Sunday 5th April 8.30am-12.30pm

In The News

We hear on a daily basis about climate change, but what is it and what can an individual do to make a difference, if anything?

Climate change or global warming, refers to the rise in the average temperatures of the Earth. The majority of the scientific community advocate that climate change is due to the use of fossil fuels which release carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the air. These gases trap heat in the atmosphere. The world is heating up at a much faster rate than previously thought by scientists, it is then thought this causes shifts in weather patterns, which can lead to severe conditions like those that lead to the bushfires experienced in Australia recently.

Many countries have signed up to reduce carbon emissions, however most pledges have targets set many years in the future, so leaving this to companies and the government isn't going to happen soon enough, it does require a bit of input and change by us all. It's very unlikely that an individual household will solve climate change by adjusting their shopping or driving habits alone – although these are important. Of course most things are obvious and have been promoted for years. Switching off lights and devices not in use, drying clothes without a tumble dryer, flying less and taking public transport are just a few. Car share websites pull people together going the same way at the same time, this can save on fuel and money.

Got a meeting? Is it possible to do this by video chat rather than several people driving to a location? Where energy comes from, specifically the burning of fossil fuels, is one of the highest contributors to global warming.

Could you switch your energy to a greener energy supplier, who invest in energy from natural means? This means that the energy in your home is made in a more environmentally friendly way before it even reaches you. Energy suppliers often run incentives to improve your insulation and it's worth checking if yours is up to the job, after all, keeping the heat in your home costs you less.

Next time we’ll continue this exploration, looking at food choices, clothing and fashion. Meanwhile, it’s worth remembering that by implementing small changes we can make an immediate impact on our carbon footprint. If you would like to test your household’s footprint, visit www.footprint.wwf.org.uk. For more ideas and chat on greener and eco friendly living visit Greener Sedgefield on Facebook.
Registering for the energy switch commits you to absolutely nothing. Watch this space for details on the next bidding period.

More Local News

Noah’s Ark at St Edmunds
On Sunday 9th February children and parents weathered Storm Ciara to join Noah in his Ark. Dressing up as animals, making animal masks, dove puppets and paper rainbows, brought the story to life, as we climbed into the Ark to endure the flood. Thanks to Sedgefield Co-op for contributing to the rainbow of fruit we enjoyed. Photographs are displayed in church.
Groups merge to safeguard Sedgefield’s ancient Church
Two organisations dedicated to preserving and developing Sedgefield’s ancient parish church are to amalgamate so they are ‘better able to face the great challenges that lie ahead’. In a joint statement, the Friends of St Edmund’s and the church’s Inspired Futures development project team say that this move will be in the best interests of those who want to ensure that the 900-year-old building is preserved for future generations, as well as those who would like to see greater use of its facilities by present-day community groups.

Dr Alistair Irvine, chairman of the Friends, and Mr Brian Mutch, who chairs the Inspired Futures group, say that the amalgamation is ‘an obvious step since the two committees already work closely together and have many of the same people in their leadership teams’.

The primary role of the Friends of St Edmund’s is to preserve the fabric of the building. In the past 20 years, group members have raised over £160,000 for preservation work and improvements to both the interior and exterior of the church.

The Inspired Futures team was formed three years ago in response to a Diocesan-inspired initiative devised to safeguard ancient buildings and make them more readily available for wider community use. Its members are currently working with Sedgefield Local History Society to establish a local heritage centre in the North transept at St Edmund’s.
Important for all Women aged from 24 1/2 - 64
THIS ARTICLE COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE A colleague of mine recently attended a funeral for a close friend who died after being diagnosed with cervical cancer. She had first visited the doctors just a few weeks before, and she was only 36 years old. Cervical cancer takes many years to develop, so if it’s discovered early, the survival rates are high. This is where screening comes in.

The introduction of the smear test has dramatically reduced the number of deaths from cervical cancer. It’s estimated that screening saves around 2,000 lives every year. Many find the test embarrassing and, let’s be honest, it’s uncomfortable. It would be a lot better if we could find an easier way, but until that happens, cervical screening via a smear test is the best way you can protect yourself. Most of the tests find nothing, but early diagnosis means there is a wide range of treatment options available.

The nurses at Skerne Medical Group are running a clinic on Saturday 7th March between 9am and 12 noon at Sedgefield Surgery. Bookable appointments are available (call 01740 620 300) but you can also turn up on the day. You will be able to have a test, but you can also just pop in and talk to someone about any concerns you might have. All the nurses at the clinic will be female and are really committed to making the experience as pleasant as possible.

Remember, if you have any symptoms (unusual vaginal bleeding, pain in the lower back or pelvis) please don’t wait for a screening letter, but contact the surgery immediately. Nearly 8 in 10 eligible women do have a regular smear test – so what’s stopping you? If you feel you would like more information, please visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/cervical-cancer.
Sedgefield News: from the past
by Martin F Peagam, The Time Traveller, for Sedgefield Local History Society.
In March 1920: 100 years ago There were a lot of cases of Scarlet Fever in the district, many of them children. Robert Harle, a miner, was admitted to the Sedgefield Isolation Hospital. However, he did not like being around children, and went home. He was arrested and fined £3 for leaving the hospital without permission. In March 1919: 101 years ago The Durham Winter Assizes held before Mr Justice Bray heard twenty cases. 10 of the cases involved charges of bigamy. One of those charged with bigamy was William Morris, aged 35, a miner who had served in the army during the First World War. Morris pleaded guilty to a charge of bigamy with Elizabeth Dixon at Sedgefield. Having been described as a being ‘of good character’, Morris was sentenced to eight months in prison.

Cases of bigamy were common after both the First and Second World Wars, when people, having married on the understanding that their previous partners were ‘missing, believed killed’, only for those partners to return. In March 1870: 150 years ago For stealing a piece of mutton valued at 1s 1d from a stall at Stockton market, John Dawson was sentenced to ‘only 14 days imprisonment’. Mr Dawson, although now a hay and straw dealer living in Carlton, had previously been a ‘respectable farmer’ from Sedgefield. The court took into account the fact that Mr Dawson had pleaded guilty and his previous good character.

In the same month, an inquest was convened to consider the death of Thomas Urwin, a ‘criminal patient’ at the Sedgefield Asylum who had been admitted to the asylum in April 1868. The inquest heard that Urwin had retired to bed at his usual time, but was found dead the next morning. The inquest concluded that he had suffered a fit during the night and suffocated. He was 41 years old.
Sedgefield company makes a splash
Demeter Water Solutions Limited has been shortlisted for the Company of the Year Award (Durham / Sunderland & South Tyneside region) at the prestigious North East Business Awards. It’s a great achievement to be nominated and the winner will be revealed on 12 March. Founder and director, Andy Smedley is passionate about saving water and after a long career in the water industry he wanted to use his experience to help customers. Appropriately named after the Greek goddess of water, Demeter was set up in 2008 and moved to Sedgefield in 2014, where it now employs ten people, including Andy’s wife, Liz.

The company installs and monitors data loggers (see photos) to measure water flow rate and transmit the data for analysis. The company software makes it easy to spot anomalies in the supply - anything from a running tap to a serious leak. A running tap can use between 500 and 600 litres of water per hour and the small hole pictured right cost over £6,000 per year in leaking water. Demeter’s equipment monitors the water usage and their staff alert customers when there is a problem and will arrange repairs if required. While many customers are in the North East, the company works extensively further afield, from Thurso to Penzance. Demeter monitors supplies for organisations in sectors such as social care, health, education and manufacturing, as well as supporting well-known customers including Newcastle United, the Baltic, the Theatre Royal, and Durham University.

Increasingly their customers are concerned about the environmental impact of water use with significant amounts of energy required for the transport and treatment of the water supply. Newcastle University presented the company with their Contribution to Ethical, Social and Environmental Responsibility Award in 2019, after they identified a significant leak in one of the halls of residences that happened on Christmas Day. Without monitoring, this would have wasted significant amounts of water and cost many thousands of pounds in charges. To mark the 2020 Olympics, Demeter Water Solutions Ltd is trying save customers the equivalent of 100 Olympic size swimming pools - around 250 million litres of water. It has made a significant contribution already, with enough water saved in January alone to fill 18 pools. A recent contract with a large water provider to supply monitoring for public sector organisations in Scotland promises a bright future for this local company.

When asked for a tip for domestic customers, Andy warned that modern toilets often leak, trickling water into the bowl, and use large amounts of water without you noticing. Keep an eye on your meter readings and you could save £££s.
Shaping the education of the children of Sedgefield
Do you have an interest in shaping the education of the children of Sedgefield, and skills you could offer?

Sedgefield Primary School is looking for a new member of our Governing Body who has skills to contribute (an interest in finance would be of particular benefit). Training and support will be provided.

Our Governors are friendly, welcoming and dedicated. They thoroughly enjoy their role and find it interesting and rewarding.

If you are interested in finding out more, please ring the Headteacher, Andrea Cox, on 01740 620359 or send an email to sedgefield.primary@durhamlearning.net and she will be happy to discuss the role in more detail.
Online Safety by Hardwick Primary School
Recently we celebrated Online Safety Day in school, where the focus was on our ‘Online Identity’. We explored the theme of ‘Free to be me!’ and considered all of the ways we can express ourselves on the internet safely. We discussed what is safe to share online, such as our hobbies, interests and experiences, whilst ensuring that we keep our private information, such as names, addresses and contact details, private.

We participated in activities such as creating our own avatars online, and explained how those avatars can have the same features as us, such as glasses or brown hair, the same colour eyes or the same colour clothes, and are much safer than using a picture of ourselves!

This has tied in neatly with our school’s Computing lessons this term, which have been focussed on Computer Science - specifically coding! We have been learning to put together algorithms through sequences of code, and also how to debug them when things go wrong! We have used exciting apps on our iPads in order to do this, and learnt the vital coding skills ready for when we use physical coding to code robots in the summer term! Here we will be using the Sphero robot to complete tasks that we have created on our iPads!

We are also considering other exciting activities and hardware that we can add to our curriculum in the future! Technology is awesome - when it’s used safely!