Durham Council: Foster Care Awards
A woman who has provided foster care for nearly 200 children over the last 40 years has picked up a special award from Durham County Council.
Kath Buckley, awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours was highlighted for Special Achievement at the annual foster care awards at County Hall, Durham.
Kath, from Consett, who is due to retire from fostering, once gave up a 40th wedding anniversary holiday to America for a last-minute request to look after two children.
Florence Coulter, fostering team manager, Durham County Council, said: “Kath has made an immense impact on the lives of the many children for whom she has provided nurturing and sensitive care. She has fully met children’s needs by providing a warm and caring environment which has enabled them to thrive.
“She has been an inspiration to others and has been involved in the training of prospective carers by sharing her knowledge and experience.”
Foster families from across the county were recognised for their achievements. Families received an award for the length of time that they have been fostering, from five years up to 20 years, and three families were also nominated to receive a Special Achievement Award for the outstanding work that they have done to care for young people.
Councillor Ossie Johnson, Cabinet member for children’s services, said: “These awards are hugely merited. Kath has led by example and her contribution to fostering and helping so many children has been enormous. All the others have also shown tremendous selfless commitment to improving the lives of so many. It is a humbling to see what they have all done.”
Anyone who would like to find out more about fostering is urged to contact Durham County Council Fostering Service on 03000 269 400 or by visiting www.durham.gov.uk
Durham Council: Have a say on local issues - Newton Aycliffe
Residents in Great Aycliffe and Middridge can find out how local issues are being tackled when the Great Aycliffe and Middridge Area Action Partnership (GAMP) board meets later this month.
The GAMP board will be meeting on Tuesday, 18 March 2014, between 6.00pm and 8.00pm, at Newton Aycliffe Youth and Community Centre and local people are invited to go along to observe proceedings. The meeting will include presentations on the council’s Medium Term Financial Plan, community resilience and an update from the Durham Constabulary.
Attendees can also raise any neighbourhood issues that they would like the board to address. These should be put in writing and sent in advance.
To register to attend the meeting, call: 01325 327 441 or email email@example.com
Durham Council: Festival offers feast of family fun
Food rockets, edible stories and vegetable juggling are just some of the weird and wonderful attractions set to keep the whole family entertained at Bishop Auckland Food Festival.
Details of the exciting line-up for the festival’s first ever Kids’ Club have now been confirmed and there’s plenty of fun for all ages.
Based in the town hall, the club will include crazy culinary adventures in the food lab with CBBC star Stefan Gates and edible story sessions with CBeebies presenter Katy Ashworth and seven Stories, the National Centre for Children’s Books.
The festival, organised by Durham County Council in partnership with Auckland Castle Trust and Bishop Auckland Town Council, is on Saturday, 26 and Sunday, 27 April.
Stefan is the presenter of Incredible Edibles and Can Eating Insects Save the World? and is renowned for his energetic live shows, which mix inspiring, explosive science with wild food adventures.
He will be exploring the science behind our snacks and the incredible stories lurking in our lunches in the food lab at 1.00pm on Saturday and Sunday and will also present live cookery demonstrations in the grounds of Auckland Castle at 3.00pm on Saturday and 11.00am on Sunday. There may even be the chance to taste some insects.
Stefan said: “I’m preparing a really exciting show for Bishop Auckland Food Festival, packed full of inspiring, explosive science and food adventures. It’s going to be completely bonkers and I can’t wait to bring it to County Durham, where I know there is a lot of amazing food and a lot of people who are obsessed with eating good stuff.
“The audience needs to be prepared for anything as they could find themselves helping to make a custard powder flame-thrower, sampling an edible insect or even eating a ‘bum sandwich’.”
Stefan’s CBeebies colleague Katy Ashworth has joined forces with Seven Stories for a very special series of storytelling sessions entitled Eat That Book! Children will be encouraged to try out new foods as they read, eat and play along with lots of food-inspired games.
There will be three Eat That Book sessions during each day of the festival. Sessions are suitable for all the family, but are particularly aimed at the under-fives.
The Kids’ Club will also include a cookery school, where budding chefs can get hands-on in the kitchen and learn to make a range of simple but tasty treats including scones, shortbread and fruity muffins.
There will also be lots of family fun across of the festival locations courtesy of a collection of food-crazy musicians and entertainers.
Leek FM’s expert gardeners Pete and Ged Moss will be on hand with their musical wheelbarrow to answer important horticultural questions such as ‘what is the difference between Britney Spears and Garden Shears’, during their version of Gardener’s Question Time.
The Liver Cottage Garden team of Hugh Fearn and Lee Whittingstall present a food fusion like no other during their mobile cookery demonstrations, foraging food from the corner shop and even the audience, while the Grown Your Own team promise five-a-day fun with fruit and veg themed juggling, comedy cookery capers and a totally organic finale.
Music will be provided by the Courgettes, who promise to bring culinary chaos and a toe-tapping mix of ska, rock‘n’roll and swing jazz to the festival, and The Barrow Band, whose interactive musical show features silly songs about fruit and veg, including the unforgettable ‘Broccoli’.
All events and activities are free but advance booking is advised for Kids’ Club sessions as places are limited. Places can be booked by calling 03000 26 26 26.
For more information on individual sessions, times and how to book, visit www.bishopaucklandfoodfestival.co.uk
Durham Council: Stories from souvenirs
A creative writing workshop will give amateur authors the chance to take inspiration from a museum’s collection of World War One artefacts.
The DLI Museum and Durham Art Gallery is hosting the session on Sunday, 16 March as part of a project to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of the conflict.
Professional writer Rachel Cochrane will lead the workshop, encouraging authors to write a creative piece about an item from the collection.
At the end of the session, a selection of pieces will be chosen to be read out or performed at the opening of an exhibition by local artists from Creative Durham.
The group have produced a number of pieces in response to the museum’s WW1 artefacts and will be exhibiting their works at the gallery in June.
The workshop, aimed at adults of all writing abilities, will run from 10.00am to 12.30pm and costs £7.50 per person including admission to the museum.
Places are limited so should be booked in advance by calling 03000 266 590 or visiting the DLI Museum and Art Gallery in person.
The session will be repeated on Sunday, 13 April and Sunday, 11 May.
Durham Council: A great deal at Gala’s Comedy Store
Gala Theatre has a great deal to offer comedy fans this weekend.
The Durham city venue has teamed up with Chiquito Mexican restaurant to offer comedy fans a cut-price night out.
Book a ticket for The Comedy Store on Sunday, 9 March and you can also get a main meal at Chiquito all for £15.00.
So grab something spicy and sit back and enjoy an evening of cracking comedy with four rising stars.
This special deal is only available by visiting the box office or by calling 03000 266 600. Please quote ‘Chiquito15’ when booking. Please note, the show is for over-16s only.
You must pre-book your table at Chiquito by calling 0191 370 6470.
Durham Council: Northern writers set to meet their readers
A collection of northern writers will discuss their latest works with readers in County Durham over the coming weeks – with a series of library visits starting tomorrow (Tuesday, 4 March).
Novelists Sarah Stovell and Rebecca Muddiman and poets Mark Robinson and Tara Bergin will visit libraries in County Durham as part of Read Regional 2014.
The annual campaign, run by New Writing North in partnership with 19 library authorities, brings emerging and established writers to communities across the North East, Yorkshire and Humberside.
Sarah Stovell, who grew up in Oxfordshire but now lives in Northumberland, will be talking about her new novel, The Night Flower, when she visits Consett Library on Tuesday, 4 March at 2.00pm.
Winner of the Northern Writers’ Award in 2010 and the Northern Crime Competition 2012,
Rebecca Muddiman was born and raised in Redcar. She will be visiting Spennymoor Library on Thursday, 10 April at 11.00am to discuss her latest novel Stolen.
Mark Robinson’s poetry collection, How I Learned to Sing, contains new, ambitious poems alongside the best of his work from the past 25 years. Mark, who lives in Stockton-on-Tees, visits Consett Library on Thursday, 3 April at 2.00pm along with Tara Bergin.
Tara’s accomplished debut collection combines lyricism with fairytale and folklore. Born in Dublin, Tara studied at Newcastle University and now lives in North Yorkshire.
Poetry enthusiasts are also invited to a poetry reading workshop at Lanchester Library on Tuesday, 8 April at 2.00pm.
More information about Read Regional visit www.readregional.com
Durham Council: Business rooms with a view
An exciting new office development in Consett will be officially opened by the Chairman of Durham County Council, Cllr Pauline Charlton, on Tuesday March 4.
ViewPoint, named by pupils at the nearby Villa Real School because of its spectacular countryside setting, has 20,000sq ft of office space for small businesses available. The £3m development at Consett Business Park is managed by Business Durham, the business arm of Durham County Council.
It has space for 46 offices ranging from 148sq ft to 1600sq ft and seven tenants have already moved in. Viewpoint was funded by Durham County Council and the European Regional Grant Fund and built by Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd.
Business Durham already manages 100,000sq ft of office space across the rest of the park.
Businesses interested in the new offices should contact Julie Jennings from Business Durham on 01207 693 902
Durham Council: Energy experts on hand
Experts will be on-hand to give advice on everything from cutting energy bills to flood protection as Durham County Council supports Climate Week.
They are setting up stalls at Durham Market Place on Saturday March 1 with representatives including the Environment Agency, Warm Up North and civil contingency officers.
Climate Week is Britain’s biggest climate change campaign, inspiring a new wave of action to create a sustainable future.
Councillor Neil Foster, Cabinet member for economic regeneration said: “This is a great opportunity to get practical help on a variety of climate issues such as paying less for your energy and becoming more resilient to severe weather. We are delighted to be supporting Climate Week
The event has been organised by Durham County Council and the County Durham Environment Partnership.
More details on Climate Week: www.climateweek.com
Photo-opportunity: Councillor Foster will be at the Market Place at 11.00am.
Durham Council: All aboard for new passes
More than 10,000 people across County Durham are set to have their concessionary bus passes renewed in March.
County Durham travel scheme passes due to expire on March 31, 2014 will be replaced with a new pass valid until June 2019.
The new passes will be sent out automatically but you should call the bus pass renewal hotline on 03000 268 667 or visit one of the council’s Customer Access Points if you have moved house since your received your last pass, you will need proof of new address such as a utility bill. Or if you have not received your new pass by March 24, 2014 or you have received a pass in error.
Further information is available on www.durham.gov.uk/buspassrenewal
Durham Council: Garden waste collections
Garden waste collections in County Durham are due to resume from Tuesday 18 March.
Residents who are part of the scheme will receive a leaflet detailing their specific collection dates, which can also be checked using the My Durham facility on the council’s website at www.durham.gov.uk
Residents are advised to put their garden waste bin out by 7.00am on their collection day.
Small branches, flowers, leaves, grass cuttings, weeds, prunings and hedge clippings can all be placed in garden waste collection bins.
People are asked to put garden waste straight into the bin without using plastic bags to avoid contamination.