Peterlee and Horden - Down Your Way

Students with bags of food collected at  at The Academy at Shotton Hall.

Students with bags of food collected at at The Academy at Shotton Hall.

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It has become a tradition at The Academy at Shotton Hall to collect donations for the foodbank every Christmas, and this year was no different. Instead of presents under the tree, the Academy had a mound of food donations collected from generous students and staff, and these were dropped off at the local foodbank.

Two former East Durham College boxing academy students are continuing to make a successful transition from amateurs to professionals. East Durham Boxing Club trained Jay Hughes, 19, from Trimdon, and Darren Richardson, 22, from Thornley, both brought 2016 to a close with impressive victories at the Rainton Meadows Arena. Former brickwork student Darren took just one round to knockout his opponent, Halifax’s Luke Keleher, to claim the British Challenge Belt. Jay, who studied on a sport course at the college, defeated Yorkshire’s Yousef Al Hamidi by a clear points decision. East Durham College head boxing coach, Dave Binns, praised the two for their hard work to round off a great year, and for being role models to up and coming boxers. For more information on sports courses and the sports scholarship programmes available at East Durham College, contact the student services team on 0191 518 8222.

Gareth Orr with his swimming medals.

Gareth Orr with his swimming medals.

It is great to see the Keyboard Champions project in demand on our first day back at East Durham Trust after the holidays. Two people have rang up requesting help to save money on their outgoings and one wanting to learn how to use a computer. We are more than happy to help. If you or someone you know could benefit ask them to call Paula on 0191 569 3511.

Childcare groups at East Durham College have put together the money they raised for BBC Children in Need last year and have a fantastic £192! Great efforts from all students and staff involved for a brilliant cause.

Tickets are now available for this year’s East Durham College pantomime, Cinderella, by Susan Holder at the Lubetkin Theatre. Tickets at £8 are available for January 24 , 25 and 27 from the box office on 0191 518 8269. The Thursday night show is sold out.

A talented East Durham College student has continued his progression both in the classroom and the pool over the last year. Gareth Orr, 23, joined the college in February 2015, moving up from Peterborough to join the foundation studies programme for students with special educational needs. A hard-working student, Gareth gained top grades throughout his time on the course, also completing an employability skills course. His hard work has seen him now transition on to a mainstream BTEC sport course at the college. His favourite interest away from college, swimming, has helped him decide to take this route towards a future career in sport. When he moved to the North East, Gareth joined Sunderland Swimming Club, where his talents have gone from strength to strength. Dedicated Gareth attends training at Sunderland Aquatic Centre four times a week, with sessions before college then again after. This training has well and truly paid off as Gareth has recently picked up five medals at the ASA Sunderland Short Course Gala.

A free benefit check will be held at East Durham Trust, Yoden Road, at drop-in sessions on Wednesday from 2.30pm to 3.30pm. Pop in to see what you are entitled to, it only takes an average of eight minutes. For information call 0191 569 3511.

A number of GCSE RE students at The Academy at Shotton Hall had a local lay priest to deliver a Christingle service. Ray Turner, from Holy Trinity Church, Hartlepool, came to discuss the importance of Christmas for Christians. The group took part in a lovely small service which included the Christingles students had created in their previous lesson. They have since agreed to make a small donation to the Children’s Society who raise money for less fortunate children in the UK.

There are changes to the management of Peterlee and Seaham Neighbourhood teams. Steve Thubron moves from Peterlee Neighbourhood Policing Team to take up the post of Detective Inspector in the Safeguarding department, with responsibility for Peterlee, Seaham and Durham City. Lee Blakelock will move from Seaham to take over as the Inspector for Peterlee Neighbourhood Policing Team. Siobhan Jones is moving from her response policing post to become the new Inspector at Seaham Neighbourhood Policing Team. Neighbourhood Inspectors will hold events to introduce themselves to their new communities. There will be regular updates on Facebook, and the PACT meetings will continue to be advertised on the force web page.