A Day Trip to Alton Towers

All the fun of the fair.

Fair Ground photograph for Alton Towers


On Thursday 31st August, we will be taking 14 young people on a day trip to Alton Towers.

Leaving Barnard Castle at 7am, staff will be at the YMCA from 6.45am, so we’re asking that you start making your way to the YMCA at this time.

We will return to Barnard Castle no later than 10pm.



  • You should bring either a packed lunch or some money to buy food whilst at Alton towers.
  • We advise you to bring a lightweight waterproof jacket in case of rain (although we hope not in August).
  • Leaving Alton Towers at 6pm, stopping at McDonalds on the way home for those that want (more money required).
  • Spaces will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

We will not reserve spaces for anyone. Spaces will only be secured when a completed consent form, and £30 have been handed into staff.


Volunteering Overseas for Young People 18-25

Y Care International is running an exciting programme for young people aged 18-25 to volunteer overseas for up to 3 months and make a difference in some of the world’s poorest communities.




Merger Notification

Merger of YMCA Teesdale with YMCA North Tyneside.

Please read the press release which outlines the plans for a merger with YMCA North Tyneside. Exciting times ahead I’m sure. When more information is available we will let you know.

Press release




Summer Activities for Cockfield and Evenwood

YMCA Teesdale will be running sessions with St. Paul’s Activities Lunch Club. The Summer Activities for Cockfield and Evenwood will be held Mondays – Thursdays throughout the summer holidays.

All sessions are free, however donations made are very much appreciated. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

First session will start on the 25th July at Cornerstone, Evenwood.

Day Trips

There are also day trips to South Shields and Redcar at a cost of £5 per trip. Limited places available so get in fast if you want to go. Call either Sandra 834580 /  Ann – 710945 / Mary 833715 for further information.


Friendship Day

July 30th, 2017 is Friendship Day

friendship bracelet

There is no evidence that Europe or the UK has taken up Friendship Day, however, it has been kept alive and revitalised in Asia, where several countries have adopted it. Friendship bands are very popular in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and parts of South America. These countries celebrate Friendship day on the first Sunday of August rather than 30 July.




Volunteering at YMCA Teesdale

“I got involved with YMCA Teesdale as a young person. I enjoyed attending the drop-in sessions as it helped me create a strong relationship with the organisation. This relationship has helped me carry on, now being a volunteer being with the YMCA. My first volunteering experience was as a member of the Small Grants Panel. My experience on the Small Grants Panel was extremely enjoyable, which has unfortunately come to an end, but it encouraged me to carry on engaging with YMCA Teesdale.

I carried on my as a volunteer and started to help with the drop-in centres in Barnard Castle and Cockfield.

I enjoyed this experience enormously as I got to see the YMCA in a whole new perspective, for example the work that YMCA Teesdale does to ensure that young people are given a good service.  Along the way, I have gained so many skills and qualities which has helped me prepare for future success.

When I started volunteering I found it hard to adapt from a young person to a member of a team. Through the friendliness of friends and colleagues, helping with every step of the way, I feel that I am now a member of a great team.

I’ve just finished my apprenticeship with YMCA Teesdale that I have thoroughly enjoyed, seeing the other side of the YMCA.  I have had to adapt to doing office work and being a lot more organised, having good time keeping, sticking to deadlines and following a rota. I can now use my skills even further with the YMCA,  I have now been offered a full time job as a youth worker. I am very proud, I have proven that all the hard work I have put in as a volunteer and as an apprentice has paid off.


I’m currently organising and delivering sport sessions every Tuesday. This has given me a lot of independence as it’s my work which I am delivering to the community. I am really enjoying this section of my work, sport is something which I am very interested in. My work is giving the young people in the community a chance to get involved in something that they may not have thought about before.”


Josh B.


Intergenerational Project with The Manor House

Manor House Resident

YMCA’s monthly visit

YMCA Teesdale’s Intergenerational Project with The Manor House has been a great success to date. We have built a fabulous working relationship with the Manor House nursing home in Barnard Castle.

YMCA’s monthly visit to the Manor House is eagerly anticipated and we are always welcomed with open arms.


The residents really enjoy the sessions and the young people attending the project get a lot from it too. They see the positive effects our visits have on the Manor House residents. Many of the residents we work with and visit in the Manor House suffer with some form of dementia.

This project, which is mainly craft based, is designed to have many sensory activities which the residents and our young people enjoy.

Below – Some of the fun loving residents young people with the crafts we have create so far.




Forest School – A Fantastic Outdoor Learning Experience

Forest School is a fantastic outdoor learning experience carried out at Evenwood, Staindrop and Green Lane Primary Schools.

Each session lasts 90 minutes and caters for a maximum of 16 young people aged 5 to 11 years.

Activities on offer are camp building, weaving with wool, whittling with Potato peelers and sheath knives. Not forgetting a couple of their favourites, fire building, zip wire making.

In our fire cooking activities we cover cake making, garlic bread and pancakes and toasting marshmallows. Whilst the children are on the Forest School course, the refreshments on offer are nettle tea, elderflower cordial and sticky bud juice, which the children make themselves.

The main aims of the Forest School sessions are:

  • Help children learn life skills.
  • Self Awareness.
  • Good social communication skills.
  • Independence.
  • Safety around fires and how to use tools safely and correctly.
  • How to play safely in the woods.

Forest school leaders make sure that the children leave things unknown, alone.

More information about Bright Woods Forest School can be found on facebook.




The Last Small Grants Panel Has Been Held

Tuesday 20th June – the last small grants panel was held.

In 2014 the small grants panel to support children’s and young people’s groups in Teesdale was formed.

The funding forms are completed by children and young people who are wanting resources for their groups. This could be anything from money towards transport to new equipment for a sports group or activities for the school holidays.

The group, supported and funded by Teesdale Action Partnership (TAP) with the YMCA supporting the group with youth work and recruiting young people to be part of the panel.

Over the 3 years the group has been running, 80 awards of between £200 and £1000 have been given to children and young people in Teesdale.

Small Grants Panel - The beginningSince the panel started, more than 15 young people have sat on the panel and have had their say on where money should be spent on Children and Young People in Teesdale. Any young person from Teesdale, aged between 11-18 could be on the panel and we have had members from across Teesdale.

Young people have gained various skills including budget management, decisions making, team working and having an awareness of the issues that affect children and young people in rural communities.

In total the small grants panel have awarded £54,411 over the 80 projects and match funding stands at £89,632. This money has had massive impact on children and young people in the area, providing safe and exciting activities for the various groups. We are now organising a celebration event at the end of July for the panel members to thank them for their contribution to the panel.



Eleanor Kipling, who has been part of the small grants panel since the start said

“The panel has been a unique experience and I have enjoyed being part of it. It has been really interesting finding out about the different projects which people ask funding for. Debating amongst the panel has been fun”

Sam Angus

“My favourite part of the experience was being part of the small grants panel and that we cooperated to make decisions on things that schools and clubs wanted.
It was great to meet some new people as well as people I already knew”

Josh Barker

During my time on the small grants panel, I’ve learned confidence when speaking and when putting ideas forward to the rest of the panel. I’m now able to use these skills when speaking to other people who I don’t know.

I’ve also improved my team working skills and learned how to listen to other people and how to elaborate on ideas that put forward by others.

I have enjoyed being able to work as part of a team and being able to work together to come to a final decision. I have also enjoyed being able to have the power to say whether the applications are accepted or not. I’ll be able to take away all of these new skills and use them in the future. I am very grateful I have been able to be a part of the small grants panel

Hannah Parratt


Summer Sport In Barnard Castle

Good news, Josh Barker our Youth Work Apprentice has planned the following summer sport sessions for the summer holidays in Barnard Castle








Day / Date / Time Sports being played
Thursday / 3rd August 2017 / 2pm-4pm Football
Thursday / 10th August 2017 / 2pm-4pm Dodgeball
Thursday / 17th August 2017 / 2pm-4pm Badminton
Thursday / 24th August 2017 / 2pm-4pm Frisbee
Thursday / 31st August 2017 / 2pm-4pm Mini-Olympics


Location: Demesnes (dependent on busyness) Montalbo Park or Dawson Park (depending on session) Basketball will be done at Dawson Park.

There will be a 20-minute break at 2:50pm and the session will restart at 3:10pm moving onto the next sport activity planned, but young people are welcome to have breaks whenever they want to.

Available to ages between 11 and 17, everyone between these ages are welcome to any of the sessions

There is no cost for these sessions.

Water bottle and snacks are advised to be brought as we will not be able to offer these to the young people attending the sessions.

Appropriate sportswear is required: i.e Tracksuit bottoms, t-shirt, shorts, trainers.


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