Our community initiatives provide high quality opportunities for people of diverse and isolated communities to come together to share in mutual support, social interaction, mentoring and volunteering. See below for information related to our community activities.
Days of our lives
In 2019, we were awarded the County Durham Council award, ‘A Project Without Equal’ for our Gaiety events and integenerational work. The award recognised the great efforts made by staff and volunteers to engage with the vulnerable in our community. Only ten award were awarded and covered all projects by all organisations over the past ten years.
Our Gaiety events always attract a large number of participants and are an important part of our work, engaging the vulnerable and isolated in our community. We provide a safe space to chat, enjoy company and engage in some form of entertainment and have a light lunch and cup of tea.
Shoe box appeal
Every year we take a group of young volunteers and support the local Methodist Church to carry Shoe boxes full of toys to the transport vehicle. The boxes are destined to give a needy child a valuable lift at a time when, for many, there is great sadness. Our young volunteers are always keen and enjoy the biscuit and juice the church lays on afterwards!
For a number of years now, we have been invited to join in the commemorations of The Festival of Remembrance at Durham Cathedral. It is always an honour to participate and we produce songs and short dramatic readings to present to the packed audience. Our young people find this a great experience where they can witness, first hand, some of the music, community initiatives and engage in a large scale, high profile commemoration event. In 2020, we took part in the first ever Streamed Remembrance event.
Each year, we take a number of volunteers to attend the local Remembrance service. It is a great opportunity to meet other groups in the area and to collectively show our respect to the fallen.
VE Day Commemoration
In the period of lockdown we engaged a large number of young people in an online VE Day celebration. They were give, remotely, a piece of text, a poem or a song to present. They read or sang their piece to camera on a plain background and our little wizards turned their efforts into a series of commemoration pieces to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of VE Day. Click here to see all the videos.
We have produced a Christmas Choir for the past eight years, performing at local venues and bringing light, cheer and song into people’s lives. In 2020, we produced a video choir which was beamed into local venues so that the joy of song and community spirit could be experienced by all.
We have engaged with the County Durham Community Foundation’s iWill campaign, which aims to make positive changes in communities. In 2020, we engaged young mentors to read stories and extracts so that younger children could listen/watch and excite their imaginations. Some of the stories are signed, others include specially created animations.
Our Santa Experience has been going for nearly ten years and is always a joy to produce for the community. Our Santa’s Experiences are not just walkthroughs, but are a delightful song, dance and storytelling extravaganza with live characters, projections and even Christmas Discovery Mazes! In 2020, we produced a socially distanced Elf Village for the community. It was a great event and chhildren got the opportunity to write to Santa and get a personalised response (delivered by reindeer).