Community Life

Read about the latest community life stories,
including, Neighbourhood Watch, Police report, SDT Projects,
Ceddesfeld Hall, Nature Diary and your letters.

Your paper is delivered at the end of each month.


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Regular Feature

Sedgefield Neighbourhood Watch

Are You Following Government Advice?
Hopefully by the time you read this the Government will be starting to relax restrictions but if not, then this will not have been helped by those who just can’t seem to get the message. Everyone should know what to do by now, it’s been publicised enough and you’ve all had your letter from Boris.

Spot the Odd One Out. On the other hand, the restrictions should make it easy to spot anyone acting suspiciously or knocking on doors. If anyone unexpected knocks on your door, do not answer it and dial 101 to give a description to Police. Under no circumstances give money to a stranger who is offering help to get shopping for you, however ‘nice’ they may seem. You will not see your money or shopping again.

As we come out of the restrictions there is likely to be a big demand for leisure breaks and NHW have used this downtime to assemble some ‘Holiday Packs’ for Sedgefield residents. These would include:
· Plug-in segment timers
· TV simulator
· ‘Autodialer’ internal house alarm with movement sensor & phone connection.
· Mini CCTV camera, recording on a loop to a memory card.
· UV pen to security mark valuables
· Heavy-duty lock for French doors

The Holiday Packs will be available to borrow for the duration of your holiday and will be collected upon your return. Contact details will be published here next month and on our Facebook Page. And finally, Kids Driving You Mad? Download & print colouring pages from Durham Constabulary Facebook Page

Watch Out for COVID-19 Scams
Buying and Selling: Watch out for scammers exploiting the demand for face masks; test kits and hand sanitisers by selling fake or non-existent products online. Only use sites you trust and be wary of requests to pay by bank transfer. Watch out for deals that look to good to be true – they usually are. Doorstep Fraud: Unfortunately the vulnerable are being targeted by fraudsters offering to do shopping or odd jobs as mentioned above.

Traditionally we answer the door automatically when someone knocks even though you are not obliged to do so. DON’T ANSWER THE DOOR unless you have checked first to see if you recognise the caller or they have been invited. If it’s a stranger, ignore it and KEEP YOUR DOOR LOCKED.

Friends, Relatives and Neighbours – If you know of someone who is vulnerable and may need help, then ring them first to make sure they are OK. Don’t go unannounced and knock on the door. If you do go to help them, take precautions to keep them and you safe. Wear a face mask and gloves and use hand sanitiser. Safe Account Scams: This is when someone claiming to be from your Bank says your account has been compromised and your money must be moved to another account. This is on the increase due to uncertainty created by Covid-19. Please remember – YOUR BANK WILL NEVER ASK YOU TO MOVE MONEY.

Pension Scams: Don’t panic over your investments or pensions. Martin Lewis (Money Saving Expert) says stay put and ride it out. Due to people’s natural fear of financial losses, scammers are claiming they can cut your losses and make you money to recover quickly, if you move your pension fund now. If you are contacted by anyone offering solutions, ignore it, or you will lose ALL of your funds. Sit tight, the markets WILL recover.

NHS Scams: Please be aware that there are HMRC impersonators offering goodwill payments to NHS workers. It’s important to never click on links from sources you do not recognise. Are you furloughed? – Your employer will deal with your payments and pay you at the normal time into your usual account. Watch out for scams where HMRC impersonators ask for your bank details. If you have any queries or concerns, always ask your employer. Please lock up, stay safe and sleep well.

Local Police: Call 101 to report concerns, seek advice or pass on information. Always keep notes and ask for an incident number.
Crime Prevention Officer: Rona Stocks.
Police Community Cohesion Officer: Faye Callan. 101 Extension 742317.
Confidential email address:
Any information we receive will be developed and acted upon.
Regular Feature

A round up on the Trust projects

Keep up to date with the latest news about the Development Trust projects.

Farmers Market

Some Online Traders. Please store this information, or find more by searching on Facebook.
Parlour Made Cheese 01740 622255 or email:
The Busy Whisk
Diablo Seasonings
Rosalind’s Larder or Facebook @rosalindslarder
T.Gleadow Fish Merchant. Facebook message or 01890 750145
Roundhill Brewery 07910 567847 or Facebook @roundhillbrewery
@J & R Armitage On Facebook or
Visit or call 07866 161322

Energy Switch

Register by 18th May
This may be a good time to see if you can save some money!
Registration is very easy and doesn’t commit you to, or cost you anything. All you need is a recent energy bill which will have on it all necessary information, then 10 minutes of your time. Register Online by clicking here or by Post with help from Peter Burnip on our helpline, 07980 134 594.

Woodland & Wildlife

It's a 'no news' month for the project, so the volunteers have compiled a nature crossword, simply download the PDF version of the newspaper and its on the back page. Answers will be published here or on the facebook page from 1st June.

Homework Help

While requests for Homework Help have continued, the library is currently closed and so we cannot meet there for the time being. Some resourceful students and helpers are arranging remote sessions using Skype, WhatsApp, Google Hangouts or similar, but this isn't feasible for everyone. We can offer help via e-mail where that is practical.

We will get back to normal operation as soon as that is viable, but meantime, if you'd like to get in touch, find us on Facebook or email us at

Regular Feature

Steve's Nature Diary

I’m sure, like me, many of you are discovering the wealth of wildlife you can see and hear in your garden or on the many local paths. I am even finding new paths on my daily exercise walks from home.

May is a good time to spend some time watching your garden plants starting to grow and flower, birds are pairing up and looking for food, and insects abound. As birds settle and sit on eggs and bumble bees choose somewhere to make their nest, it is important that with time on our hands we don’t over tidy the garden, please leave space for wildlife.

The Wildlife Trusts have resources that may be of interest to people, especially, but not exclusively, those with children, looking for things to do in your garden. From home-made moth trapping to creating a mini–pond, go to and their YouTube channel, WildlifeWatchUK.

You can also download a new practical pack “Your Guide to Taking Action for Insects” - a colourful 20-page illustrated guide, packed full of tips, useful info, and links to finding out more. It’s aimed at helping individuals and families make simple yet crucial changes to helping insects and will help everyone do their bit in reversing decades of decline for the UK’s struggling bees, butterflies, moths, bugs and beetles. It’s a free download via

Finally, if you had had enough of watching box sets, why not tune into something different and try one of the live web-cams. Take your pick from Ospreys to Shetland puffins to Gateshead’s Kittiwakes, below, at

Regular Feature

Ceddesfeld Hall: Home of Sedgefield Community Association

As you know, Ceddesfeld Hall has now been closed for a few weeks, but in true Sedgefield tradition, community links and spirit remain strong, and members find new, interesting ways of keeping in touch. The groups provide much needed support and friendship for each other during these challenging times. Some examples follow here and on the Arts page, and we will bring more next month.

Sedgefield Twinning Association stay in touch through Facebook and website (, which provides background information as well as updates on social activities to look forward to at the other side of the pandemic! Unfortunately, the Germans’ visit to Sedgefield has been deferred, but meantime, members are staying in touch with German friends. The German conversation group meets virtually on Thursday evenings; if anyone would like to join in please get in touch via Facebook or the website. When Ceddesfeld opens again, STA would like to get in touch with other groups across Sedgefield to see if they might be interested in building stronger links with their Hamminkeln counterparts. It has been hugely rewarding and fun for those who have been involved so far!

Ceddesfeld Art Group are making use of their time at home creatively and continue to chat on-line when possible.

Ceddesfeld Hall Pop-in members are doing well and are being looked after. Wendy Rowley and team are in regular contact with members via telephone. Everyone is looking forward to getting back to normal and to Ceddesfeld.

Sedgefield Local History Society has put plans to commemorate VE Day (Fri 8th May) on hold, but they have made valuable connections with people who agreed to be interviewed by Sedgefield Community College students, to share wartime memories and stories which would have been incorporated into St Edmund’s service of celebration, opening the a weekend planned for the newly created Bank Holiday. Let’s say it’s postponed rather than cancelled, and if you feel inclined, put a flag in the window in honour of our forebears’ bravery and determination during those testing times. A lesson to us all.

The SCA Trustees keep in touch via email and the hall is checked regularly. It was thoroughly cleaned after lock down and drains in the car park have recently been repaired. The grounds look beautiful, thanks to Sedgefield Bloomers!

For more information on Ceddesfeld Hall events, regular activities, room hire and bar opening times, contact Wendy on 01740 620206, Pat on 01740 620607, Sarah on 01740 622185. Visit us on Facebook or see the SCA website,

Thank you from Skerne Medical Practice

A big thank you goes to patients for understanding and co-operation over the last few weeks. To help with the provision of an excellent service for you and your family they would like to highlight some ways that patients can help.
Prescription ordering online
Patients can register for an online service to order medications from the comfort of their home without the need to visit or call the surgery. Orders will be processed during working hours (8am-6pm) and sent to the local pharmacy. To arrange to use the service, please call your surgery, and one of the Reception Team will be happy to set it up for you. You will receive a unique username and password (please keep them secure). The website is There is also an app, SystmOnline which can be downloaded on iOS (Apple) or Android devices.
Electronically transferring prescriptions
You can also arrange for the practice to transfer prescriptions to your local pharmacy, so you don’t need to make unnecessary journeys. This includes repeat dispensing for patients who are stable on suitable medications. Please allow a little longer than the normal 48 hours for pharmacies to prepare prescriptions during the current lockdown.
Contact Details
It’s really important to keep these updated so that you can receive the latest information by text message or email. If your mobile telephone number or email address has changed, please call the surgery and let them know.

With your help we can ensure everyone gets the best care possible during these challenging times. Please stay well and safe at home.

Christian Aid Week (10-16 May)

At this time of the year our 50+ volunteer collectors would normally be gearing up to take part in the annual house to house collection here in Sedgefield, Bradbury and Mordon for Christian Aid.

Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 situation this event cannot now take place. Instead Christian Aid are moving online and are building a vibrant, virtual Christian Aid Week so we can all take part. They would love you to join in to show love for our neighbours near and far. We will put the banners and posters out on display to advertise the week and invite you to make your gift online at Thank you for your continued support. David and Margaret Glass

Feeling The Tension

Corona Virus or COVID-nineteen,
The worst pandemic that we've ever seen.
With Sedgefield in lock-down and most feeling blue,
As time goes by what more can we do?
Houses all spring cleaned, grass is all cut
A daily walk past shops that are shut.
Folks tap on keyboards and on the phone,
A whole new world, working from home.
Those that are furloughed, a new word for me,
Stand in a queue to get something for tea.
The two metre rule must get a mention,
As we fill our baskets, feeling the tension.
Social media works overtime, video, chat,
Now self isolation, we’re managing that.
When all this is over, it will make us think
How lucky we are, heading out for a drink!
Stay Safe. Richard Fearnside

Confined to Barracks

We were jogging along quite nicely
Then one day it came out of the blue,
A pandemic from China has hit us
Much worse than the seasonal flu
We've all been confined to barracks
No cavorting or mixing, the like,
But hand washing, scrubbing and cleaning
When I'd rather go out on me bike!
We've three or more months of confinement,
All filled with boredom for sure,
The bank balance is going to be healthy,
‘Cos we can’t go shopping no more!
Mrs Jane Lombard

Jottings from a bunker

Well, it’s ten days into my battle against the deadly coronavirus and already I detect the longing to see another friendly face. (My husband, bless him, is a friendly face, but he too is undergoing self-isolation).

At last I feel I am winning the battle. Long coughing bouts resulting in panic if I feel I can’t breathe, complete lack of interest in food, tendency to lose my balance, fluctuating temperatures, some confusion (worse than normal!) are all receding, thank heavens.

It’s only when you undergo this kind of isolation that you realise how much pleasure you get each day from greetings from passers-by, the artless prattle of children in coffee-shops, friendly bits of chat with shop assistants and bar staff, smiles from strangers and, as a Bloomer, the encouragement and support from fellow-citizens enjoying the results of your labours. All are temporarily on hold.

I have been very grateful for the phone-calls, texts, and e-mails from neighbours, friends and family, but there is something missing if you don’t see people face-to-face. Skyping comes close but it doesn’t quite provide the warmth, the personal communication and the emotion. Soon I will be ‘free’, at least to stand two metres from other people! I am so looking forward to going out to buy some milk!

I know life will not return to normality for some time, but I do hope we will all have learnt to value better the importance of living in a friendly community like Sedgefield, where people look out for each other and enjoy a joke or a bit of a gossip. A smile is such a precious commodity.

Alison Manning

One man and his dog!

Here's me, Tony Kenny and my little dog, Halle, enjoying Sedgefield News in these testing times. Thank you for keeping the news flowing. Just what the team needed to hear!

Thanks Tony. Editor

Community spirit is alive in these uncertain times

Residents of Willowdene Care Home were delighted to receive a very special package from the children of Sedgefield Primary School, whose gorgeous pictures & letters really cheered up residents when they received them in the morning post. Angela Penman, activities coordinator at Willowdene, took them round to residents and helped them to read the letters where needed.

They pinned pictures and letters onto the residents’ doors so they see can them often. Everyone hopes that one day the children can visit for juice & cake, to meet their new friends at Willowdene. “This lovely gesture has had a huge impact on residents.
We are so grateful, thank you.”

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Save Money

Sedgefield Energy Switch is a new initiative from Sedgefield Development Trust.

Working together with iChoosr, we're trying to help Sedgefield residents save money on their domestic gas and electricity bills. Sedgefield still continue to have the highest switching rate in the country.

Registrations 1670
People Registered 790

Key dates:

  31st March-Registration Opens
  18th May-Registration Closes
  19th May-Day of Auction
  1st June-Offers letters issued
  31st June-Offer acceptance closure

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Buy Local

Sedgefield Farmers Market is held every first Sunday of the Month, on the village green, from 8.30am to 12.30pm. The market has about 20 stall holders each month, varying throughout the seasons, providing meats, vegatables, Handmade pies, pastries and cakes, Fish, Spices, Cheeses and more.

To book a stall call Roger Clubley: 01740 620609, email Farmers Market:

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