before cooking could save you pounds. Remember to freeze unused food wherever possible to reduce waste and reduce the amount of packaging used by avoiding pre-packaged items. Why not be inspired by our upcoming food festival and head along to Bishop Auckland to pick up some fresh produce and tips from Mr Eat Well For Less himself – Chris Bavin! Find out more by searching for the Eat Well for Less page on the BBC website www.bbc.co.uk Find festival information on pages 16 and 17.
Shildon’s Fridge for All A new community fridge in Shildon is helping to reduce food waste in the area. Shildon Alive, in partnership with us, is working with Sainsbury’s ‘Waste less, Save more’ campaign and HUBBUB to collect food from local Tesco and Morrisons stores to put in the fridge which members of the local community can access. Residents and local businesses can get involved by donating unwanted, edible food to the fridge. Opening times are 9.30am-4.30pm Monday to Friday (closed for lunch 12.30-1.30pm) and Saturday 10am-12noon at Shildon Alive, 19 Church Street, Shildon. 01388 417 600. 12
OLIO Food Sharing App Join the food sharing revolution with OLIO, a free app which enables friends, neighbours, local shops and cafés to share food, so it is not thrown away. OLIO was launched in Durham City in November last year and we’ve seen nine shops and cafés get involved, 26 volunteers trained up to collect unwanted food and three community drop boxes around the city. Get involved by becoming a food waste hero volunteer collecting food in your area. Are you a business who can donate food, or someone who can share their surplus food in their community instead of it going to waste? To get involved or for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org Sainsbury’s has provided funding to REfUSE (Durham’s branch of the Real Junk Food Project) as part of the Waste less, Save more campaign to promote OLIO.
Don’t forget to sign up
Spruce up in Coundon, January 2018.
Eligible households can still subscribe to garden waste collections this year. The fortnightly collections will start from 3 April. Check your calendar for your collection day if you’ve already signed up. For full details and to subscribe, go to www.durham.gov.uk/gardenwaste In Teesdale, collections are provided by Rotters. Residents in this area should contact Rotters at www.rotters.org or email email@example.com for details of all collection arrangements.
Spruce Up to continue Operation Spruce Up, the environmental programme to tidy up main streets in towns and villages in County Durham is continuing with a new programme now underway. The campaign launched in 2016 and has visited a town or village in each of the county’s 14 area action partnership areas. Environmental improvements include litter clearance, planting, and repair of street furniture. The new programme started in Blackhall at the end of February. Other areas set to receive a Spruce Up in the coming months include Pelton, Tow Law, Gilesgate, Trimdon Grange, Annfield Plain and Cockfield.
Household waste recycling centres – summer opening hours From Sunday 1 April, household waste recycling centres will stay open longer for the summer months. Check opening times at www.durham.gov.uk/hwrc. To apply for a waste permit online visit www.durham.gov.uk/ householdpermit or call 03000 26 0000 during office hours. Hett Hills household waste recycling centre will be open longer during the busy Easter period. From 3 April until 6 April it will be open 9am-6pm, returning to its weekend only hours from 7 April. www.durham.gov.uk/recycling or call 03000 26 0000 during office hours.
Operation Spruce Up was named Campaign of the Year at the Keep Britain Tidy Network Awards 2018.
For more information and to view the full programme, go to www.durham.gov.uk/spruceup
Come and join Litterfree Durham’s
Big Spring Clean 2018 19 February - 15 April 2018. We can help you, your school, organisation or community group take part in a litterpick in County Durham or Darlington. To clean up your village or town Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Call: 03000 26 0000 Visit: www.durham.gov.uk/bigspringclean Brought to you by
Green living Easter and May bank holiday bin collections Household bins will be emptied as normal during the Easter holidays (weeks starting 26 March and 2 April) and May bank holiday week (starting Monday 7 May).
Air quality in County Durham Air quality across the majority of County Durham is currently good, with the exception of small localised areas in Durham City and one in Chester-le-Street.
Place your rubbish, recycling or garden waste bins out for collection by 7am on your usual collection day. To check your collection day, use the ‘My Durham’ section of www.durham.gov.uk To report a missed bin collection online, visit www.durham.gov.uk/recycling or call 03000 26 0000 during office hours.
What is air pollution? Air pollution is a mixture of gases such as nitrogen dioxide and very small particles that have been released into the atmosphere. The main sources of pollutants are from the combustion of fossil fuels, including coal, oil, petrol and diesel. Modern air pollution is generally invisible to the human eye, at less than ten microns in size (typically one tenth of a human hair).
Why is it harmful? The key pollutant in Durham City is nitrogen dioxide (NO2) gas of which typically 40 to 60 per cent is from traffic. NO2 can irritate our eyes, nose, throat and respiratory system. Children, the elderly or anyone with existing lung and heart conditions are most at risk. The health effects include an increase in symptoms for people with asthma, bronchitis or emphysema. Longer term effects include a gradual deterioration in health, as well as increased susceptibility to respiratory infections.
How can we help reduce air pollution? Simple things we can do to help our air quality include: leaving the car at home when we can walk or use public transport; avoid driving into the city centre by using park and ride; choosing a low emission vehicle next time we change car; using start/stop technology or turning off our engines when in stationary traffic. To find out more about the science behind this and to read our full list of 10 simple ways you can reduce air pollution visit: www.durham.gov.uk/airquality 14
Sponsors needed for 2018 Environment Awards Is your company or organisation interested in recognising environmental work and meeting those behind it? Sponsorship packages are available for this year’s County Durham Environment Awards. For details go to www.countydurhampartnership.co.uk/ envawards or call Durham County Council on 03000 267 147. First Burnmoor Scouts are pictured receiving their award at last year’s event. Extra content is available at www.durham.gov.uk/dcn
I love Durham because… You can be part of an exciting new artwork to celebrate everything we all love about Durham. During May half term we’ll be putting huge message walls at four locations in the county to fill with your messages. The completed canvasses will then be brought together to form one huge artwork featuring some of the county’s famous landscapes, buildings and people – all created from your comments.
Southampton residents profess their love
Liverpool fans express their love for Stev
TV star promotes the county’s beauty BBC Countryfile presenter Anita Rani has been in the county as part of a new national marketing campaign to promote Durham. The campaign aims to bring more holiday makers to our beautiful county by showcasing our wonderful outdoors. Find out more at thisisdurham.com/outdoors Anita is pictured in Hamsterley Forest.
Extra content is available at www.durham.gov.uk/dcn
Or see the Steven Gerrard canvas come to life in a time-lapse video at www.durham.gov.uk/helpdurhamshine Pictures and video courtesy of www.streetadvertisingservices.com
Help us fill the message walls
Just tell us what you love about the county in 140 characters. We’ll reproduce your message together with your first name and your town or your twitter handle. Send your messages to: @DurhamCouncil and add the hashtag #HelpDurhamShine to the end of your message. www.durham.gov.uk/helpdurhamshine There’s a VIP pass worth £400, courtesy of Visit County Durham, up for grabs each month for one lucky contributor.
See the artwork being created between 29 May and 3 June Visit one of four venues and watch the artwork come to life. You can even write your own message on the day and one of the artists will add it to the wall. More details in the next issue.
Durham’s own superstar hoping to be crowned national champion Durham’s Tourism Superstar winner, shepherd Richard Darlington from Hall Hill Farm, has been shortlisted for a prestigious national prize. Richard, who is passionate about his job, and introduced sheep racing and lambing live events to the North East visitor attraction, will compete for VisitEngland’s Tourism Superstar 2018 award. Show your support for Richard before 20 March at thisisdurham.com/vote Richard is pictured at the farm in Lanchester.
Extra content is available at www.durham.gov.uk/dcn
ENTRY ENTRY Bishop Auckland Food Festival returns thisTUNES April with an exciting new look and a delicious menu of special guests for a weekend of fabulous food and great entertainment. The festival will see around 130 traders from across County Durham and further afield offering a diverse range of sumptuous food and drink, showcasing their produce in the town’s historic market place.
From traditional treats to new and exciting street foods, every taste is catered for while some of the finest local ales, liqueurs and spirits will be on offer alongside delicious fizz and cocktails. This year’s celebrity line-up caters for all tastes, with TV chef Phil Vickery taking centre stage in the Cookery Theatre, in Bishop Auckland Town Hall, on Saturday to share his top cooking tips and advice on how to achieve a healthy, balanced diet without skimping on gorgeous taste and delicious flavour. Book signings
New for 2018 are our exclusive book signing sessions from
latest books at fantastic prices. Our celebrity chefs will be on hand to sign their latest releases as well as their previous best sellers.
The star of This Morning will be followed on Sunday SERVING UP by Candice Brown, winner of the 2016 Great British Bake Off. Having started baking when she was just four-yearsold, the former teacher is now a full-time baker and TV personality, having recently competed in Dancing on Ice. Book signings
New for 2018 are our exclusive book signing sessions from
latest books at fantastic prices. Our celebrity chefs will be on hand to sign their latest releases as well as their previous best sellers.
Fellow Bake Off finalist Jane Beedle, runner-up in the same series, will run interactive classes on Saturday for families, before hot footing it to London for the marathon the next day.
Other guests set to cook up a storm include Jack Stein, who is the Chef Director for the Stein family’s 12 restaurants and runs a ‘Cook with Jack Stein’ course at the Stein’s Cookery School, and Anjula Devi, who runs her own Indian catering company and will be bringing her culinary TOP CELEBRITY CHEFS LOCAL FOOD ARTISANS skills and exciting new recipes to Bishop Auckland.
One of London’s most prominent and creative chefs, signings Dan Doherty, willCASTLE alsoLOCATION be part of our line-up after TOP CELEBRITY CHEFS LOCAL FOOD ARTISANS New for 2018 are our exclusive recently being announced as a judge CH book signing sessions from alongside Mary Berry and Chris Bavin O U T REA Tickets for the The Book People, who offer the on the BBC’s Britain’s Best Cook, due Cookery Theatre latest books at fantastic prices. to air in April. Chris, who founded shows cost £5.00 H C Our celebrity chefs will be on hand his own retail business TheONaked U T REA (plus booking fee) to sign their latest releases as Grocer and has had TV success with Book online now well as their previous Eat Well for Less and The Truth about tickets are selling best sellers. Meat, also makes his festival debut. fast! 16
Bishop Auckland Food Festival
TOP CELEBRITY CHEFS
Cookery School with The School of Artisan Food TUNES
The festival provides plenty of opportunities to improve your own cookery skills with a number of workshops to try out in our Cookery School, hosted by The School of Artisan Food, which operates various classes for both adults and children. Book signings
New for 2018 are our exclusive book signing sessions from
latest books at fantastic prices. Our celebrity chefs will be on hand to sign their latest releases as well as their previous best sellers.
H C A E R OUT
Children’s workshops are from just £1 per session and places will be available on a ENTRY first come, first served basis each day.
Adult workshop sessions must be booked in advance on our website.
Soak up the festival atmosphere while you’re shopping and enjoying the treats on offer with live music pop-ups around the festival featuring upcoming local acts.
New for 2018 are our exclusive book signing sessions from
TOP CELEBRITY CHEFS
CH O U T REA
LOCAL FOOD ARTISANS
Get involved Competition For the chance to meet Phil Vickery, get cookery advice and a signed copy of his book, tell us: How many years Phil Vickery TOP CELEBRITY CHEFS has been appearing on This Morning? See page 2 for details of how to enter. LOCAL FOOD ARTISANS
CH O U T REA
If you’d like to volunteer at the festival visit
LOCAL FOOD ARTISANS
LOCAL FOOD In the build-up toARTISANS a great weekend, we will be heading into the local community and schools with an exciting outreach programme designed to encourage healthy eating in a fun and interactive way. Our destinations will be schools and community sites for sessions with our great special guests.
As well as appearing over the weekend, Eat Well for Less host Chris Bavin will be working with youngsters to discover where their food comes from and share plot to plate messages. And Anjula Devi will visit schools and other locations to demonstrate cost effective dishes which are delicious, easy to make and healthy at the same time.
Visit www.bishopaucklandfoodfestival.co.uk for a full timetable of demonstrations and classes and to buy tickets. Bishop Auckland Food Festival
Money matters The financial outlook for local councils remains extremely challenging in the face of ongoing Government funding cuts. However, we continue working hard to ensure savings and investments reflect the priorities of the public.
We have now agreed our budget for the coming financial year and our Medium Term Financial Plan, which outlines our spending priorities for 2018/19 to 2021/22. As a result of the Government’s austerity programme, we need to make further forecasted savings from our revenue budget of £43.5 million over the next four years. This includes savings of £15 million for 2018/19 and is in addition to the £209 million of savings we have achieved since 2011/12.
Of those who gave us their views, 78 per cent felt that our approach to making future savings is a reasonable way to go forward in 2018/19. Residents also identified children’s and adults care services as two of the main areas they would like to see protected. As a result, we will be investing in both over the coming four-year period. As part of this budget, council tax will rise by 2.99 per cent in line with the Government’s own projections for council tax increases – with an additional 2 per cent increase to the Adult Social Care Precept, again in line with Government policy.
This equates to a £1.38 per week rise for Band D properties and 92p per week for the majority of council tax payers, who live in Band A properties. In deciding how these savings will be made we have carefully considered the feedback we received from you when we carried out a public consultation at the end of last year. More than 3,300 people attended events to hear about how we planned to make the required savings, with 1,175 providing their feedback.
The money raised from council tax will be used to support a range of projects and services including £4.9 million for children’s services, £375,000 investment in the authority’s social work academy and further investment in adult services. There will also be a further £117 million investment in capital projects, including significant funding for highways maintenance.
Help with council tax payments We provide a range of council tax discounts for people in special circumstances. Those who may be eligible include: ✔✔ People with severe physical disabilities and their carers. ✔✔ Care leavers who are aged 25 or under who live alone or with someone who pays council tax. ✔✔ People with dementia and those who care for someone with a severe mental impairment, such as Alzheimer’s disease. ✔✔ Full-time students. ✔✔ People who live on their own. We will also be maintaining our Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme in 2018/19 to help protect around 34,000 people who would previously have received support under the council tax benefit system. We are one of only a handful of councils to continue to do this despite Government funding being reduced. For more information about council tax discounts and exemptions www.durham.gov.uk/counciltax
Log on to Universal Credit Having difficulty getting online to submit or update your Universal Credit claim form? Remember that you can take advantage of free-internet access at our libraries and Customer Access Points. Staff are also on hand at Customer Access Points to offer advice and guidance if needed. Administered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), Universal Credit replaces six benefits, including housing benefit and tax credits. Anyone visiting a council building can also take advantage of free wi-fi in order to access their application via a smartphone or tablet. Access to computers at libraries and Customer Access Points can be booked in advance in person at any of the venues. Support is also available by calling our customer services team on 03000 260 000.
Supporting the armed forces An initiative which helps members of the armed forces to settle back into civilian life has been extended to County Durham. The Armed Forces Outreach Service, which also supports serving members and their families, already covers the Newcastle and Gateshead areas. However, the service has now been rolled out to County Durham, thanks to the creation of two new posts in our Housing Solutions Team, which are being paid for through the Ministry Of Defence’s Covenant Fund. Stephanie Eltringham and Spencer Wiggins can provide advice and guidance on issues including benefits, employment and housing. Referrals can be made by emailing ArmedForcesOutreachWorker@ durham.gov.uk or calling: 03000 268 000.
Be the reason…
children have a loving home in County Durham Foster carers are urgently needed to help look after the now more than 775 children in care in County Durham. Every day more and more boys and girls are coming into the care of the local authority from communities across the county – but the number of foster homes is lagging far behind. You could be the reason that a child, or brothers and sisters, have a loving and supportive home – but if you can, we need you to start your journey to a career in fostering sooner rather than later.
We’re just normal people but we have the room and the time to offer and hopefully we can make a difference,
Our first new foster carers of 2018, Andrew and Lindsay Dinsley, from Chilton, waited almost six years before getting in touch with our fostering team – and now they wish they’d done it sooner. “We’re just normal people but we have the room and the time to offer and hopefully we can make a difference,” said paint supervisor Andrew, 47, who is following in
Fostering information events Monday 26 March County Hall, 4.30pm-6.30pm Thursday 19 April Durham Town Hall, 11am-1pm Tuesday 1 May County Hall, 4.30pm-6.30pm Thursday 24 May Durham Town Hall, 11am-1pm
Fostering and adoption
the footsteps of mum Dorothy, a Durham County Council foster carer who has looked after 15 children. Andrew and Lindsey, 42, initially enquired about fostering with the council in March 2017 and submitted their application to begin the formal process of becoming carers in August. Just five months later – after extensive preparation and training – they were ready to welcome children into their home. Andrew said: “My advice to anyone thinking of exploring the idea of fostering would be to get in touch with the team, have that chat and ask all the questions you’re thinking about.” Foster carers provide a secure and loving home for children and young people who cannot live with their birth families. There are lots of reasons why that could be the case from illness or
personal problems which mean parents cannot care for their child, to neglect and abuse. Sometimes a child may have a disability or complex needs that their family is unable to cope with.
Like all areas of the country, County Durham does not have enough foster carers – particularly for teenagers, brothers and sisters, children who need long term placements and for children who need more specialist support to help them cope with their emotions and past experiences. Being a foster carer isn’t always easy and carers may face some tough challenges but it’s also very rewarding. Helen Fergusson, our head of looked after children, said: “Our foster carers tell us that nothing gives the same feeling of love and warmth as fostering and by working with us you could make an enormous difference to a child’s life. “We know that there are many myths that surround fostering and so we would encourage people to find out the facts before they rule themselves out.
“You don’t need any special qualifications – just a genuine interest in caring for young people, patience, understanding and a sense of humour – and we can offer you training and specialised support along the way.” All foster carers receive a fostering allowance based on the age of the child placed with them and payments dependent on their skills and experience. Extensive training is available so that fosterers can develop and progress their caring career. They also have access to a range of services such as our One Point family centres, looked after nurses, Virtual School education support, the Full Circle therapeutic team – including a consultant clinical psychologist and specialist therapeutic workers – community support, and the emergency duty team, who can provide support 24/7. If you or someone you know could be the foster carer we need please find out more by visiting www.durham.gov.uk/fostering or coming along for a chat at one of our drop-in-information sessions.
Could you care for older children and young adults? Some young people are not able to live at home and would benefit from developing their independence whilst living with a responsible adult. Our supported lodgings scheme provides housing within people’s homes for vulnerable young people aged 16 to 25 and those leaving care. The length of stay can vary from short to longer periods up to two years. Find out more at www.durham.gov.uk/supportedlodgings
Adoption? All sorts of people can make great adoptive families and the children waiting for adoption are as varied as the people who care for them. You can be single, married or in a same sex relationship. You can be employed or unemployed, have children of your own and be from any ethnic, religious or cultural background. If you are ready to make a lifelong commitment to become a child’s legal parent, with the same rights and responsibilities as if they were born to you, find out more at www.durham.gov.uk/adoption Extra content is available at www.durham.gov.uk/dcn
Fostering and adoption
From coast to countryside Get out and about across County Durham this spring As the days grow warmer and brighter, what better time to get outdoors and explore. Whether you love a sunrise run along the Heritage Coast or prefer an afternoon walk in the countryside, there’s plenty to do in every corner of County Durham this spring.
Durham Coastal Footpath Take on the 11-mile Durham Coastal Footpath to see the best of the landscape, or choose an area of interest and spend the afternoon exploring. Blackhall Rocks provides plenty of activities for nature lovers; go in search of sea life in the rock pools when the tide is out, watch the plant life blossom along the cliff tops and don’t forget those binoculars for a spot of bird watching. Head to Hawthorn Meadows when the summer approaches to see the area bursting with colour as rich grassland springs to life. And when you just want to get lost in nature, take a trip to Castle Eden Dene. It’s home to two nature walks – the Yew Tree trail (2 miles) and the Squirrel trail (1.8 miles) – that are sure to help you hit your daily step target. Find our full list of maps at www.durhamheritagecoast.org
Coast Did you know we have one of the finest coastlines in England right on our doorstep? Stretching from Sunderland to Hartlepool, Durham Heritage Coast is a collection of coastal towns, colourful meadows and grasslands and dramatic Magnesian Limestone cliffs that tell the story of Durham’s rich heritage.
Seaham Marina The multi-award winning Seaham Marina has an exciting year ahead. What was once a semi-derelict dock struggling after the decline of the fishing industry, has been transformed into a bustling hub of activity. Head along to enjoy outdoor activities such as cycling and walking or visit the shops and restaurants to enjoy tasty food with a beautiful view of the coast. So far the marina has welcomed a burger bar, pancake house, ice cream parlour and gift shop. What’s more, it also has a 96-berth marina, including visitor berths, which can hold boats up to 10 metres in length. Seaham Harbour Activity Centre The activity centre is the place to go for fun outdoor Visit County Durham activities such as kayaking. In the coming months, it’s also set to host outreach programmes with school groups, educating pupils on water safety, history and heritage and the outdoors. Stay up to date with what’s on at Seaham Marina and Seaham Marina Activity Centre online at www.seahammarina.com or via its Facebook page. Alternatively, contact the marina manager on 0191 581 8998 or email@example.com if you’d like more information.
Out and about
Visit County Durham
Walking Our guided walks programme is ideal for those looking to discover more of County Durham and make new friends along the way. Visit durham.gov.uk/countryside to download the latest guide and keep up to date with other events. Walk Durham A new season means new opportunities for your health and wellbeing. If you want to get moving again, de-stress or are trying to watch your weight, check out the free, local health walks offered by Walk Durham. Visit www.durham.gov.uk/walkdurham
Countryside From picturesque parks to nature reserves and even an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, there’s no limit to County Durham’s vast countryside. Why not head somewhere new this spring.
If cycling’s your thing, you’re in luck. County Durham has almost 400 miles of bridleways, byways and railway paths to explore.
Parks Our parks are great for family walks and regularly host fun activity sessions for children to get outdoors and explore. Find out what’s on at www.durham.gov.uk/parks
Beginners can get on their bike with Cycle Durham, which offers free weekly led rides and family cycles – you can even borrow a bike and helmet. Serious cyclists should try Hamsterley Forest’s Red Cycle trail or head to the North Pennines to ‘Bike Bowes’. Maybe you just want an easy ride to blow away the cobwebs. Cycle the two-mile trail at Derwent Reservoir and enjoy the wildlife or stop for a picnic along the way. Discover more at www.durham.gov.uk/cycling
North Pennines AONB and UNESCO Global Geopark The North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) spreads out across the Durham Dales and beyond into Cumbria and Northumberland. One of England’s finest landscapes, the North Pennines is also a UNESCO Global Geopark – where world-class geology is used for tourism and education.
Visit County Durham
To make the most of your visit, call into the AONB’s Visitor Centre at Bowlees in Upper Teesdale or visit www.explorenorthpennines.org.uk, where you’ll find more than 120 different walks to download, cycling routes, horse-riding opportunities and an interactive map to plan your visit. Several walks also start from Bowlees, including the popular High Force Geo-trail – and there’s always a warm welcome, visitor information and an excellent café.
Out and about
Join us for an adventure Durham Adventure Festival A group of awe-inspiring individuals are lined up to share their stories of action and excitement at the first ever Durham Adventure Festival.
Muddy Mayhem Clean off your running shoes, Muddy Mayhem is back – and it’s muddier than ever.
A celebration of wilderness and adventure, the three-day event at the Gala Theatre, offers plenty to motivate even the most laidback of people into getting out and getting active. From Friday 27 to Sunday 29 April, there’s a chance to hear from a wide range of guest speakers, including ultra-endurance cyclist Mark Beaumont, who set a new world record in 2017 when he cycled 18,000 miles around the world in under 80 days. Mountaineer Andy Cave will look back on his remarkable life and incredible journey from 3,000 feet underground in the Yorkshire coalfields to the summits of some of the world’s highest mountains. Anna McNuff will tell all about her impressive feats including cycling through all 50 states in the USA and running the length of New Zealand. Other speakers include Elise Downing, who spent 301 days running 5,000 miles around the coast of the UK, and Dave Cornthwaite, who aims to take on a series of 1,000 mile journeys each using a different form of motorised transport. And don’t miss the opportunity to see world-leading BMX rider Pete Catherall and highliner Jediah Doohan performing stunts live on Gala’s stage. The festival also boasts a packed film schedule with short films from across the world on topics from paragliding and big tree climbing to free diving and everything in between, including a special family programme. The event is presented in partnership with Kendal Mountain Festival. For more information and how to buy tickets, visit www.durhamadventurefestival.co.uk
Out and about
The North East’s ultimate obstacle course returns to Hardwick Park on Sunday 30 September. Competitors are challenged to run, climb, jump and plod their way around the 5K or 10K course, braving over 40 man-made and natural challenges. Runners set off in waves so it’s perfect if you’re feeling competitive, don’t want to get muddy or want to run with your mates – just make sure you sign up quickly. To take part you must be aged 16 or over and have a reasonable level of fitness. Early bird offers are available. Apply at www.durham.gov.uk/ muddymayhem
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March to May
What’s on Things to do this spring... Birdsong returns to Gala
Binchester Roman Fort
Birdsong returns to Durham this year to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. Based on the best-selling novel by Sebastian Faulks, it will be at Gala Theatre from Monday 21 to Saturday 26 May.
Binchester Roman Fort gives you an insight into what life was like for the Romans in County Durham. Explore the impressive remains of a Roman bath house with its amazing 1,700 year-old under floor heating system. Find out why taking a bath in Roman times was about more than just getting clean! Walk in the footsteps of the soldiers around the remains of the Commander’s House and see if you can find the beast of Binchester among the ruins.
The story begins as young Englishman Stephen Wraysford embarks on a passionate and dangerous affair with the beautiful Isabelle Azaire, turning both their worlds upside down. Set before and during the Great War, it is performed by a large ensemble company including Olivier-nominated actor and former Blue Peter presenter Peter Duncan. A mesmerising story of love and courage. Tickets are £22-£25. To book, visit www.galadurham.co.uk or call the box office on 03000 266 600 or visit in person.
For details of opening times, admission prices and special events visit www.durham.gov.uk/binchester
Killhope Killhope the multi-award winning 19th century mining museum opens its doors again on Friday 30 March for a brand new season. There’s a packed and varied programme including stargazing events, holiday activities, blacksmiths and children’s workshops, a dog show, dance and theatre performances and new and improved Yurt facilities. Famous for its iconic working waterwheel and fascinating mine tours, the museum offers an amazing day out for the whole family, whether you’re looking for fun or to immerse yourself in history, explore the woodland or visit the shop and café to complete a grand day out, whatever the weather. For more information about all our activities and to plan your day out visit www.killhope.org.uk
MARCH Thursday 15 March, 7.30pm Dunelm Flower Club Durham High School for Girls Lucy Hutton Smith’s demonstration Flotsam and Jetsam, visitors £5. Tuesday 20 March to Thursday 22 March, 7pm React! Youth Theatre Group The Adventures of Mr Toad Empire Theatre, Consett A Piers Chater-Robinson version of Kenneth Grahame’s ever-popular Wind in The Willows. £7-£8, 01207 218171, www.leisureworks.net/events/4/ empire-theatre
Easter Events... Friday 30 March to Monday 2 April, 10am-4pm Egg-stravaganza Easter Fun Beamish Museum, Chester-le-Street Easter fun for everyone, usual admission price applies, 0191 370 4000, www.beamish.org.uk Saturday 31 March, various times Easter Bunny in the Park Hardwick Park Join us at your ticketed time slot to meet the Easter bunny and complete his egg hunt to claim a prize. Tickets available from the park gift shop. 03000 262 899, www.durham.gov.uk/hardwickpark Saturday 31 March, 11am-3pm Drop-in Easter themed family activities Wharton Park, Durham City Arts, crafts and fun around the park, pet a bunny rabbit, meet the sheep and other farmyard favourites. Activities from £3.
Saturday 24 March to Sunday 25 March, 10am-4pm Pedal Power Beamish Museum, Chester-le-Street From tricycles to bicycles, dentist drills to sewing machines, there will be amazing things to see all around the museum. Usual admission costs apply, 0191 370 4000, www.beamish.org.uk Saturday 24 March, 7.30pm Durham Singers, Songs of Farewell St Cuthbert’s Chapel, Ushaw College Conducted by Julian Wright, Francesca Massey performs contrasting works from 18th Century Italy and 20th Century England. £8-£12, under 13s free, 0779 014 8062, www.durham-singers.org
Saturday 31 March, 11am-4pm Easter Family Fun Day The Bowes Museum Spring into action and join in Easter themed activities with the education team, including an Easter Egg Hunt Trail around the museum with a special treat as your reward. Watch out for the Easter Bunny. Usual admission price applies. Sunday 1 April to Sunday 15 April, 10am-3pm The Great Carrot Hunt Hardwick Park Help the Easter Bunny find his lost carrots on your way around the park. How many can you find? £1 per trail sheet, 03000 262 899, www.durham.gov.uk/ hardwickpark
Saturday 24 March, 8pm Rob Heron and The Teapad Orchestra Scarth Hall, Staindrop The Teapad Orchestra sound draws on influences from Bob Wills to Django Reinhardt with a North Eastern Swing style. £5-£9, tickets from Staindrop Post Office, www.ticketsource.co.uk/date/440888 Monday 26 March, 8pm Lee Kyle, Folly The Old Well Inn, Barnard Castle Lee is on a 30 date national tour. £5, 01833 650 930, www.funnywaytobe.com
Sunday 1 April, 10am-5pm Easter at the Hall Crook Hall and Gardens Storytelling, arts and crafts, treasure hunt and Easter bunny, £5-£22, 0191 384 8028, www.crookhallgardens.co.uk Sunday 1 April, noon-3.30pm Easter Afternoon Tea Crook Hall and Gardens Easter themed afternoon tea. £24.50, booking essential, 0191 384 8028, www.crookhallgardens.co.uk Sunday 1 April, 10am-4pm Easter Chick Hunt Durham University Botanic Garden How many Easter chicks can you find? Free with normal admission for the Botanic Garden, 0191 334 2887, Facebook.com/visitor.attractions Saturday 7 April, 10am-2pm Easter Petting Zoo Newton Aycliffe Leisure Centre ACORN Residents Group host its annual Easter petting zoo. Bunnies, snakes, face painting and bouncy castle. £1 with under 2s free, 01325 321471.
March to May
What’s on Tuesday 27 March to Saturday 12 May, 11am-3pm Mixed media exhibition, The sea of the Outer Hebrides and the sea of East Durham Art Block, Seaham Organised jointly with Uist Arts Association. Free, www.edan.org.uk Wednesday 28 March, 7.30pm Psychic Sally Kisses to Heaven tour Empire Theatre, Consett Interactive stage show, £24, 01207 218 171, www.leisureworks.net Friday 30 March to Sunday 8 April, 10am-4pm The North’s Biggest Charity Book Sale Pemberton Rooms, Palace Green, Durham 12,000 high quality used and new books on every academic subject and leisure interest plus fiction and children’s books, free, dur.ac.uk/durham.palestine Friday 30 March, 1.30pm-3pm Den Building Hamsterley Forest Build a forest den and find out how waterproof it is with Wild North Discovery. £5, age 5+ accompanied by an adult, maximum four children per adult, 01388 529154, www.natureholiday.co.uk Saturday 31 March, 11am-3pm Archaeology themed open day Wynch Bridge End Cottage, Upper Teesdale Come and see how people lived and used the landscape over the last three thousand years. Donations, no booking required. 01833 622374, www.facebook.com/ widdybank.moor.house.upper.teesdale
APRIL Monday 1 April, 1pm- 4.30pm Family Bushcrafts Hamsterley Forest Build a shelter, light a fire, cook and enjoy a meal around the camp fire and then make something to take away. £40 per family (two to four people) £10 for each additional person, children should be 5+, 01388 529154, www.natureholiday.co.uk
Gala Theatre, Durham
Wednesday 4 April, 11am-3pm Family Craft: Veggie Patch Hardwick Park Create your own veggie patch garden using paper and natural materials. £3 per child, no need to book, children must be accompanied by an adult, 03000 262 899, www.durham.gov.uk/hardwickpark
MARCH Tuesday 27 March The Owl and the Pussycat Join the owl and the pussycat on an unexpected sea voyage to a curious land.
APRIL Friday 6 April to Saturday 7 April Decades, A Musical Journey Following on from the success of last year’s RENT The Gala Theatre Stage School brings you fabulous songs from Singing in The Rain to Sister Act and Cats.
Wednesday 4 April, 2pm-3.30pm Family Roller Disco Spectrum Leisure Centre, Willington Every Wednesday in school holidays. £3, 01388 747 000, www.spectrumleisurecentre.com Thursday 5 April to Sunday 8 April, 10am-4pm Great War Steam Fair Beamish Museum, Chester-le-Street Annual steam fair with a First World War focus. Usual admission price applies, 0191 370 4000, www.beamish.org.uk Thursdays 5 and 12 April, 2pm-3.30pm Bounce and soft play Spectrum Leisure Centre, Willington Bouncy castles, slides and soft play £3 per child, 01388 747 000, www.spectrumleisurecentre.com
Thursday 19 April Cara Dillon If you don’t know the voice of Cara Dillon, you’re in for a treat. The Irish singer makes music that transcends genres and crosses barriers. Wednesday 25 April Crimes Under the Sun Welcome to a hilarious yet murderous trip to a classic English Riviera retreat. A romp inspired by Agatha Christie and film noir.
Wednesday 11 April, 2pm-4pm Flower demonstration Dene Court Communal Rooms, Hamsterley £4, 01207 505576 Wednesday 11 April, 11am-3pm Whose Poo? And Other Clues Hardwick Park Become a detective as you wander around the park and look for clues of animal diet, homes and behaviour. Themed games and crafts. £4, no booking required, children must be accompanied by an adult, 03000 262 899, www.durham.gov.uk/hardwickpark
For the full programme or to book tickets please visit www.galadurham.co.uk or call the box office on 03000 266 600
Bishop Auckland Town Hall MARCH Saturday 24 March Launch Day Kelly Abbott Dance Theatre presents: Launch Day. A celebration of the working class and shipbuilding in all its industrial glory. Friday 13 April, 10am-4pm Horses at War Beamish Museum, Chester-le-Street An amazing 60 horses from the cavalry to pack ponies will be at the museum to tell the story of First World War horses. Usual museum admission prices apply, 0191 370 4000, www.beamish.org.uk Saturday 14 April and Saturday 21 April, 5am- 8am Black Grouse Lek Morning Langdon Beck A chance to see black grouse lekking. Observe their wonderful courtship displays followed by a short tour of the area to observe their habitats and a full English breakfast at the Langdon Beck Hotel. £25, booking essential, 01833 622374, www.facebook.com/ widdybank.moor.house.upper.teesdale Wednesday 18 April and Saturday 21 April, 10am-11.30am and 1pm-2.30pm Toddler Tales and Trails: Jack and the Beanstalk Hardwick Park Family fun sessions for little ones aged two to five involving fun trails and crafts. £4 per child, book in advance, all children must be accompanied by an adult, 03000 262 899, www.durham.gov.uk/hardwickpark Thursday 19 April, 7.30pm Dunelm Flower Club Durham High School for Girls Janine Grey’s demonstration Simplify, visitors £5.
Mighty Wurlitzer Concert tickets Win a pair of tickets to the Mighty Wurlitzer Concert featuring Howard Beaumont on Saturday 14 April at 7pm at the New Victoria Centre, Howden-le-Wear, Crook. To enter tell us, what is a Mighty Wurlitzer? See page 2 for details of how to enter.
Friday 20 April, 11am-3pm St Cuthbert’s Hospice, Ladies Lunch Ramside Hall, Durham Three course lunch and entertainment with raffle. £36, 0191 374 6194, www.stcuthbertshospice.com Friday 20 April, 7.30pm The Magic of the Beatles Empire Theatre Consett From Love Me Do to Let it Be enjoy the psychedelia of Sgt Pepper and beyond. £19-£20, 01207 218 171, www.leisureworks.net
APRIL Wednesday 4 April The Wizard of Oz Click your ruby heels together and join us over the rainbow for a magical adventure suitable for all ages. Saturday 7 April Steptoe and Son Hambledon Productions presents: Steptoe and Son. A tale of two warring rag-and-bone-men in their Shepherd’s Bush scrapyard home which became a household favourite in the 60s and 70s.
Saturday 21 April, 7.30pm Seriously Dead Empire Theatre, Consett New musical theatre starring Crissy Rock, £19-£20, 01207 218 171, www.leisureworks.net Saturday 21 April, 10am-4pm Crowning of the May Day King and Queen Beamish Museum, Chester-le-Street The May Day King and Queen will be crowned plus there will be crafts, maypole dancing and music from Benny Graham from the Pitmen Poets. Usual admission prices apply, 0191 370 4000, www.beamish.org.uk
Thursday 12 April The Tin Foil Astronaut Presented by Kitchen Zoo, join Alba for the first day of the space race, a race to put the first human on the moon. She has been in training and has even made her own spacecraft! But can she really fly a rocket powered by crisps?
Saturday 21 April, 11am-2pm Wildcraft Adventure for Minecraft Lovers Bright Woods Forest School (A community interest company), Barnard Castle Survive the Wilderwood, beat the monsters and open the portal. Outdoor Minecraft themed activities supervised by experienced outdoor activity leaders. £15, 07399 575253 Sunday 22 April, noon-3pm St George’s Afternoon Tea Crook Hall and Gardens Themed afternoon tea, £24.50, prebook. 0191 384 8028, www.crookhallandgardens.co.uk
For the full listings please visit www.bishopaucklandtownhall.org.uk or call 03000 269 524
March to May
What’s on Sunday 22 April to Saturday 28 April, 9.30am-5pm Exhibition: In the Footsteps of Eadfrith World Heritage Visitor Centre, Durham Exhibition which draws inspiration from the work of Bishop Eadfrith of Lindisfarne, reputed to have published the Lindisfarne Gospels. Free, 0191 334 3805, www.durhamworldheritagesite.com Mondays from 23 April, 6.15pm-7.15pm Absolute beginner ukulele course Alington House, Durham Ten week course with a break for half term with Durham City Uke Group. £54, no experience necessary, 07939 166806 to book a place, Facebook: durhamcityukes Wednesday 25 April, 2pm-4pm Lanchester Flower Club Monthly Meeting Lanchester Community Centre Marion Hinchley goes ‘Back to basics’. £4, members free, 01207 593667 Wednesday 25 April, 11am-noon Spring Garden Tour Crook Hall and Gardens Take a walk around the gardens as they spring into life! £7.50-£8.50, pre-book. 0191 384 8028, www.crookhallandgardens.co.uk
Wednesday 25 April, 12.30pm Commonwealth Flags Parade Market Place, Durham Join young people from across Durham, Darlington, Stockton and Hartlepool in celebrating the Commonwealth with a parade of flags.
MAY Throughout May, Wednesday to Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday Free May at the Weardale Museum Weardale Museum, Westgate Free entry to the museum for residents with a local postcode, 01388 517433 www.facebook.com/weardalemuseum Saturday 5 May, 1pm-3pm Japanese Children’s Day Oriental Museum, Durham Make a cool carp banner, dress up in one of our kimonos and post some selfies, usual admission prices apply, www.dur.ac.uk/oriental.museum
The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle MARCH Saturday 24 March to Sunday 24 June Queen Victoria in Paris The museum is one of only four venues in the UK, and the only one in the North of England, to stage this exhibition of watercolours commissioned by Queen Victoria and loaned by Her Majesty the Queen from the Royal Collection. Saturday 10 March to Sunday 17 June Jonathan Yeo: Skin Deep This UK exclusive exhibition is an exploration of the processes involved in cosmetic surgery, what it tells us about an individual’s self-image, perceived cultural ideas of beauty and the psychology behind an endless search for perfection.
APRIL Wednesday 4, Thursday 5 and Saturday 6 April Springtime Wonder Join in as we explore springtime with activities inspired by nature and the changing seasons. Get creative with a range of crafts suitable for all ages. Wednesday 11 and Thursday 12 April Create a Masterpiece Create your own masterpiece in the museum galleries. Using an easel, you will take on the role as a real artist and experiment with a range of materials. Suitable for all ages, protective aprons supplied.
Saturday 5 May, 2pm-5pm Treasures of Widdybank Fell Cow Green Reservoir A guided three mile walk along the nature trail at Widdybank Fell to see some of the special plants of Upper Teesdale in flower and some of the upland birds. Bring warm, weatherproof clothing and a snack, donations, booking essential, 01833 622374, wwwfacebook.com/ widdybank.moor.house.upper.teesdale Saturday 5 May, 11am-2.30pm Mighty Wurlitzer annual fete New Victoria Centre, Howden-le-Wear, Crook Tours, teas, stalls and music, free, 01388 766243, www.netoa.org.uk Sunday 6 May, 5am-8am Birding By Ear Low Force, Teesdale Join us for the dawn chorus and an introduction to birding by ear. Take a stroll down to Low Force identifying the birdsong as we go, concluding at Wynch Bridge End Cottage with some light breakfast. £5 per person, booking essential, 01833 622374, www.facebook.com/widdybank.moor. house.upper.teesdale Sunday 6 May and Monday 7 May, 10am-5pm Mary Poppins themed event Crook Hall and Gardens Join Mary and Burt for stories, games and a treasure hunt around the gardens, £5-£22, annual pass holders free, 0191 384 8028, www.crookhallandgardens.co.uk
Crook Hall and Gardens annual family pass For the chance to win an annual family pass to Crook Hall and Gardens answer the following: The winds are changing here at Crook Hall. Who will be joining us once again during 6 and 7 May? See page 2 for details of how to enter.
The Witham, Barnard Castle MARCH Friday 23 March If I Say Jump Say hello to Jenny the vicar. She has a creepy ex-husband, a best friend who turns up at her vestry with a gun and a dodgy builder renovating her church. Faced with the choice will she do the right thing or the legal thing? £10-£12, www.thewitham.org.uk
APRIL Friday 6 April, 8pm Lucy Porter Choose Your Battles How do we know which causes are worth fighting for? Lucy uses hilarious experiences to help decide. £12-£14, 01833 650 930, www.funnywaytobe.com Friday 6 April A Heart at Sea An epic musical folktale about a boy who bottles up his heart and throws it into the sea, told on a miniature scale. £6-£8, www.thewitham.org.uk Wednesday 11 April Royal Northern Sinfonia Royal Northern Sinfonia, Orchestra of Sage Gateshead, is the UK’s only fulltime chamber orchestra and the leading professional orchestra in the North East. £12-£14, www.thewitham.org.uk Thursday 19 April, 7.30pm Winter Wilson Tight harmonies, killer songs and a lot of fun. £10-£12. www.thewitham.co.uk
REGULAR EVENTS Every Wednesday, 1.15pm-3.15pm Art Classes St Thomas Church Hall, Stanhope Art taught to all levels by a professional artist. During school times. £6.50 per session, 01388 517 308, www.artist-gavinmayhew.com
MAY Friday 4 May Testosterone What does it mean to be a man or a woman? Is gender innate or is it nurtured? Kit is in an amusing and unique position, having transitioned from a female to a male in his early thirties. His biggest challenge comes when he enters a male gym changing room for the first time and is confronted by masculinity in all its forms. A pay what you decide performance. www.thewitham.org.uk Thursday 10 May Daoiri Farrell Dublin born traditional singer and bouzouki player Daoiri is being described by some of the biggest names in Irish folk music as one of the most important singers to come out of Ireland in recent years. £12-£14. www.thewitham.org.uk
a family ticket for Hardwick Live It’s one of the biggest events in County Durham’s calendar – and the good news is that this year round it’s going to be double the fun! Hardwick Live Festival is back this August in the grounds of Hardwick Hall Hotel – and it’s going to be two days of action packed great music, amazing food and entertainment for all the family. Over the weekend of 18-19 August you can enjoy entertainment from a stellar line up of performers. Get your tickets and more information on the full line-up at www.hardwicklive.co.uk One lucky reader can win a family ticket for two adults and two children to attend both days of this incredible event, just answer this question: Who headlined Hardwick Live in 2017? See page 2 for details of how to enter.
Lucy Porter tickets Win two pairs of tickets to see Lucy Porter ‘Choose Your Battles’ at the Witham, Barnard Castle, on Friday 6 April. To enter tell us, what sort of sporting kit is Lucy dressed to do battle in? See page 2 for details of how to enter.
Every Saturday, 10am-11am Family Roller Disco Spectrum Leisure Centre, Willington £2.50, 01388 747000, www.spectrum leisurecentre.com
Last Saturday of every month, 8pm-11.30pm Saturday night dance Castleside Village Hall Old time and modern sequence dancing, £5 on door, 01207 509 253.