Families in three East Durham villages given additional support with housing association funding

A new project designed to support families in three east Durham villages has received £15,000 of funding from a leading housing association.

Families in Shotton Colliery, Wingate and Wheatley Hill are set to benefit from a host of free activities and food as part of a six-month programme thanks to funding from believe housing.

The Villages Family Project, run by East Durham Trust, will bring weekly sessions such as cinema evenings, cookery sessions and homework clubs to the three former mining communities.

The programme is intended to provide opportunities for families in Shotton Colliery, Wingate and Wheatley Hill to come together to take part in fun activities in each village.

A total of 75 sessions, will be delivered across the three villages by the project, which will run until December 2019. It is expected that more than 300 local people will directly benefit from the project.

The funding from believe housing is part of the housing association’s community investment programme. Shotton Colliery, Wingate and Wheatley Hill have all been identified as priority areas by the organisation.

Angela Stobbart, Community Investment Team Leader at believe housing, said: “This is an exciting project that we think will make a real difference to the lives of many families in east Durham. As a not-for-profit organisation we firmly believe that it’s our role to support communities like Shotton Colliery, Wingate and Wheatley Hill.

“It’s great to be able to provide this funding for East Durham Trust to make the whole programme possible. I’m really looking forward to seeing how the project develops during the year.”

East Durham Trust is a long-established charity addressing social and economic needs in former mining communities across the area. It provides services ranging from emergency food parcels to a community jobs club and telephone befriending.

Malcolm Fallow, Chief Executive from East Durham Trust said: “This is a tremendous gesture from believe housing – the three villages in question face significant challenges and it’s great to put something positive back for local people to simply enjoy.”

The Villages Family Project is the latest in a series of community led projects to receive funding from believe housing. The organisation’s community investment programme has created a social impact valued at more than £1m across County Durham.

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