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The Alan Sowerby Citizenship Awards 2017, presented at the Village Primary Schools by Sedgefield Village Neighbourhood & Crime Watch Panel
Chris Lines

Leavers’ ceremonies took place at Sedgefield Hardwick & Sedgefield Primary Schools in July this year. The much-valued award of Citizen of the Year has been presented to a most deserving young person at each school before the whole school at each of these ceremonies since 2002.

To be selected as the Citizen of the Year each school must judge which pupil has “consistently shown kindness, care & consideration to fellow pupils, to all staff at school and for showing similar standards of behaviour outside of school.” They will be the one who gives a helping hand spontaneously; someone who is recognised by their peers as well as their teachers as a truly good person; one who regularly puts others’ interests before their own, who sees someone in need and provides that support without direction from a teacher or an adult.

On the 20th July at Hardwick Primary Citizen of the year 2017, a departure from previous years occurred, when the award was made to two unsuspecting pupils – Chloe Larke & Jasmine Platts.

Year 6 Head teacher Nathan Steel described Jasmine and Chloe as being not only superb ambassadors for Sedgefield Hardwick but superb ambassadors for a future generation. They are both incredibly mature and sensible pupils; always willing, always available to provide assistance to staff and their peers. Their positive attitudes are infectious, influencing those around them for the better. By their actions they have earned the respect of fellow pupils and staff, right across the school.

They have an inclusive outlook, doing their very best such that everybody around them feels valued and involved; traits that are so very important in the modern world. Importantly, it is not just within the school setting that this positive impact is seen. They have been active in the community over the course of the year, representing the school and externally entirely of their own accord; they raised funds for Cancer Research at the school’s Christmas Markets and more funds for the same charity again outside of school. Working together within the Guides, the girls have taken part in other fundraising events which have had a direct impact on their local community. Nathan concluded by stating that it would have been impossible to present this award to one girl and not the other; their positive attitudes and helpful manner are to their great credit, and are an indicator of the mature, thoughtful and kind young people they are.

Well done Chloe & Jasmine, joint Sedgefield Hardwick Primary Citizens of the Year 2017.

Chris Lines
On July 21st at Sedgefield Primary School, secretary of Neighbourhood Watch Joe McKenna, in presenting the award, reminded everyone that the intention is to recognise a truly special person. At this school that person is Lucy Heslop. Head Teacher Andrea Cox had informed us that throughout her time at Sedgefield Primary, Lucy Heslop has been the kind of girl who has just quietly got on with things.

Lucy doesn't like a fuss, or to be the centre of attention, however is always there when something needs doing. She is very helpful, exceptionally caring and totally reliable. Lucy has helped at so many school functions they are too numerous to recall, and has happily helped to set up, clear away and run stalls at a variety of the school's events.

Kindness, care & consideration are Lucy’s trademark; this year she has taken on the role of Head Buddy and Deputy Head Mrs Smith, who oversees the KS2 Buddies, says that she is the best Head Buddy the school has ever had! Lucy has ensured each of the Buddies fulfil their duties without being bossy, calmly sorting out issues in a thoroughly mature way and always taking into consideration other people's thoughts and feelings.

Lucy has contributed a lot to Sedgefield Primary and we know she will continue to be a good citizen of Sedgefield in the years ahead.


Steve's Nature Diary
Steve's Nature Diary

Late summer is a good time to look for wild bees that may be visiting your garden. This year, Wild About Gardens, a partnership between The Royal Horticultural Society and The Wildlife Trusts, is calling on people to bee-friendly in their gardens. Our gardens have immense value for wildlife. Each patch is part of a network of 15 million gardens that criss-cross the UK, which, put together, cover 667,000 acres – an area seven times the size of the Isle of Wight.

With honeybees often stealing the show, the campaign wants to draw attention to the plight of the wide range of solitary and bumblebees that also need help. And of course, helping out our pollinators helps us too, with the work of bees indirectly providing us with every third mouthful of food we eat.

Late summer is the time when most bumblebees begin to behave in unusual ways that may seem alarming. Instead of simply feeding upon flowers, they can now be seen mating, digging holes to hibernate in and slowly feeding upon flowers and dying en masse. When the queen has mated she will go into hibernation. She will burrow into soil and hibernate through the winter, using fat reserves to keep herself alive. Queens can survive temperatures down to minus 19C by producing a kind of ‘antifreeze’ in their bodies.

But what happens to the rest? Unfortunately, it’s the end of the road for the them: the old queen, all her workers, and all the males die at the end of summer. You may have seen some bees clinging lifelessly to flowers, only raising a sorry leg in defence when you get close to them. This is all part of the bumblebee lifecycle. The best thing we can do to help bumblebees now is to have the right plants for the final few queens to feed upon, and be vigilant when we are turning compost or digging soil - there might be a queen bumblebee whose hibernation could be disturbed. Here are a few ideas for helping bees: Plant pollinator friendly flowers. Examples can be found on the RHS Perfect for Pollinators web page. Even if you don’t have a garden, many of these plants will survive just as well in a pot. Put out shallow dishes of water, filled with pebbles, to provide easy drinking places for thirsty bees.

The wild bee-friendly gardening guide, ‘Get your garden buzzing for bees’, is free to download and contains lots of facts about the different species of wild bee, their lifecycles and how they nest, as well as practical steps gardeners can take to help them. Download here

Enter our Bee Creative photo competition! Gardeners, gardening groups and schools are encouraged to share how they’ve welcomed wild bees into their gardens by posting a picture on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram – using the hashtag #wildaboutgardens and the category being entered – of their bee-friendly area, whether that be a tailor-made bee home, a flower-packed border or a wall that bees have made their own.

A list of wildlife gardening events can be found by clicking this link.

Sedgefield Business Network

SBN is open to anyone in business in Sedgefield or the local area, or anyone living in Sedgefield with business interests further afield.

You are warmly invited to the next networking breakfast, on Tuesday 12th September from 8am until about 9.30am, in the newly refurbished Fletcher Room in the Parish Hall. The speaker will be Calum Baker of the Business Energy Efficiency Project (BEEP) and the support package for County Durham SMEs funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

Business breakfasts continue to be free to attend, thanks to sponsorship, this time from Sedgefield Town Councillors Allan Blakemore and Chris Lines. However, please do register before 7th September, so that we can cater appro-priately. Thank you. We look forward to seeing you on 12th!

Advance notice: the next breakfast is planned for 14th November, kindly sponsored by Kyle Cannings Ltd.

Up to £350 to help improve your broadband speeds

Following the Government’s commit-ment to provide access to a minimum of 2 megabits per second (Mbps) download speeds, a broadband subsidy scheme was launched to help eligible residents. Part of the eligibility criteria is that you’re unable to access download speeds of 2 Mbps or more, and are not in any fibre current fibre broadband rollout plans. You can apply for a voucher worth up to £350 towards the hardware and instal-lation costs to get connected to alterna-tive broadband technologies such as satellite, 4G and wireless. You would still be required to pay any additional costs such as the monthly service charge which starts at £10.

The scheme is open to both residents and businesses. Applications need to be submitted by 21 December 2017. Further information and the application form are available at this website link. If you’re unable to complete the application form online, please email or call 03000 261160, leaving a short voicemail about your request.

Transitional Treasures

First of a new seasonal feature: The latest fashion trends are brought to you by Image Consultant, Elena Degnan of Jayne Fashions. Let’s start with the Autumn 2017 trends, and it’s time to get excited about all the cosy knits and snuggly coats for autumn/winter.

Autumn is a great time to inject new life into your wardrobe and try new trends. Layering is now a very British obsession, and there’s a major move towards having pieces in your wardrobe that you can wear year-round, but style in different ways. The Coatigan is a great example - perfect for layering, worn with polo neck in winter and T-shirt in April.

Colour experts, Pantone made Greenery their colour of the year, but it hasn’t quite made the expected impact. In my experience, people just aren’t brave with green. The safest green will always be one with a hint of teal to it, light olive shades, making it easy to pair with a soft white T-shirt. But if there’s one hue that does scream Autumn & Winter this year, it’s red - which happens to be the most flattering colour on all skin tones, so a win-win.

And speaking of win-win, midi skirts with a chunky jumper will be a fail-safe combination this season. Don’t forget to add a pair of decorative, crystal-laden shoes to finish the look off. They are a perfect pick-me-up for any casual outfit.

Skerne Medical Group Flu Campaign 2017

The ever popular flu vaccination drop in clinics return again this year and we would like to invite our patients to attend these clinics on the following days;
Saturday 23rd September between 9am & 11:30am at Harbinson House, Sedgefield and Beveridge House, Fishburn
Saturday 30th September between 9am & 11:30am at Harbinson House, Sedgefield and Carroll House, Trimdon Colliery

The free flu vaccination is available to the following:

  • Patients who are 65 years & over, including any reaching age 65 by 31st March 2018
  • Pregnant women
  • Patients aged 6 months to less than 65 years with a serious medical condition, eg: chronic (long term) respiratory disease, e.g. severe asthma, COPD or bronchitis; chronic heart disease, chronic liver disease, chronic kidney disease at stage three, four or five;
  • chronic neurological disease such as motor neurone disease or Parkinson’s disease; diabetes, splenic dysfunction, or a weakened immune system due to disease or treatment;
  • those with a learning disability
  • people living in long stay residential care home and carers.
No appointment is necessary. We aim to make having a flu vaccination a quick & efficient experience and are proud to say there have been no long queues at these sessions over the past two years. If you haven’t attended the “drop in” clinic before, why not give it a try? We look forward to welcoming you at one of the our sessions.

We are also able to extend the seasonal influenza programme to all children who are aged 2 and 3 (but not 4 years or older) on 31 August 2017 (i.e. date of birth on or after 1 Sept 2013 and on or before 31 August 2015) and we are planning dedicated sessions in October to offer this vaccination to eligible children. Details will be advertised locally, on our website and in our surgeries.

The vaccine available to children, unless contraindicated, is in the form of a nasal spray rather than an injection, which we are sure will please the children! If you have any questions or queries please ring your surgery and we will be pleased to assist you.

Age UK Survey

Age UK County Durham would like to talk to people in our area who are aged 50 or older, to find out how you shop, cook and eat.

We are currently consulting with older people to discover the gaps in services with a view to expanding our prizewin-ning Come Eat Together project. Ques-tionnaires can be completed by post, over the phone or with a personal visit at home.

If you would like to find out more, to complete a questionnaire or to have a discussion with a member of our En-gAge team, please call Clare on 0191 374 6567 or email All participants will be entered into a prize draw for a £25 shopping voucher of their choice.