Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

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Week Commencing 3 July 2017

Tuesday 4 July 2017

Attended the opening of Nordic Product and Services Ltd in Church Road Stockton


Opening of the Nordic Product and Services centre.


We were cordially invited to cut the ribbon and open the Nordic Product and Services Centre in Church Road Stockton. On arrival we met up with Peter Robinson and Ian Henderson-Thynne who manage the company and were given a tour of the premises. The company diversified into a welding and engineering training and testing facility, including industrial and commercial specialists cleaning and protective coatings e.g. anti-graffiti.


It was a real treat for me to be involved with the opening of this venture, as a Senior Member of the Welding Institute it was of special interest recalling the memories when I was involved with Very Heavy Engineering projects throughout my lifetime work.


Nordic already has bases in Darlington and of course we are delighted that they are expanding to Stockton, bringing with them their expertise in training and testing.      This venture will provide welding and testing training on a large scale. The centre has 12 top specification bays that are 50% bigger than standard ones, with the state of the art extraction facilities and kitted out for Manual Metal Arc, TIG and MIG welding. It is fantastic that they have such a top of the range facility providing bespoke training to businesses across the country here in Stockton.


Cleaning the butt ends of the weld joint


Getting down to the welding business


The graffiti side of the business continues to thrive, with major contracts all over the UK, but Nordic has established a growing reputation for its engineering services whose clients include Fabricom, Mobile Mini, Cleveland Containers, Francis Brown Engineering, Cleveland Potash and they have already tested and certified more than 150 welders for Belgian company Smulders.

It gave me great pleasure in joining the number of Tees Valley senior personnel from engineering related companies and organisations and other special guests with the privilege of cutting the ribbon and finally opening the centre.

I wished Nordic well and that they have a bright future.

To find out more about Nordic’s training services, give them a ring on 01642 678015, email [email protected] or go to


Wednesday 5 July 2017.

Attended Middlesbrough and Stockton Mind’s Get Set and Go at the Tees Barrage International White Water Centre, Tees Barrage Way, Stockton

What a wonderful day we had at the International White Water Centre with the organisers and participants of Mind’s physical activity project, Get Set and Go.

Middlesbrough and Stockton Mind is the leading charity that provides confidential services for people experiencing emotional or mental health problems and their families They were established in 1995 by a group of local people who wanted to provide information and activities for people in the community experiencing mental health difficulties. Since then they have worked hard to develop what they do in response to local issues.

Each year they work with over 6000 people to improve their mental health and wellbeing in lots of different ways. They employ over 100 paid staff members and each year over 100 people support them by volunteering. All the staff and volunteers are skilled in the work they do and are supported by management. They work to ensure that the environment is safe and beneficial to everyone.They are a member of Mind network and work within the quality standards of Mind and also have the Investors in People and the Investing in Volunteering quality standards. 


Air Trail Tees- a trial of balance and nerves                                                                 


A great experience climbing the structure

Mind’s Get Set and Go programme aims to improve the quality of life of anyone with a mental health problem through access to sport and physical activity in the local community. With the support from Sport England and the National Lottery, this national programme seeks to help overcome the barriers someone with a mental health issue may face when wanting to become more physically active. Participating in sport and physical activity is associated with benefits such as; improved mental health and wellbeing, reduction in stress, anxiety and self-esteem, weight loss, improved social life, meeting new people and having fun.

If you are aged 18 and over, living in Middlesbrough, Stockton on Tees, you can access this service by telephoning Stockton office 01542 796630 or email [email protected].

With other participants we had a great experience traversing the wired connections of the Air Trail structure and eventually reaching the top. From there we had a fantastic panoramic view of Teesside, I could even see the Cleveland Matterhorn, Roseberry Topping. It was just like the boy on the TV advert looking out from the top of Blackpool Tower saying, ‘I can see my house from here’.

Air Trail is made up of four levels, with 38+ unique challenges plus two zip rails and a small ropes course for mini explorers. The centre also offers seating areas and refreshments are available. To contact them for a fun day out tel 01642 265454 or email them on [email protected]

undefined Presenting award to volunteers

After lunch we were invited to celebrate the achievements of participants, volunteers and sports providers involved with the Get Set to Go Project. I thanked the organisers for the marvelous work they were achieving in creating improvements and awareness of mental health issues in the Teesside area, then presented awards for some of the local people.


With volunteers and participants at the Air Trail Adventure


Thursday 6 July 2017

Attended Northfield School and Sports College Summer Art School ‘Picture This’ at Northfield School Billingham


With teachers of Northfield School in exhibition of students artworks.

Attended Northfield School and Sports College to view the school’s annual Art exhibition, of the work of Northfield school and FE college students. We met up with Head Teacher Chris Walker, teaching staff, governors, students and parents.


Self portrait of artist and category award winner.

It was with special thanks to the School for inviting us to this brilliant art show and to view the artwork on display. I congratulated all the young artists who had contributed to the exhibition as we were blown away by the talents and finesse of the works at hand. It is clear that the exhibition showcases the best artistic and dramatic talent from primary, secondary and further education in our area. As everyone knows, art is very important to a person’s education. It improves learning throughout all academic areas, it builds a student’s confidence, and it strengthens problem solving and critical thinking skills. We therefore hope that all the young people who have contributed to this exhibition continue to study art and develop their skills further.


Holocaust artwork in remembrance.

I thanked all those who were involved in the organisation of the event for their dedication and enthusiasm.


Friday 7 July 2017

Attended the Sunflower Cognitive Therapies Charity Ball at Wynyard Hall, Stockton

It was with great pleasure to be invited to the Sunflower Cognitive Therapies Ltd Charity Ball in Aid of JPC Community Farm at Wynyard Hall.

We met with organiser Catherine Burrell, Managing Director of Sunflower Cognitive Therapies Ltd who is a very vivacious, energetic and bubbly person. Catherine is a registered Children’s Nurse, a qualified Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist, and has 13 years’ experience working with children and young people in the NHS medical and mental health services.Catherine is very passionate about what she does and therefore decided to take up the challenge and initiative to provide this Therapy service to children, young people and adults in need, privately.

Working with teaching staff and young people in schools delivering training, teaching sessions and talking therapy via a service level agreement. Her aim is to help people to grow and develop positive outcomes, empowering them by addressing concerns regarding social, emotional, mental health and well-being alongside raising awareness within the schools and the local community of ways the community can come together to support the local community.


Catherine belting out a James Bond Song         


With Vince Daly – friend of the past.

During the evening we were entertained by Simon Carter who played backing music during the meal. As part of the event, the theme of the night was based on James Bond, and once the deserts were finished there were the opportunities to play 1-36 roulette at one of the tables set up in an anti-room.

I thanked Catherine for the pleasure of inviting us to the evening’s event and then invited Paul and Julie Connaughton to receive a plaque on behalf of the Sunflower Cognitive Therapies, which celebrated JPC Community Farm receiving charitable status in the year. In the past Paul and Julie struggled to find overnight respite services for their son James, who has cerebral palsy. They therefore decide to set up a charity to raise money to build a respite care village especially for young adults with additional needs like their son. 

They are determined to raise a five star supporting living accommodation for those with additional needs and will promote an interactive community engaged lifestyle for their residents. The JPC Community Farm will be enriching and educating to the highest standard. They accept nothing but the best for their son and want to guarantee that experience for others.

It is surprising who you meet during Mayoral duties, unknowing to me Catherine’s father is a friend who were at the same college, played cricket for Stockton Junior teams, and played football in the same Stockton leagues when younger. Caught up on past events with him and had a good chat about our teens and our developments in life, it was good to meet again after all this time and reminisce. Memories what would we do without them.

Congratulations and well done to all for this worthwhile and necessary venture and wished them well for the future. For more information about Sunflower Cognitive Therapies contact Catherine on 07875140157 or email [email protected] or Julie and Paul for JPC Community Farm on 07487842071 or email [email protected]


Saturday 8 July 2017

Attended the Tyne Festival 2017 at Tynemouth Priory and Castle, Pier Road, Tynemouth


Cath Davis MBE                    


Thanking Cath for a very enjoyable time.

We were invited to attend the Mouth of the Tyne Festival 2017 by the Chairman Cath Davis MBE of North Tyneside Council including the Tom Odell Concert. The venue for Civic and VIP guests was in support of Cath’s charities:

Maggie’s –provides free practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer and their family and friends, following the ideas about cancer care laid out by Maggie Keswick Jencks.

MHA - Live at Home schemes are local community projects aimed at helping older people to maintain their independence by providing them with a variety of services and support. It is also volunteer driven, with many members also volunteering for their scheme. This helps to provide excellent value for money, as well as a genuinely compassionate service.

YMCA North Tyneside – Enables people to develop their full potential in mind, body and spirit. Inspired by, and faithful to, their Christian values, they create supportive, inclusive and energising communities, where young people can truly belong, contribute and thrive.


North Tyneside concert venue – Tom Odell.

Cath formally welcomed the guests to the festival and thanked everyone who came and supported her charities for the benefit for others in need. We were then taken to the open air concert at Tynemouth Priory Headland, with live entertainment from Tom Odell and his band. Tom Odell is a singer songwriter who plays Indie Pop.

The concert was a great success and the crowds really enjoyed the music and entertainment, we gave thanks to Cath and her crew for a wonderful evening.


Sunday 9 July 2017

Attended the Matins for the Court at Durham Cathedral


Outside Durham Castle going to the reception.

We were honoured to be invited to the Matins for Her Majesty’s Court of Justice at Durham Cathedral by the High Sheriff of Durham Mrs Caroline Peacock, which was attended by the presiding Judges of the North Eastern Circuit, High Court, Circuit and district Judges and other members of the judiciary and legal profession,

Matins was original referred to the morning office also known as lauds. When the nocturnal monastic services called vigils or nocturns were joined with lauds, the name of ‘Matins’ was applied at first to the concluding morning service and later still to the entire series of vigils, then, according to the fourth century Apostolic Constitutions, at Cock-crow. I’m pleased to say we didn’t have to turn out at that time.

The annual service is a time-honoured expression of partnership and inter dependence, in this case between the Church and the Legal Profession and all who seek to preserve the Queen’s Peace. It gives an opportunity for all to reflect together as two long established organs of the State on mutual calling for the sake of the common good.


Lunch was served in Durham Castle


Durham Castle - Stained Glass window

We were formally led to the Cathedral in procesion with the Lord Leiutenant of Durham, and other civic Mayors from Hartlepool, Durham, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear and North Yorkshire, the High Sheriff of Durham, Chief Constables, Court and Circuit Judges and other members of the Judiciary.


The order of service was as follows:-

Hymn - O worship the King – Robert Grant

Introduction – Prayers for the Her Majesty’s Courts of Justice.

Preces – William Smith

Psalm 145. 1 – 13     Chant by James Turle

First Lesson – 1. 1 – 5, 2. 1 – 4 read by The Dean

Te Deum – William Walton: Coronation Te Deum.

  Second Lesson – Luke 18. 31 – 19.10 Read by Mrs Caroline Peacock High Sheriff of the County Palatine of Durham.

Hymn – All people that on earth do dwell.  William Kethe.

The Apostle Creed

The Lesser  Litany, Responses and Collects.   William Smith.

Anthem – Locus iste a Deo factus est.

Hymn – Judged eternal, throned in splendour. Hery Scott Holland.

Prayers by the Minster.

Hymn – Jerusalem the Golden.  Alexander Ewing.

Blessing by the Bishop.

The National Anthem.

Volutary – Toccata in G.  Theodore Dobois.


On completion of the service, stewards led us in procession to the outside of the Cathedral and through to Durham Castle were we were invited to lunch in the Great Hall.


Fanfare of trumpeters to welcome guests into the Great Hall for lunch.


We were welcomed again by The High Sheriff of Durham into the Great Hall and thanked all who came to the Matins and appreciated the fine turn out by those who came to the service.

We thanked the High Sheriff on behalf of ourselves as it was a privilege to attend on behalf Stockton Borough Council.