Monthly Archives: April 2015

Volunteers wanted- Woodcraft Folk

Please see the message below from our friends at Woodcraft Folk. If you are interested in volunteering, please get in touch as directed

Dear Durham Community Support Centre,

As you may know, Woodcraft Folk, the national children and young people’s organisation, has a long and distinguished history with the trade union movement and continues to work in the North East – with groups in Durham and Stanley being amongst the most active.
Woodcraft Folk is a charity that aims to develop children’s self-confidence and awareness of the world, encouraging equality, friendship and co-operation. Our weekly group activities, weekend trips and summer camps are affordable and open to girls and boys of all faiths and none.

Woodcraft Folk’s primary aim of ‘Education for Social Change’ is enacted through weekly group night activities based around principles of cooperation and equality. Badge work, residential hostel trips, camping adventures, international exchanges and involvement in decision-making are all important elements of the Woodcraft experience for children and adult volunteers alike.

New volunteers will be provided with a training and mentor programme suited to individual and community needs.

We also aim to support social action – where groups of young people take action on an issue they care about and Woodcraft Folk feels that taking practical steps to help out and empower those around us is the best Education for Social Change we can think of! It is also one of the best ways to make friends and develop confidence.
Would you – or anyone in your organisation – like to volunteer with us?
I would also very much appreciate it if you could distribute this e-mail throughout your networks.
There are a number of roles available, ranging from Group Helpers, to Leaders on session nights to more administrative roles. For someone who has been or is already involved in Woodcraft Folk, they may also be interested in being a New Group Buddy.  Other examples can be found on the Woodcraft Folk website e.g.
If anyone would like to find out more, could they please contact the Stanley and Durham Groups direct – and they will get in touch as soon as they can to discuss how someone can contribute:
Durham Woodcraft:
Thanking you for your co-operation,

Yours faithfully,

Michael Cudlip

Woodcraft Folk
New Groups Support Officer – Co. Durham

Durham Miners Event

Durham Miners’ Banners On Display in Central London

A Packed Programme of Activity on the Miners’ Strike

Four floors of an underground car park in the centre of London will be
the dramatic setting for 50 of the Durham Miners’ Association banners.
The venue is Leicester Square Car Park, 39-41 Whitcomb St, London WC2H 7DT.

The banners will be on display from 18 June (the 31st anniversary of
the infamous display of police brutality at the battle of Orgreave)
through to the 4 July. The banners will be on one floor. On another a
dramatic art exhibition on the theme of the miners’ strike, Ashes and
Diamonds, will be on display.

Another floor will have videos projecting onto the walls of the car
park. On the fourth floor will be a bar run by the Workers’ Beer
Company, exhibitions and a series of talks, debates and films on the
miners’ strike.

The event is free and is being organised by the Durham Miners’
Association with the support of a number of unions, including Unite and the GMB.  Watch out for further details about the programme of events
or go to

Job Fair – St James’s Park Newcastle

Unite Community activists went to a Job Fair held at St James’s Park today. We shared a stall with Unite Industrial Officers and took plenty of information about Unite Community and how we can assist people who are not in work


Ou stall was visited by a lot of people, we gave out recruitment literature, sanctions leaflets and benefit advice leaflets.  Most of the visitors were particularly interested in our sanctions leaflet and were only too happy to share their experience. One gentleman said “Put it this way, if you are a few minutes late for your job, you apologise and move on. Your employer doesn’t stop all your wages for being late”


We also met somebody from one of the adjoining stalls who was trying to recruit people for a summer job. We offered to advertise it for her so here it is:

National Children’s Network

Sessional worker/Team leaders Vacancies £7.84-£9.45 an hour

Must be over 18. Come and work with Catch 22 and be part of an opportunity that helps young people build skills for work and life. As a sessional worker you will be responsible for working with a group of about 15 young people on exciting progammes during the school holidays, Young people have a short time away from home on residentials and will take part in a team project that will help out their community

For more details contact

Application forms are available from the Click work for us>apply for a job>search and apply for jobs. Once on the Job search page enter Sessional in the Job Title box, leave everything else blank and press search.

Good luck if you apply!

Workers Memorial Day Event

Here is a message about Workers Memorial Day from our friends at the Trades Council

Dear comrades,

Please see below details of this year’s Workers’ Memorial Day event at St Thomas Church, County Durham, supported by County Durham Trades Union Council (CDTUC). All welcome – please pass the details on to anyone else who might be interested:

Bishop of Durham to lead Workers’ Memorial Day remembrance ceremony at the church of St Thomas, Stanley Crook

On Tuesday, 28 April 2015 a remembrance event, to commemorate Workers’ Memorial Day, will be held at the church of St Thomas, Stanley Crook.

The ceremony will be led by The Rt. Revd Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham, and will include the following special guest speakers:

– Linda Whelan, Families Against Corporate Killers (FACK)
– Professor Ray Hudson, Acting Vice Chancellor, Durham University

– Professor Huw Beynon, Director of the Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research (WISERD) and Honorary Fellow at Durham University

This event is organised and supported by County Durham Trades Union Council (CDTUC), FACK and the Durham Mining Communities Banner Groups Association every year, on International Workers’ Memorial Day, to remember those employees, who have died through industrial accident, or disease, or made ill through their work.

County Durham Trades Union Council would like to extend an invitation to all members of the public to join them, alongside family, friends and colleagues, who will be remembering loved ones, who have either died, been injured, or made ill through their work.

Secretary of County Durham Trades Council (Mr Ben Sellers) said:
Whatever else we do, and whatever else the concerns of our members are, County Durham Trades Council make a point of supporting Workers’ Memorial Day every year on the 28th of April, with an event at Stanley Crook, County Durham.
That’s because every year globally thousands die needlessly while at work. Many of those deaths happen on our doorstep, in our county, to our children, our brothers, sisters, fathers and mothers. It’s important not to let that fact go by without commemoration.
But the event is about more than commemoration and that word ‘needlessly’ is more than just a word. Almost as important is to highlight the laissez faire attitude of many employers and this government when it comes to health and safety, sadly making many of these deaths, injuries and diseases inevitable, when they should be avoidable. That is unacceptable in 2015.”
The Rt. Revd Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham, said:

“Work is an important aspect of being human. Well being at work therefore matters too. Sadly many die in their place of work across the world because of unhealthy conditions and lack of care.

 I am pleased to be sharing in this service which remembers those who have died because of their work; and to keep high on our agenda the importance of the best working conditions for all.”

Date: Tuesday 28th April 2015
Time: 7pm at St Thomas Church
Venue: Stanley Crook, near Crook, Co Durham DL15 9RY
There will be a short procession with banners up the hill towards St Thomas’, setting of from the bus turning circle at 6.15pm.
The Facebook page for the event can be found here:
If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact me or Dave Ayre on 01388 762461 
Yours in solidarity,
Ben Sellers
Secretary, County Durham Trades Union Council

May Day event

Please see below for details of an event to be held in Newcastle on May 2nd

May Day (2)

County Durham Socialist Clothing Bank.

Amazing. Just amazing. Since our appeal for prom dresses a fortnight ago we have received over 40 stunningly beautiful, gorgeous, some still brand new dresses in various colours, shapes and sizes, Check out the Facebook page here for photos of some of the dresses. We have also received shoes and bags, men’s suits, ties and waistcoats. Thank you all so much for your generosity. I know we say it every time but this time the volunteers have been overwhelmed by your kindness.

The latest opening of the Clothing Bank was yesterday (21st) and we were very busy. We estimate that over eighty people came to see us.

CB15We were able to help a family who had lost everything in a fire, our homeless friends and a number of people who were sent to us by the foodbank which operates in the next door hall.

CB18Men’s clothes were very popular this week. We also had a visit from the Local MP, Roberta Blackman-Woods. Unfortunately our photographer missed the photo opportunity so you will just have to trust us- she did come!

CB19We also had another very special visitor who came to meet us- five week old Amy whose Mum  we were able to help during her pregnancy.

CB16 The next Clothing Bank will be on  May 5th, Brandon Welfare Hall 12-2pm. We will have the prom clothes there. We have decided to loan them out rather than give them away- no charge of course. This way we can keep them for future years. Be warned though girls- if you try one on you will suddenly discover that you have at least ten adoptive aunties from amongst the Clothing Bank volunteers who most definitely will want to see what you look like in the dress!


Finally, because of your kindness we are going to have to stop accepting general donations for the next few weeks. We are still short of men’s jeans and toiletries but have plenty of everything else. Many thanks once again.

Latest Foodbank Figures

Please see the attached link from today’s Northern Echo. Unite general secretary, Len McCluskey said:

“The UK is the sixth richest country on the planet so something has gone grotesquely wrong when so many people, in and out of work, have to turn to charity to feed their children.

“One million in food need in 2015 is a scandal of epic dimensions. It is no longer enough to say that we need to make hunger history – we need to make the government that supercharged this need history once and for all.”

Food bank figures