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Citizen of the Year Award


This year’s Citizen of the Year Award had to be managed in a different way. Presented jointly by Sedgefield Town Council, Sedgefield Development Trust and the Rotary Club of Sedgefield, it is traditionally announced during the Annual Town Meeting in May. In the unusual context of 2020, rather than reveal the 2019 Citizen of the Year then, the decision was made to instead announce a 2019/2020 Citizen of the Year in December. Nominations were re-opened and a panel of judges held an online meeting to assess the candidates, including those who had already been suggested earlier in the year.

In common with all community groups, youth organisations have been badly hit by the pandemic. The Young Citizen of the Year Award, only established last year, relied on input from those groups, so sadly, no nominations were received this year for young people who qualify for the award. It will return refreshed in 2021!

However, there was a very strong line up of candidates for Citizen of the Year. We are very fortunate in Sedgefield to have so many people who contribute an awful lot to community life and choosing a winner in any given year is always extremely tough. The judges agree a set of criteria and then assess the nominees in detail. As ever, there were some very deserving individuals and the final result was very close, but there can only be one winner, and we are pleased to announce that the Sedgefield Citizen of the Year 2019/2020 is Howard Smith. As chair of Sedgefield in Bloom, Howard is a familiar figure in our community. Although he deals with much the group’s work behind the scenes, he is most often seen out and about (usually with his wife Barbara) tending to the various displays in Sedgefield which are brilliantly maintained by Bloom volunteers.

Despite the usual competitions being cancelled this year, Howard, the Bloomers and town council gardeners, Stephen and Ben, have made sure that our town looks as beautiful as ever. Howard’s Sedgefield Citizen of the Year Award 2019/2020 recognises that recent work, but also reflects his many years of hard work as a dedicated volunteer. Congratulations!

Regular Feature

Greener Sedgefield

New Year usually means resolutions started with good intentions but often wear thin after a time. Here are some simple eco ideas to get you started with green resolutions:
Shop locally and look for items with as little packaging as possible. If the items are local, all the better. Lockdowns have impacted smaller businesses and we've been encouraged to help them, so we can enjoy them in the future. When you shop, take your bags with you.
- A small bin or bag for recycling next to your main indoor one may encourage you to recycle more. Some people are less likely to recycle if they feel it's a hassle going to the bin outside with every item.
If in doubt as what to put in the recycling, either leave it out or look it up at the council's A to Z. Most importantly, don't put nappies or food waste in them, it contaminates the whole load in the truck.
Donate before you throw away. The local Facebook larder page or Freecycle will often put even an old fence panel to use. Charities welcome good clothing and household items. After Christmas the annual clean out occurs in so many houses. Pass it on. On the reverse, do you really need a brand new item? Put a wanted message out, you may be surprised what offers of help you may receive. Saving money and resources often go hand in hand. This also applies to fast fashion etc. Even children's dressing up items can be in great condition second hand.

Plan your meals. This may sound a bit of extra work but you'll throw away less and in buying what you need save money too. Any uncooked leftovers or veg peelings can be composted.

Batteries. Sales are generally higher around Christmas, rechargeable ones are more initially but being able to use them over and over saves money and resources.

Try new things each month. You could try refilling your bottles of shampoo or soap one month, pop to your local zero waste shop. Another month you could try something else like reusable wax wraps instead of cling film. Small steps spread cost and allow you to see what works for you.

Washing your clothes on a short low temperature cycle saves energy and water. Pop your clothes out to dry as much as possible. Try to avoid washing fleeces very often, because of the microplastics that are washed out of them. 2020 is a year most of us would happily like to forget, let's make a good start to 2021 and beyond.

Citizen of the Year, 2000

We are very sad to report that the very first Sedgefield Citizen of the Year, Billy Cooper, has died. For many years Billy could be found behind the bar at the Golden Lion, but he was so much more than the almost legendary landlord of one of our best loved pubs.

On page 2 we include a brief tribute to Billy from Les Butler, the 99 year old Burma veteran, who came to Sedgefield Army Camp in 1941 and has lived here ever since.


A Hive of Activity

Those busy bees at Growing Together in Sedgefield have a new home.

“The Hive of Sedgefield” is to be in the former Turner’s showroom building in Rectory Row, which Carole Lawford and her volunteers have now rented, Sedgefield Windows having relocated to Portrack Lane in Stockton, leaving not only the building but, importantly for Carole, land at the rear for growing and harvesting.

Plans for the land include more space to grow fruit, vegetables and flowers, as well as providing an opportunity for horticulture training. They will sell plants for home growing, like a small garden centre but also offer small, raised beds where people can grow what they like with help from the team of volunteers.

The building will become a base to provide support and fun for local people. The first stage is to create some retail space to help people with their shopping. As a Community Interest Company all the profit will go back into community projects and this will help fund the development of the rest of the building.

The next priority is to develop the kitchen for workshops and cookery lessons. The Hive will provide the food and support as now but on a bigger scale rather than in volunteers’ homes. Carole is already working with businesses in Sedgefield but looks forward to developing other links to support local people and to attract more visitors.

If you have a few hours’ spare would you like to help? Or can you provide some advice on building maintenance, especially roofing and plumbing? Jobs that need doing include scraping walls, painting, repairs, clearing weeds ready for planting - so please get in touch if you can help.

Growing Together in Sedgefield has received funding and support from Sedgefield Town Council, Durham County Councillor David Brown and Livin.

‘We are grateful for the faith they have shown in us and we will continue to work with them’, says Carole. ‘The building and outside area will be fully accessible. For me, for everyone. That’s the foundation of everything. Thank you all for the support we’ve had. Let’s all make 2021 a new and safe start.’

You can contact Carole at carole@thehiveofsedgefield.com or on Facebook/ Growing Together in Sedgefield.


College donates over 2000 items to local Foodbank

Staff and students from Sedgefield Community College handed over 2250 individual items to the Billingham and Stockton Foodbank appeal as their festive spirit spread. It is the fourth year running in which the award-winning school has donated to local Foodbank charities, and this year has seen record-breaking results.

Charity Coordinator Paul McGeary said, “Year-on-year our Foodbank contributions have grown. We have created a momentum that shows no signs of slowing down. Our first ever collection in 2017 yielded 1000 items and last year we gathered an impressive 1500 items for Durham Foodbank appeal.

“This year we are handing over 2250 individual items which is of particular pertinence in times of Covid-19, which has badly affected Foodbank collections. We have educated our students as to the importance of Foodbanks, and dispelled many myths surrounding the beneficiaries of our donations. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our staff, students and parents and carers for embracing the project and already we are looking ahead to breaking records again with next year’s collection.”


Sedgefield News: from the past

by Martin F Peagam, The Time Traveller, for Sedgefield Local History Society.

Have great Christmas folks.
If you would like to know more about your local history, visit the Facebook site of Sedgefield Local History Society. Martin F Peagam, The Time Traveller.


I’m a Sedgefield Hardwick Staff Member Get Me Out Of Here!

All pupils love seeing their teachers humiliated and this year, at Sedgefield Hardwick, their dreams came true. With a bit of Christmas magic, the help of Little Ant and Little Dec, a few reindeer and some extremely mischievous snowmen, the “I’m a Sedgefield Hardwick Teacher Get Me Out Of Here” trials were born. Little did the teachers know what was in store for them but they would soon find out.

It’s Snow Joke was the first trial and it was a messy one. Staff were placed in a vote off on the school’s social media channels with the ‘lucky’ winners being Mr Clark and Miss Bourner. Their mission was to decorate a gingerbread man. However, as it is the time for giving, we had a few surprises planned for them. They got in to a few sticky situations, being covered in strawberry sauce, sugar and maple syrup amongst others! They were both so covered in icing that you couldn’t tell if the gingerbread men were on the plate or standing up next to the table. When they were finished, they looked better than the gingerbread men they were supposed to be decorating. However, Mr Clark got a bit hungry on set and ate more than he decorated!

We have a few more trials and surprises in store for the rest of the teachers and they will soon have their turn. Just wait! That’s it from Little Ant (Alice), Little Dec (Ollie) and their assistant (Ava) PS: if you want to watch the trials then they are all available to watch on the school’s Facebook page! www.facebook.com/SedgefieldHardw
Editor’s note: you may think that web address looks wrong, but it’s not! I tried it.


PURPLE4POLIO

As the New Year begins and spring approaches, we all hope for brighter days, typified for many of us by spring blooms pushing through the cold earth.

Back in September, volunteer Bloomers planted 4,000 purple crocus corms donated by Sedgefield Rotary Club. These tiny bright flowers should soon be seen popping up along the church bank and around the Rotary Wheel at Winterton. The purple crocus is the symbol of Rotary's worldwide campaign to eradicate polio. The tiny flowers represent the purple dye used to mark a finger of a child who has been immunised.

Since the campaign began in 1985, 2.5 billion children have been vaccinated, cases have been reduced by 99.9% and polio is now classed as endemic only in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Three years after the last recorded case the world can be considered free of polio.


Sedgefield in the snow

Amongst the horrors of 2020 there has always been beauty, so we’ve included the image below to celebrate the place we are so lucky to live in - and to put in a quick word for a short spell of crisp winter!
Award winning photography by Ken Wilson (Sedgefield)


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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.


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Key dates:

  1st December 2020-Registration Opens
  8th February 2021-Registration Closes
  9th February 2021-Day of Auction
  22nd February 2021-Offers letters issued
  23rd March 2021-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: farmers@sedgefielddevelopmenttrust.co.uk


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