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Latest news

Please help us create better street space in County Durham

Published: Tuesday 9 June 2020

Durham County Council are inviting you to take part in a Street Space County Durham consultation. The consultation runs until 31st July.

You can access it through the link above and through the DCC website.


Help us to identify locations in your neighbourhood that you feel need to have additional space provided temporarily to protect public health, by supporting social distancing in public spaces.

We want to encourage people to travel on foot and by bike during the coronavirus restrictions and into recovery. The government has made funding available as part of its emergency response to COVID-19. To enable us to apply for these funding opportunities, we need to know where measures are required. 

Temporary emergency measures using barriers, fencing or bollards could be used to:

  • create pop-up cycle lanes
  • reduce through traffic on certain roads
  • reallocate road space to create wider pavements
  • introducing 20 mph streets
  • adding extra cycle parking
  • remove street 'furniture' like pedestrian guard rails that are no longer required.

The consultation is specifically focussed on emergency measures to address social distancing for people on foot and on bikes. Please do not add long-term aspirational projects as these are not relevant for this consultation.

This online consultation uses Commonplace, an external the website.

Please share with your friends, family, neighbours, colleagues, groups and clubs. We want to reach as many people as we can!  

We will review all the feedback which will form part of our ongoing Covid-19 recovery planning to determine which suggestions we can take forward for as long as Government guidance recommends.

Money Support Advice helps Livin Tenants

Published: Friday 5 June 2020

Local housing association Livin, has handled over 700 benefit queries in the last year, helping tenants to navigate the benefits system and increased their household income.

Livin offers free money support advice to all tenants, which includes a full benefits health check.  The check is undertaken by trained advisors, who consider the household’s circumstances, support tenants to make claims and advise people how benefit rules could affect them. 

Successful claims totalled more than £680,000 last year, increasing each applicant’s income by an average £940 per year.

Find out more here

Silver Talk - Keeping the North East connected

Published: Friday 5 June 2020

Telephone befriending service Silver Talk has tripled in size during the Covid:19 pandemic, ensuring those who are most isolated across the North East region can stay connected.

The service, which is managed by Karbon Homes and provides over 55s with a 30-minute social telephone chat each week, is now providing support to 301 service users, a jump from 95 in February.

Find out more here.

!! NHS Test and Trace

Published: Friday 5 June 2020

If NHS Test and Trace calls you by phone, the service will be using a single phone number 0300 0135 000.

The only website the service will ask you to visit is

❗️Contact tracers will NEVER:

➡️Ask you to dial a premium rate number to speak to us (for example, those starting 09 or 087)

➡️Ask you to make any form of payment

➡️Ask for any details about your bank account

➡️Ask for your social media identities or login details, or those of your contacts

➡️Ask you for any passwords or PINs, or ask you to set up any passwords or PINs over the phone

➡️Ask you to purchase a product

➡️Ask you to download any software to your device or ask you to hand over control of your PC, smartphone or tablet

➡️Ask you to access any website that does not belong to the Government or NHS

Coronavirus funding helps 20 groups in first three weeks

Published: Monday 18 May 2020

A new fund for communities during the coronavirus lockdown has directly helped more than 1,750 people in just three weeks.

The believe housing Coronavirus Crisis Fund was launched last month to provide targeted assistance to communities that were struggling with the effects of the lockdown. The funding is directed to community groups in most parts of County Durham, and some neighbouring areas, to keep vulnerable people connected and to provide help with food at a time when many people are seeing new financial difficulties due to the economic impact of the virus.

So far nearly 700 people have benefited from food packs as a result of funding. Projects that have received funding include the Angel Trust, which received £1,000 to distribute food parcels to doorsteps of those in urgent needs while adhering to all distancing guidance.

Seaham Youth and Community Centre also received £500 to distribute scores of activity packs to families to reduce feelings of isolation during the lockdown.

In total more than £10,000 has been distributed by the fund since it was launched.

The Coronavirus Crisis Fund follows the same model as believe housing’s hugely successful community grant programme. Applications for grants of up to £500 are still open to community groups, organisations or schools that work in areas covered by believe housing. A simple application process will be maintained to ensure that fast turnaround funding decisions can take place and get work underway.

Groups that have previously received funding from believe housing’s standard community investment scheme will be eligible to apply for funding again under the crisis fund alongside groups that have not previously been given support.

believe housing’s Community Investment Team Leader, Angela Stobbart, said: “The demand we’ve seen for funding has been exceptional. We’re really pleased to have been able to help so many groups so quickly.

“The whole idea behind the crisis fund was to help as many communities as we could, as quickly as possible. And we’re already achieving that. But we’re still open for applications too, so I’d ask anyone who has a project that they think we might be able to help with, to get in touch.”

Full details of the Coronavirus Crisis Fund are available on the believe housing website, or by calling the Community Investment Team on 0300 1311 999.