Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

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Week Commencing 26 September 2016

26 September 2016

Attended the Butterwick warehouse, Eaglescliffe, where I was shown around the large warehouse used for the collection by communications manager Jackie Firth, storage and grading of items donated by kind people. There is an eclectic mix of goods all of which will be used to support this wonderful cause. I then went to the Thornaby outlet to see the workings of the staff and the presentation and sale of donated items, I tell you what these volunteers work hard in making sure the shop excels and provides a good service. All the stock is donated and only the high standard items are sold making this the successful shop it has become.

I would like to thank all the staff for their hard work and giving up their time for the benefit of others, Butterwick is always in need of volunteers to help in the running of their outlets so if you have a couple of hours spare during the week why not apply to become part of this wonderful organisation, just contact

Jackie has asked me to pass on their heartfelt thanks to everyone who donates and gives up their time because without you there would be no Hospice.



27 September 2016


Attended the opening of the Sensory room at Mandale House, Thornaby, the funds for this room were raised by the young adults from the NCS programme at MFC. The Sensory room has been set up in the Dementia suite and is designed to give a calming therapy effect to residents visiting the room. This is a great addition to the home and will be another benefit to the residents, a great thank you to the young adults involved in the fund raising I know speaking to staff and residents they have enjoyed having these young people around.


Attended the Albion restaurant for the Mayor of Sunderland’s Charity evening, and as you can guess we didn’t win at the raffle! It was good to meet the other dignitaries from around the area, must admit I was pushing people to visit Stockton showing them clips on my phone of the automaton.


28 September 2016

Although not a civic engagement I feel I should mention that I attended the funeral of a friend and work colleague Brian Cook, we had a great working relationship and he was one of nature’s true gentlemen. Such a sad loss and our heartfelt sympathies go to his wife and family he will be sadly missed.


29 September 2016

Attended the Royal British Legion meeting held in the Yarm Fishing club. I was warmly welcomed by the members who attended and was made to feel at home, I discussed many topics with the members including the forthcoming Poppy Day Appeal. I could see that they were concerned about the dwindling membership number and the number of volunteers who go out collecting; this being said the effort put in last year alone for the reduced collectors was a staggering £82,000. This is a testament to their dedication and to the generosity of the people of the north east, the monies go to ex and serving service personnel who have fallen on hard times or have suffered because of recent conflicts such as Afghanistan.

I had an enjoyable evening (still haven’t won a raffle prize) and would ask anyone who would like to either join the Royal British Legion club (as it is not only for ex or serving personnel, it is open to anyone who wants to give their support and enjoy social evenings) or volunteer to collect for the Poppy Appeal please get in touch with them it would be greatly appreciated.


30 September 2016


Attended the Municipal offices where they held a coffee/cake morning in aid of Macmillan Cancer Appeal, wow! What an array of freshly baked cakes, scones and treats, it’s a good job I have nearly mastered the art of declining such delicious sweet confectionary, notice I said nearly!. I judged the baked cake section and can say that there were NO saggy bottoms! Well done to all who participated and a special one to Peter who was the only man to bake a cake. I am led to believe that they raised over £500, a fantastic effort


I then attended Bayheath House, Stockton to attend another Macmillan coffee/cake morning, and as we were going over there we discussed what sweets/cakes we liked as youngsters (yes I have a good memory) and I pointed out that it was either Rhubarb / Apple crumble!. I couldn’t believe it when laid out was Rhubarb crumble, along with a multitude of assorted baked cakes and knowing where I was off to next I had to decline even when offered to put some in a goody bag. Again the event was well attended and a substantial amount of money made for this great cause, well done to everyone.


Can I add at this stage that I was pleasantly surprized at the fact that there were BOWEL CANCER Leaflets on display, my reason for this is because in the past I have never seen any reference to the dangers of Bowel cancer anywhere not even in the doctors. I will reiterate that BOWEL cancer is the second biggest killer and doesn’t discriminate on age or sex, over 41,000 people a year die from this dreadful disease YET it is curable if caught early!

With the distribution of these new leaflets to me as one of my Charities, it heralds a possible change in outlook in urging people to be able to spot the signs and symptom early. I am determined to push on and try to get a BOWEL Cancer foundation set up in the Tees Valley/North East and yesterday put out a press release urging people to volunteer to work on behalf of BOWEL Cancer UK to not only raise money but for me more importantly spread the word on PREVENTION. Please take time to reflect how it may have affected someone you know in the past or even now, let’s fight and improve people’s chances of survival.



Attended the Castlegate Centre where I opened the aptly named “ Cup of Kindness “ campaign, this involves the gathering of items for the Stockton Food Bank and also involves a party for local older people at Christmas time. I think you will agree a very worthwhile enterprise! I also attended a stall where a local lady has opened up a stall selling Cup Cakes etc., and based on a 1950s/60s theme, I can only say to my credit I was able to ward off the cake temptation (only just as I think I was starting to wane).

Please attend the Castlegate centre if you want to donate to the foodbank whilst shopping. Thank you to Castlegate for their hospitality.


Attended the Lord Lieutenant of Durham Sue Snowdon’s Dinner held in Darlington College. What a nice venue meeting up with other dignitaries from around the area. We were entertained by the Darlington youth band and choir (what a really good band), whilst there met some prominent people from all over the North East bearing in mind I managed at every given opportunity to install the virtues of Stockton. The meal and service were provided by the college students and certainly did the college proud. Well Done!


1 October 2016


Attended the Newtown Community Centre to open a new venture called “Nancy’s Diner“. Nancy is a local lady who decided to open a diner in the Community Centre so that local people could get good healthy meals. Judging by the turn out she will have no problem filling the diner, she even opens up very early to serve breakfast to the early morning workers and is hoping to start doing Sunday dinners. Good luck Nancy and hope the venture is a great success because every community needs a heart.



Attended Civic Reception at Locomotion to celebrate the 191 anniversary of the opening of the Stockton and Darlington Railway at the National Railway Museum, Shildon.

This is the first time I have visited this museum and was pleasantly surprised by its sheer size and amount of engines and livery housed within, there were really old engines / carriages / steam engines / Electric Pullmans and outside there are working steam engines for transporting visitors. What a place, it is really well worth a visit just for the nostalgic side of viewing the exhibition. We had a great afternoon talking to volunteers and enthusiast, thank you to everyone involved as it takes a great deal of hard work to keep up the high standard they have attained, and to the Mayoress of Shildon for her hospitality.


2 October 2016

Attended the Mayor of Redcar and Cleveland Civic Service held at the beautiful church of St Helens Parish Church, Carlin How. Mayor of Redcar Cleveland, Barry Hunt, held a beautiful service, led by Mayoral Chaplin Adam Gaunt with solos from Charlotte Potter (15 years old) and Marske Fisherman’s Choir. Thoroughly enjoyed the service and its format and would like to thank Barry for the invitation along with the participants and volunteers.