Bells rung to celebrate brave youngster’s cancer remission
After months of silence, bells at St Edmund’s, Sedgefield and St Michael’s, Bishop Middleham, rang out to celebrate a medical milestone in the life of a Scottish youngster known to local churchgoers.
The end of cancer treatment for the seven-year-old grand-daughter of Michael and Judith King was marked by the peal at the same time as the youngster, her family and friends were ringing a bell specially made for the occasion in a park near her home in Scotland.
Normally, children in remission 'ring the bell' in the hospital where they have received treatment, but due to the Covid pandemic this could not happen, so her parents decided to mark the occasion with a different bell-ringing. They invited friends and family to walk through the park at 2 pm, whilst maintaining social distancing. In Sedgefield, the church bell was rung by emeritus warden Brian Mutch assisted by Tower Captain Janet Tiplady, while at St Michael’s the bell was rung by parish warden John Burrows.
Mr and Mrs King attended the Scottish celebration which they described as ‘a tremendous occasion following a long illness for a very brave little girl’. They have spoken of their gratitude to all those who provided medical care during this time and for all the support and care the whole family has received from so many people.
Happy 100th birthday
My Nan, Margaret Harris, turned 100 on Sunday 26th July and had a wonderful day.
She lived in Sedgefield for 30 years at Crispin Court before moving to Homebryth House. Last year, she had to move to the Hospital of God in Greatham, where she is very happy and settled.
I had planned to get a minibus for all her friends to attend her birthday party but, due to Covid, this was not allowed.
My Nan was an active member of the community, being in the carpet bowls group for many years, in the twinning association going to Germany on several occasions and was a practicing Catholic at the village church.
She misses her friends and neighbours and wanted to send a big thank you for all the cards and for the lovely flowers from her friends at Homebryth. Nikki Easton
Treefest falls victim to COVID-19
Uncertainty surrounding the pandemic has ruled out November’s planned St. Edmund’s Christmas Tree Festival. The decision was not made lightly but it was felt that it should be made sooner than later.
Members of groups and businesses who had pledged support have been thanked, their sponsorship money to be returned. Supporters of Treefest, one of the region’s most popular festive events, will be glad to hear that planning the 2021 festival begins early in the New Year.
Since the festival was launched in 2016 it has raised thousands of pounds for the church, charities and deserving organisations.
Sedgefield News: from the past
by Martin F Peagam, The Time Traveller, for Sedgefield Local History Society.
No updates this month.
For more about your local history, visit Facebook/Sedgefield Local History Society
Grants available to support independent living
Residents with disabilities can take advantage of home improvement grants of up to £30,000 through Durham County Council’s Home Improvement Agency. The Disabled Facilities Grants can help disabled and vulnerable residents to adapt their homes to meet their needs and enhance their quality of life. Owner-occupiers, private rental tenants and housing association tenants are all eligible. Typical adaptations include ramps, level access showers, stair lifts, external lifts, through floor lifts, internal and external alterations and extensions (for ground floor living).
During the coronavirus outbreak many older and more vulnerable people have had to spend a lot more time in their homes. For many, this could continue for some time and we want to make residents aware of the help available to make their homes safe and comfortable. The Home Improvement Agency staff will help clients through the entire process, from identifying their individual needs and the adaptions that could help, all the way through to the completion of the work. Anyone who thinks they or someone they know might benefit from this support is encouraged to get in touch”
As well as the grants, home improvement loans are available to anyone who owns their own home. Repayment, equity and interest free loans are offered to fund such works as roof renewal and repairs, window and door renewal, damp proofing, electrical and heating improvements and structural work.
There is also a project management service for anyone planning adaptations in their own homes. For a small fee, a housing surveyor can design to an individual’s brief, tender, appoint contractors and project manage the work through to completion. This can be anything from small scale internal work to larger extensions, along with adaptations for disabled clients who do not qualify for grant assistance.
The Home Improvement Agency also provides advice and guidance for older or disabled people to find out about adaptions that could benefit them.
For more information about who is eligible and how to apply, visit www.durham.gov.uk/article/3373/Disabled-Facilities-Grant, OR contact either email@example.com or the council’s Social Care Direct team. Call 03000 267 979 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Food Glorious Food
One positive outcome from lockdown has been that collectively we have paid more attention to what we eat. The scarcity of flour indicated that more of us were baking and making things from scratch. Making the most of every scrap of food, we got inventive with leftovers, and many of us planted seeds to grow our own. In many ways we returned to good housekeeping methods, minimising waste and rediscovering basic skills. This is good for the planet, good for our bodies, and good for our finances. There is also evidence that preparing and eating fresh food is good for our mental health, with bonus points for spending time outside growing our own.
As a farming area, food production is all around us. The Sedgefield Show celebrates the best that farming has to offer. There is a strong tradition of allotments in the area, with plots in both Fishburn and Sedgefield. The wonderful ‘Growing together in Sedgefield’ has created a space for the community to produce and share food. The monthly Farmers Market is an opportunity to buy mouth-watering local produce direct from the makers. Supermarkets collect and donate to foodbanks to help local people in need, and staff at Fishburn Youth and Community Centre delivered hot food and goodies to vulnerable people over lockdown. We are also lucky to have an abundance of wild food for picking in hedgerows.
So before things ‘get back to normal’, what can we do as a community to keep up these good habits? Do you have a food growing or making tip to share? Do you have surplus fruit or veg which you could donate? Do you want to learn more about foraging or preserving? What is the best way of sharing ideas and resources in our community?
Get in touch with your ideas and enthusiasm. Email news@