Pumpkin and Sunflowing Growing Challenge.

Durham County Council’s Waste Strategy Team is holding a pumpkin and sunflower growing challenge. We’re encouraging local community groups and schools to get involved over the summer to grow the tallest sunflower or the largest pumpkin, for a chance to win a £100 voucher for gardening equipment for their school or community group.

To enter the competition please email the waste team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we'll send you free seeds and more competition information.

Please email us with the name of your school/group, contact name and how many people/children will be involved by Friday 29 March 2019.

The competition will be judged in October 2019.

Durham Works Chat Facility

Durham Works have set up brand new online chat facility on the website, which means that young people or their parents/guardians who are interested in Durham Works can now chat to us online to get lots more information about our courses and how they can sign up.

We know that young people prefer to chat online than in person or on the phone and the new chat function will hopefully help us reach even more of the young people in your area who are not in education, employment or training (NEET), offering them the opportunity to improve their prospects and raise their aspirations.

Here is a link to our post

For more information about Durham Works visit their website:

Gardening activities in the Community Garden at Blackhill and Consett Park

A new season of gardening activities in the Community Garden at Blackhill and Consett Park is starting on Monday 18th March 2019. The group is open to adults aged 16 and over, and will be led by Liz Beech, an experienced and qualified outdoor education worker.

The sessions run between 1pm and 3pm, and we meet at 1pm in the classroom on the ground floor of The Lodge, which is located near to the main entrance into the park on Laburnum Avenue, Blackhill.  

The gardening group is a friendly and supportive setting in which to introduce adults to a range of hands-on practical gardening activities, with advice and information available as needed. As most of the session will be outdoors in the community garden, please dress appropriately.

People have the opportunity to take home some of the produce grown during the season, although we also aim to donate some to local community organisations who run lunch clubs.  

The gardening group is delivered as part of Durham County Council’s “Ways To Wellbeing” programme, which provides a wide range of activities to support and improve mental and physical health and wellbeing. For details of other activities across the county please visit:  

There is no set charge for taking part, but we do request donations towards the programme costs, which are also being supported again this year by The Friends of the Park. Registration is also required.

If you require any further details please contact Martin Weston, Community Cultural Development Co-ordinator, The Lodge, Blackhill & Consett Park, Laburnum Avenue, Consett, DH8 5TA.  Tel: 03000 262480 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Shotley Bridge Community Hospital Services - Public Engagement events

The NHS in Durham will be launching an engagement exercise to hear from local people about services that could be provided from a brand new health facility in the North West Durham area – and they want to hear your views!

NHS North Durham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the organisation responsible for planning and buying the majority of health services in the area, is keen that public feedback helps to influence how services are provided in the future.

The CCG will be undertaking an eight week engagement period from 27 March – 22 May 2019 but they wanted to let people know about the events before then. Please do share this information with any groups or individuals that you feel would be interested in attending or participating.

Further information will be shared when the CCG officially launch the engagement next week.

Come along to one of the CCG’s public events and find out more.

They will also be holding a series of ‘pop-up’ events at Shotley Bridge Community Hospital and a variety of community centres across the local area during the engagement to talk to you about this.

Online opportunities to feedback will also be available from 27th March too. 

You can get in touch with them by using these dedicated contact details This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and 0191 389 8609 (recorded answerphone).

Wednesday 10th April 6 – 8pm at Consett Football Club, DH8 7BF

Online registration:


 Thursday 11th April 12 – 2pm at St Cuthbert’s Church Hall, DH8 0NW

Online registration:


Thursday 25th April 11.30am – 1.30pm at Blackhall Mill Community Centre, NE17 7TL

Online registration: 


Tuesday 30th April 1 – 3pm at Lanchester Community Centre, DH7 0NY

Online registration:


Wednesday 8th May 1 – 3pm at Burnopfield Community Centre, NE16 7JF          

Online registration:


Thursday 16th May 1 – 3pm at the Louisa Centre, DH9 0TE

Online registration:


The engagement programme will mainly focus on services currently provided at Shotley Bridge Community Hospital, which includes:

 • Outpatients – clinical appointments when you don’t need to stay in hospital overnight

 • Urgent care – when your GP practice is closed and you need medical attention but it’s not an emergency

 • Chemotherapy - a cancer treatment using medicine to kill cancer cells

 • Rehabilitation beds - where you can be supported to restore mobility to enable you to live as active life as possible

 • Diagnostics – x-rays and things like ultrasound scans

 • Theatre - where you would have operations 

 • Endoscopy – procedures that can examine the inside of your body using an instrument called an endoscope.





Volunteers needed for the Alzheimer’s Society, Side by Side service

The Alzheimer’s Society are seeking volunteers for their Side by Side service to help people with Dementia to keep doing the things they love. Side by Side provides one-to-one support, making it easier for people with Dementia, who might sometimes feel isolated or find it difficult to leave their homes, to remain active and feel part of their local community.

Carole MacMurtrie, Side by Side Co-ordinator, said: "By doing things like going for a walk, to a football match, or joining a local class together, our volunteers support people with dementia to take up hobbies and get out and about. What they do together is entirely based on what the person with dementia wants. Volunteers are crucial to the success of this service and can range from providing support once a week to once a fortnight at a time that works for the volunteer and person with dementia."

Anyone interested in becoming a Side by Side volunteer should contact Carole on 0191 3890400 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more details.