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We will be carrying out essential maintenance on our website on Tuesday 23 April 2024 between the hours of 8.00am and 10.30am. During this time, the website may experience technical issues. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Projects supported by Weardale Area Action Partnership

Find out about the range of activities and events that we support in our community.

We are updating our AAP Facebook page with any local information regarding the coronavirus. This includes changes to services or support in your area.

Weardale WordFest

Weardale WordFest began in 2018 and has taken place every year since then.  A locally based literature festival, WordFest aims to celebrate the wealth of creative talent in Weardale. It is designed to be an inclusive live event - both a cultural experience and social occasion. It encourages community cohesion and addresses rural isolation.

A programme of free writing workshops led by professional writers is held in various locations throughout Weardale finishing in a weekend event in October with talks, workshops, discussions and exhibitions in Stanhope. Work produced by the community is showcased alongside presentations by established local and regional authors. WordFest is managed by NorthPens - a voluntary community group.

Wolsingham Skate Park

Weardale AAP, working with Wolsingham Parish Council has completed a project to build a Skate Park in Wolsingham.  What started as an idea by a young teenager developed into a £50,000 project which the WAP supported through our Area Budget with £20,000 of funding. The Skate Park encourages day visitors to the area increasing business opportunities for local traders as well as giving people of all ages a different way of keeping fit and healthy.

Small Grants Fund

In order to support as many local groups in Weardale as possible, the WAP Board have supported a Small Grants Fund for the last ten years.  The aim of the fund is to provide small amounts of funding which can have a big impact for smaller groups who are normally excluded from other funding sources.  These small groups are vital in rural communities such as those found in Weardale and are instrumental in tackling issues such as social isolation.

It's In The Bag!

It's In the Bag! supplied over 100 families with children of school age and their siblings with a bag of cupboard essentials every fortnight from June 2020 until the end of the school summer holidays.  Additional bags of seasonal fruit and vegetables were also distributed.  The bags were carefully planned to ensure multiple meals could be prepared using the contents.  The bags also contained recipe ideas, competitions, and support service information. 

In total, over 200 children and their families benefitted from this project which received £27,000 of WAP funding and provided a much-needed lifeline for a lot of families during a time of great uncertainty as well as unexpected financial pressure

Weardale food bank

To assist with purchasing items for the food bank.  The Weardale food bank offers a confidential, sensitive and respectful service to local residents who are in need of additional support with food.  Food parcels can be collected in person or delivered by volunteers working with the foodbank.

Funding of £3,000 was provided to the foodbank in the early days of the pandemic to enable them to purchase extra items in anticipation of an increased need. 

In addition to providing funding, the WAP team also helped the food bank to update their publicity materials.

NorthPens - Our Isolated Dale

Weardale based writing group, Northern Pens, delivered a project designed to capture the experience of lockdown in Weardale with £4,575 of WAP funding.  The group created a collection of poems and stories sharing their experiences and also produced a short film with the assistance of local film-makers.

Our Isolated Dale is available at NorthPens

Benefit support (covid related) dedicated worker and Community Wellness Coordinator

Weardale residents benefit from two dedicated workers who provide an invaluable service.  Linda Pearson is a qualified Citizens Advice worker and Lisa Turnbull is our Community Wellness Coordinator. 

Linda works in Weardale giving benefits and debt advice to residents unable to access the Citizens Advice Service.  This service is a great asset to Weardale and has made a huge difference in many people's financial situations over the years the project has been running.  The emphasis on Covid related issues has been especially important as many residents continue to deal with the effects of furlough, redundancies etc.

Weardale's Community Wellness Coordinator, Lisa Turnbull, works with vulnerable patients in Weardale providing support and guidance using a medical / social model.  She ensures they are getting the support they need and helps to get them specialised advice and guidance where required.  Lisa has built up a rapport with people in the dale over the last few years.  This takes time and is vital for this type of project to succeed.  

Both Linda and Lisa have built up a rapport with people in Weardale which is vital for this type of project to succeed.  They also work closely together, referring the people they work with to each other as needed.

Opportunities for Enrichment - Weardale Adventure Centre

Thanks to Covid Recovery funding of £21,580, all Weardale primary school pupils (500 pupils from 7 schools) attended Weardale Adventure Centre at the beginning of the 2021 autumn school term for a day of outdoor activities - including river adventures, crate stacking, high ropes and trust falls. The activities were chosen to help encourage teamwork after missing so many months of normal schooling.

Children were supported by members of the Adventure Centre Team which includes some staff who completed apprenticeships funded by the Weardale Action Partnership a few years ago.

Children from Wolsingham School sent in letters of thanks to the Weardale Action Partnership Board, one said "Thank you for being considerate enough to give us this amazing experience at Weardale Adventure Centre. It was one of my best days in my life. It was also our first full day trip for two years."

For a full list of projects supported by the AAP please contact us.

Projects supported by your local county councillors

You can find out more about the local projects supported by your local county councillors through their Neighbourhood Budget on the Your councillors page.


Contact us
Contact Area Action Partnership - Weardale
03000 268 507
07753 779 975
Our address is:
  • Unit B10
  • Durham Dales Centre
  • Castle Gardens
  • Stanhope
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DL13 2FJ