Thursday, 19 October 2017

Staying safe online

Online safety is such an important issue for parents and families, with issues like cyberbullying and online pornography causing huge concern. That is why I am delighted that Facebook has announced a new commitment to offer a digital safety ambassador programme to every secondary school in the UK. The announcement has been made as part of Facebook's wider commitment to keep people safe online, in partnership with the Diana Award and Childnet International, with the aim of promoting online safety in classrooms across the UK. Training will be offered to thousands of pupils in secondary schools trained as Childnet Digital Leaders or Diana Award Anti-bullying Ambassadors over the next two years, extending their existing programmes so that every secondary school will have a dedicated digital safety ambassador- young people trained to provide peer-to-peer support and lead online safety initiatives in the classroom. This is great news and it is fantastic to see organisations like Facebook actively working to improve online safety.

If you are a parent, teacher or young person, here are some of the resources available on Facebook to keep young people safe online-
  • The Safety Centre which has more information on Facebook's safety policies, tools and resources, as well as access to the Bullying Prevention Hub, Parent's Portal and Online Wellbeing Portal
  • The Parent Portal which offers advice to adults on how to ensure children in their care are using Facebook safely and have a positive experience on the platform
  • The Bullying Prevention Hub, launched in partnership with the Yale Centre for Emotional Intelligence, is a resource for young people, parents and educators to seek support and help for issues relating to bullying and other conflicts through specific actions 


Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Getting Involved! With Prudhoe Ground Force

I was pleased to join Councillor Gordon Stewart and the dedicated volunteers from Prudhoe Ground Force recently to pick up litter and rubbish in Prudhoe. The group's founder and organiser, James Dobson, has taken the lead on a great number of initiatives, including clearing litter and tidying up the more neglected areas of the town. Prudhoe Ground Force does such a great job taking pride in their community and making Prudhoe a better place to live and work, and I really enjoyed getting involved and meeting everyone in the group! New helpers are always needed so if you'd like to help out, get in touch!


Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Focus on... Corbridge

There's always plenty to do in Corbridge- whether you're a fan of the outdoors, interested in history, or just want some peace and quiet, you're sure to find something for you!

Corbridge is known for its great variety of small businesses and local shops, making it a fantastic place for some shopping whilst also supporting the local economy! Meanwhile, the town itself is just a short walk from the riverside so it is the perfect place for a peaceful walk to take in the beautiful scenery of Corbridge.

Corbridge is also notable for its fascinating history. The town was once a garrison town for Roman soldiers and its houses are built from stone from the old Roman town of Corstopitum. Today you can explore what was once the Roman town and supply base, as well as learn all about Roman life, at the Corbridge Roman town and museum, which is also home to the amazing Corbridge Hoard, one of the most incredible discoveries ever found around Hadrian's Wall. It's definitely worth a visit! And from a slightly later period of history, Aydon Castle is a fantastic 13th century manor house and makes for a great day out.

A wonderful place for a day out- why not visit Corbridge this weekend and find out for yourself what the town has to offer?!

http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/corbridge-roman-town-hadrians-wall/

http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/aydon-castle/





Monday, 16 October 2017

Tynedale Gift Fair- this month!

Later this month Matfen Hall Hotel will be holding the 2017 Tynedale Gift Fair. On Monday 30th October from 3.30pm-8.30pm and Tuesday 31st October from 10am-3pm, Matfen Hall will be home to a variety of high-quality stalls. Entry is £4 which will automatically enter you into a free prize draw.

The event is supporting The Charlotte Straker Trust, which provides residential and nursing care to the elderly and frail in West Northumberland. The charity has served the community for the past 24 years and aims to provide a high standard of care and facilities to suit each individual resident.

Stallholders include Brocksbushes, the Charlotte Straker Project, Creations for Occasions, Tynedale Tipples and many more. It promises to be a fantastic few days so make sure to go along later this month!

http://www.tynedalehunt.org/giftfair/

http://www.charlottestraker.org.uk



Sunday, 15 October 2017

Sunday Snapshot!

Ensuring the best possible educational outcomes for children in my constituency remains one of the most important parts of my job. I recently visited both Bellingham First and Bellingham Middle Schools where I received a warm welcome from both teachers and Governors. It was a pleasure to meet all the children and pupils- the thumbs up say it all!


Saturday, 14 October 2017

My 2017 Small Business Awards- nominate now!

Saturday 2nd December is Small Business Saturday, a day which highlights and celebrates small businesses and encourages customers to support them by shopping local. The Hexham constituency is home to a multitude of successful small businesses which are a vital part of the area's community and economy, and I hope that everyone across Tynedale and Ponteland will go out and support our local businesses, not only on Small Business Saturday but all year round!

As part of Small Business Saturday, I have launched my Small Business Awards to celebrate the best of the constituency's small businesses. Many small businesses across the area have already been nominated- Shorts of Corbridge, The Pudding Parlour, Finale Shoes, the Black Bull Matfen, Mr Wolf in Hexham, Cogito Books and many more-, but if you know of a great small business that you would like to recognise and nominate then please get in touch, either by filling in a nomination card that you can find in small businesses across Tynedale and Ponteland or by completing the nomination form online here-

https://www.guyopperman.co.uk/businessawards


https://smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com



Friday, 13 October 2017

Remembering our servicemen- the Knott Brothers

We are now in the month leading up to Remembrance Sunday, a time of year when we remember all those who have fought bravely and lost their lives in service to our country. Like so many areas of the country, the North East has made a huge sacrifice during wars and armed conflicts, and as Remembrance Sunday approaches I would like to highlight some of the incredible stories of bravery and loss of Northumbrians.

As you enter into Heddon-on-the-wall you may have noticed the Knott Memorial Hall on your left, but do you know the history behind the building? The Knott Memorial Hall was given to the village of Heddon by Sir Thomas Garbutt Knott in memory of his parents, Sir James and Lady Margaret Knott, whose lives were marked by tragedy as a result of the First World War. Sir James and Lady Knott had three sons, Thomas, James and Basil, who all served in WWI, however their two younger sons were both killed in action. Captain Henry Basil Knott died in 1915 after being fatally wounded by a bullet to the head, whilst Major James Leadbitter Knott was killed during the first day of the Battle of the Somme on 1st July 1916, making him one of 57,470 British casualties that day.

What makes the brothers’ story so special is that although they were killed almost a year apart and were buried around 70 miles away from each other, they were eventually reunited and buried side by side in Ypres Reservoir Cemetery. This was incredibly unusual as British serviceman were normally buried where they died, suggesting that Sir James Knott must have used great pressure to reunite his two sons. The two graves both carry the same inscription- “Devoted In Life. In Death Not Divided.”


I am always interested to learn more about Northumberland and its history. If you know of any stories of local Northumbrians who have served our country, please do get in touch and share them. 



Thursday, 12 October 2017

Dave Hull- Rural Hero!

I was delighted to present Dave Hull, who runs both the Blanchland Shop and Post Office, and The Old Village Shop in Edmundbyers, with his Countryside Alliance Awards prize. Mr Hull won a Rural Hero award in recognition of his community contribution, and it was an honour to present him with his award.

The Countryside Alliance Awards, nicknamed the 'Rural Oscars', recognise the skills and produce, tradition, enterprise and people who do outstanding work in their communities.

https://www.countrysideallianceawards.org.uk/caa/



Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Help me make Christmas magical for local children!

This week I am launching my seventh successive Christmas Toy Appeal to collect toys for the Salvation Army to distribute to children in the area who otherwise would not receive any gifts this Christmas.

Every year the people of Tynedale and Ponteland respond with such generosity to my appeal, donating hundreds of toys and gifts to be given to some of the poorest children in the area, and I hope that once again the kindness of our community will be apparent this year.

Please help to give local children a very happy Christmas- toys, cuddly toys, colouring books and much more will be very gratefully received, but new toys only please!

Gifts can be dropped off between now and 1st December at my two constituency offices at 1 Meal Market, Hexham, or at Office 2, Horton Park, Ponteland NE13 6BU


Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Supporting Team Louise

Last week I was delighted to attend a coffee morning in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. The event was organised by Caroline Miskin and 'Team Louise' who were inspired by their friend Louise Lee, who has terminal cancer. The event was fantastically well-attended with great cakes and company, and I thoroughly enjoyed meeting Caroline, Louise and Team Louise who put on such a wonderful event. Macmillan offer a wide range of support to those with cancer and their families, and I was really pleased to be able to go along and support the fundraising effort.



Monday, 9 October 2017

World Mental Health Day

Tuesday 10th October is World Mental Health Day, giving us all a great opportunity to show our support for better mental health care and awareness. World Mental Health Day, which this year has the theme of workplace wellbeing, is such an important event- mental health problems can affect anyone at any time in their life, and so I would encourage everyone to use this World Mental Health Day as an opportunity to learn as much as possible about mental health, while also increasing awareness and taking a stand against negative mental health stereotypes and language. The YMCA and the NHS will be relaunching their #IAMWHOLE campaign for this very purpose, with the aim of encouraging others to talk about their mental health difficulties, while Young Minds, the UK's leading charity championing the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people, are asking people to wear yellow and tweet their support at #HelloYellow on Tuesday to show young people that they're not alone when it comes to their mental health. With recent research showing that almost a quarter of girls and one in ten boys report symptoms of depression at the age of 14, this is a fantastic cause, and it would be great if you could support them too!

Last week the Prime Minister also announced plans for an independent review of mental health legislation and practice to tackle the issue of mental health detention, and I thoroughly welcome this announcement. 

There are so many important campaigns and groups who will be raising awareness of mental health problems on World Mental Health Day this Tuesday- do get involved! 

https://www.mind.org.uk/get-involved/world-mental-health-day/

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/prime-minister-announces-review-to-tackle-detention-of-those-with-mental-ill-health



Sunday, 8 October 2017

An inspirational community champion and a welcome announcement

One of my highlights of the past week was when I met with Alicia Armstrong, a recipient of one of my Hexham Constituency Community Champion awards. Alicia is a leukaemia survivor who has since set world records at swimming in the World Transplant Games. A bone marrow donor was found for Alicia, offering her a life-saving transplant, and I discussed with Alicia the need to sign up more organ donors as she is an ambassador for organ donation and understandably passionate about this issue. I was delighted therefore to hear the Prime Minister announce this week plans to create an opt-out system for organ donation. This is great news, and will undoubtedly save lives. Alicia is such an inspirational young lady and it was an honour to spend time speaking with her about an issue she is so passionate about.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-announces-consultation-on-organ-donation-opt-out-system



Saturday, 7 October 2017

Have you got the Bottle?!

I would like to congratulate Kenny Brunskill, who has been nominated for a Historic England Angel Award in the Best Craftsman or Apprentice category for his work to repair the Corbridge Bottle Kilns. The Corbridge Bottle Kilns were built in the early 19th century and are one of the only remaining examples of a Tyne Valley rural pottery. Kenny is a mason and has carried out vital repairs to the buildings, including repointing and brick replacement.

The Angel Awards are run by Historic England and are supported by the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation with the aim of celebrating local volunteers and groups who make a lasting difference to their local heritage.

You can help Kenny win another award- the Historic England Followers' and Telegraph Readers Favourite award- by voting here- https://historicengland.org.uk/get-involved/angel-awards/best-craftsperson-or-apprentice/corbridge-bottle-kilns/

Good luck Kenny!




Friday, 6 October 2017

Oh yes it is! It's time for the Dragon Tale pantomime!

This October, the Dragon Tale Theatre Group is performing its annual pantomime and they would like you to come along! From Wednesday 25th- Saturday 28th October at Highfield Middle School, Prudhoe, this year's pantomime is Dick Whittington and it promises to be a fantastic, fun-filled show!

I would also encourage you to get involved with Dragon Tale if you have an interest in participating in a production, whether on the stage or behind the scenes. Established in 2000, Dragon Tale Theatre Group is run by volunteers and works with members of all ages from the local community to produce an annual pantomime. Everyone is welcome to become part of the cast and crew from 8 years and up- there is no charge and no matter what your ability you are welcome to join. The charity provides opportunities for young people and adults to explore music, dance and drama, while also learning skills in areas including performance, costume production, stage-craft, make-up, sound and lighting, scenery, music and fundraising. Why not give it a try and get involved with Dragon Tale's next production?

To purchase tickets for Dragon Tale Theatre Group's pantomime, Dick Whittington, visit- www.dragontaletheatregroup.co.uk








Thursday, 5 October 2017

Bank, Camera, Action!

The Bank of England is inviting local secondary schools from the Hexham constituency to take part in their digital media competition, 'Bank, Camera, Action'.

To coincide with the 20th anniversary of the Bank of England being granted operational independence over monetary policy, school children aged 11-18 are asked to submit a short film (1-3 minutes) on the topic of 'What independence means to me'. Whether it's leaving school, getting a Saturday job or passing your driving test, all students have to do is create a film on your phone, tablet or camera that communicates what independence means to you in an interesting and imaginative way- you can use graphics, interviews, animation, dance, or whatever else you can think of!

There will be prizes for both schools and individuals, and the winning films will be made available on the Bank's website and on social media. Register for the competition by Monday 9th October by emailing- filmcompetition@bankofengland.co.uk and submit your entries by 11th December. Get involved, be creative and tell us what independence means to you! This could be your first step towards becoming the next Steven Spielberg or Kathryn Bigelow!





Wednesday, 4 October 2017

The Gaol that houses Hexham's fascinating past

It's one of the most impressive sites in Hexham, but how much do you know about the fascinating history of Hexham Old Gaol?

Claimed to be the oldest purpose-built prison in England, Hexham Old Gaol was built on the order of the Archbishop of York, William Melton, in 1330-33. Prisoners came from the Hexhamshire area, the area ruled by the Archbishop of York, until the 1820s, when a new county gaol was built in Morpeth, meaning that the Hexham Gaol was mostly used for petty thieves.

Since then, the Gaol has had many uses, including a bank, a billiards club and a place to fire watch during the Second World War. It is now a brilliant museum, showcasing collections covering archaeology, costume, law, photography, weapons and much more. Hexham Old Gaol is such an interesting building with an incredible history right in the centre of Hexham- I definitely encourage you to visit!

http://www.hexhamoldgaol.org.uk




Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Northumberland pub is best in the country!

We all know that Northumberland is home to some of the country's best pubs, but now it is official! The Good Pub Guide 2018 has named The Lord Crewe Arms in Blanchland 'Inn of the Year', and the title is very well deserved! As well as serving up delicious food and locally brewed ales, The Lord Crewe Arms is famous for its history and character. Dating back to 1165, making it one of the oldest inns in the country, the pub is full of history- Jacobite Rebellion leader General Tom Foster hid behind the inn’s fireplace in 1715, while monks were said to use the inn as a hiding hole.

This is a thoroughly deserved accolade, and I am delighted that one of Northumberland's many great pubs has been recognised nationally! If you haven't already been, I certainly recommend a visit to The Lord Crewe Arms- the country's best inn!

http://www.lordcrewearmsblanchland.co.uk


Monday, 2 October 2017

Victory for Paul Dunne, Close House, and Northumberland at the British Masters!

Yesterday brought an end to a fabulous few days of golf at Close House, with a dramatic final day of the British Masters. Ireland's Paul Dunne shot an impressive nine-under-par round yesterday to win his first European Tour title, beating Rory McIlroy who finished second despite his best round of the weekend on Sunday. It was a suitably exciting end to the tournament which has been a brilliant advert for Northumberland and sport in the North East, and I would like to congratulate Paul Dunne on an outstanding win.

Over the course of the four day tournament, more than 60,000 golf fans arrived at Close House to watch some of the world's best golfers in action and I would also like to congratulate Graham Wylie for putting on this fantastic event. I hope that this weekend is only the first of many top sporting events we will see in the North East in the future!


Sunday, 1 October 2017

Exploring our Heritage

Great news for Hexham as the Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded a grant of £8,900 to the Hexham Book Festival! The Heritage Lottery fund aims to celebrate, protect and look after our heritage, helping projects including museums, historic buildings, local parks and photographic records to preserve our history. The project, entitled 'Changed lives, research and writing project for podcast and performance for young people in Northumberland', will focus on working with young people with low literacy attainment to explore the lives of miners' children during the First World War. It sounds like a fantastic project, and so I am delighted with this news which will benefit young people in the Hexham area.

https://www.hlf.org.uk

http://hexhambookfestival.co.uk


Saturday, 30 September 2017

David Kirsopp- Haydon Bridge United's MVP!

Earlier this week I met with David Kirsopp, a recent winner of my Hexham Constituency Community Champion Awards, and his wife Avril. David was nominated for the award for his decades of devotion and service to Haydon Bridge United AFC, a club which is a huge part of his family tradition as David's father and grandfather were also stalwarts of the club.

I really enjoyed looking around the facilities at the football club. Despite flooding at the end of 2015, the Club House has been repaired and is now home to teams ranging from the Development Squad (aged 5 years) right through the age ranges up to adult. There are five pitches, one of which is full-sized, and it was great to see this brilliant facility and to speak with people who are so enthusiastic and devoted to the football club.

Founded in 1880, Haydon Bridge United AFC is such an important part of the Haydon Bridge community, and David and Avril, along with many others, do a fantastic job. I would like to congratulate David once again on his well-deserved award.

If you are in the Haydon Bridge area and passionate about football, I would definitely encourage you to get in touch with Haydon Bridge United AFC!

http://www.haydonbridgeunited.co.uk/home.html






Friday, 29 September 2017

New Jobs, New Opportunities, New Beginnings- Success at my Tynedale Jobs Fair!

Yesterday was third my annual Tynedale Jobs Fair, and with hundreds of people attending and nearly 50 businesses and employers there looking to hire, it really was a fantastic day. It was great to see so many people come along and talk to businesses across a wide range of sectors- there was something for everyone, with jobs available in retail, construction, the Royal Navy and much more! And best of all, I spoke to many people who left having filled out application forms and having found a new job- one person may well be starting their new job as soon as Monday!

It was also great to welcome local secondary school children from Prudhoe Community High School and Corbridge Middle School, giving them the chance to find out what jobs and opportunities are available both in school holidays and in the long-term before they make important choices at GCSE level. It's never too early to start thinking about future career plans and volunteering opportunities!

Employment levels in Northumberland are remarkably high, with only 3% of the Hexham constituency population unemployed, and the North East employment rate is at a record high. This government has already done so much to tackle unemployment, with 4380 new apprenticeships created in the constituency since 2010, but there is still more to be done. That's why it is so important to hold events like the Tynedale Jobs Fair to help as many people as possible find the right job for them, and so I am delighted that yesterday's event was such a success.

People left the Jobs Fair yesterday with a job that they didn't have when they woke up that morning. New opportunities and new beginnings- that's got to be a success!


Thursday, 28 September 2017

24 hour care to resume at Hexham Hospital - a great result for my long campaign

I was delighted to be invited to Hexham Hospital yesterday for the long-awaited announcement that after nine months of closure the Overnight Care Service at Hexham Hospital is to be reopened and 24 hour care reinstated.  

I have led a long and robust campaign to get the Centre reopened since it was first closed on a temporary basis last December, and have been supported in my campaign by many people.  Many constituents have contacted me to reiterate how important this service is to Hexham and Tynedale and since the closure was first announced I have had numerous meetings with patients, nurses and Trust managers to stress the fact that overnight care must restart and that promises were made at the time of the opening of the Cramlington Specialist Emergency Care Hospital that Hexham would keep its 24 hour service. 

Following the recruitment of 65 extra nurses, the reopening of Hexham overnight will mean that capacity is released for the Cramlington hospital to deal with the most serious emergencies.  I have been able to convince the Trust of the financial, and indeed the clinical case for reopening the overnight facility - the nurses are delighted and so are the people of Hexham and Tynedale.  A great result.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Working with NCC to deliver for our area

A week is a long time in politics, and it is now over four months since the Conservatives took control of Northumberland County Council.

The dramatic election night in May saw the Conservatives win 33 seats, and the former Labour administration- who were widely regarded as Ashington obsessed, profligate, out of touch and high-handed- reduced to 24 seats.

Since then I have been working closely with the new leadership at NCC to tackle some of the key issues in our communities here in Tynedale and Ponteland.

We are working together on a number of key challenges such as; stopping the move of County Hall to Ashington at vast public cost; putting in place a new housing plan to replace Labour's discredited green belt housing plans; working to improve coordination between the Job Centre, the County Council and West Tynedale Food Bank- all of which I visited last month- to ensure support for those that need it; and finding a workable plan to bring back overnight A&E cover to Hexham Hospital, to name just a few.

There are many big challenges facing our communities, but I believe that by working together with the new leadership at NCC we can deliver some real positive results for our area.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

2017 Tynedale Jobs Fair- 2 days to go!

There are just two days to go until my 2017 Tynedale Jobs Fair! Preparations are well under way and I am looking forward to what promises to be a  successful day! We have a fantastic list of businesses that will be attending and looking to hire from a wide range of sectors- whatever your interests and skills, you are sure to find something to suit you!

The list of businesses so far attending includes- 

  • Active Northumberland
  • Aldi
  • Army- Royal Artillery
  • Blue Arrow
  • Cambrian Group- Dilston Hall
  • Carillion
  • Co-operative
  • Danshell Health Centre
  • Endeavour North East
  • Esh Group
  • Gateshead College
  • Gentoo Homes
  • Generation North East
  • Go North East
  • Helen McArdle Care
  • Hextol Foundation
  • HFT-Charity
  • Howard Snaith
  • International Citizen Service
  • INTU Metro Centre
  • Lowgate- Roseberry Care
  • Marks and Spencer
  • Matfen Hall
  • Matthew Charlton- Jewson
  • National Careers Service
  • Natural Ability
  • NCDN
  • Need Ltd
  • Northumberland Adult Learning
  • Northumberland College
  • Northumberland County Council
  • Northumberland Fire Service
  • Owen Pugh
  • Penshaw View
  • Princes Trust
  • Q-Hotels
  • Release Potential
  • Royal Navy
  • Sure Start- Hexham Children’s Centre
  • Tesco Extra
  • The Beaumont Hotel
  • Thompsons of Prudhoe
  • Tynedale Community Bank
  • Voices- Bridge Project
  • Vattenfall
  • Waitrose
  • Walwick Hall
  • Wheels 2 Work- Go Smarter

The 2017 Tynedale Jobs Fair, supported by Northumberland County Council and Tynedale company Thompsons of Prudhoe, takes place this Thursday 28th September from 10am-4pm at Wentworth Leisure Centre. Come along and find the right job for you- I look forward to seeing you there! 

Monday, 25 September 2017

Join the World's Biggest Coffee Morning!

This Friday 29th September, thousands of people all over the country will be coming together for a cup of coffee and cakes for the world's biggest coffee morning, with events taking place up and down the country in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. Whether you host your own event or attend one of the many taking place across Tynedale and Ponteland- in Wylam, Corbri
dge, Hexham and Haydon Bridge to name a few- this is a great way to raise money for an excellent cause while enjoying some delicious coffee and snacks! I will be attending an event myself and I am looking forward to joining everyone for coffee while raising money for Macmillan- I encourage everyone to do the same!

https://coffee.macmillan.org.uk

Here are some of the Coffee Mornings happening across the constituency in the next few days-

Wednesday 27th September-

  • Otterburn- Rede House, 3pm 
Thursday 28th September-
  • Ovingham- Reading Room, 10am-12pm
Friday 29th September-
  • Allen Valleys- Anchor Housing, Arnison Close (in memory of Betty Calderwood), 10am-12pm
  • Greenhead- House of Meg
  • Humshaugh- The Cottage (David and Pat Priest), 10am-12pm
  • Riding Mill- The Cafe @ The Foyer
  • Wark- 10am-11.30am 
Saturday 30th September-
  • Wylam- The Institute, 10am-12pm 





Sunday, 24 September 2017

Northumberland's hidden history

It's so easy to miss, but this wooden cross at the side of the Chollerford road alongside the Roman Wall marks the site of a fascinating piece of Northumberland history. The cross stands on the site of the Battle of Heavenfield, fought in 633/634 between a Northumbrian army led by Oswald of Bernicia and a Welsh army, following an invasion of Northumberland by the Welsh side. Oswald took up a defensive position beside the Wall, 4 miles outside of Hexham, after the night before he had a vision which foretold that he would be victorious, and he raised a cross and prayed for victory. Despite having the smaller army, it was a decisive victory for the Northumberland army and Oswald became King of Northumberland.

Today there is a church on the hill near to the cross which marks the spot where it is believed that Oswald raised his battle standard. A relatively unknown site, but a great example of how there is history all around us in Northumberland!






Saturday, 23 September 2017

A Gold Footprint- It doesn't get any better!

Northumberland County Council has been awarded a Gold Stray Dog Footprint in the RSPCA's Community Animal Welfare Footprint Awards (CAWF) 2017. The RSPCA works with local authorities, the police and housing associations to help them deliver animal welfare services, and the awards scheme recognises organisations that work tirelessly to ensure high welfare standards for animals in the services they provide. The fantastic achievement of Northumberland County Council will be celebrated at a winners' reception in November, and I congratulate the Council on their award and the great work they do protecting animals and animal welfare in Northumberland.


Friday, 22 September 2017

What's on this weekend

The summer might be over, but there is still plenty to do in Tynedale and Ponteland. Here are some of the events taking place in the constituency this weekend...

Hexham Farmers' Market, Saturday 23rd September, 9am-2pm- Locally produced food in Hexham's famous market place, Hexham's twice-monthly farmers' market is a great way to support our local farmers.

http://www.hexhamfarmersmarket.co.uk

Pots in the Byre, Broadwood Hall Allendale, Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th September, 11am-5pm- The first weekend of Broadwood Hall's ceramics exhibition- visitors are invited to come along and view the fantastic work of talented local artists.

http://broadwoodstudios.co.uk/pots-in-the-byre

The Flavour of France, Hexham Abbey Festival Chorus and Orchestra, Saturday 23rd September, 7.30pm- Beautiful music from composers such as Debussy and Gabriel Fauré, buy your tickets in advance for this wonderful evening in Hexham Abbey.

http://hexhamabbeyfestival.org.uk/festival-chorus-and-orchestra/



4380 new Apprenticeships- 4380 new Opportunities

Since May 2010, the government has been working hard to deliver over 3 million new apprenticeships so that everyone can go as far as their talents will take them. This government is committed to helping people of all ages get into work, and since 2010, 4,380 new apprenticeships have been created in the Hexham constituency, offering new opportunities to so many people in the area.

My 2017 Tynedale Jobs Fair will be taking place at Wentworth Leisure Centre, Hexham, on Thursday 28th September from 10am-4pm, and will be another opportunity to find employment and new opportunities. I hope to see as many of you as possible there next week!


Thursday, 21 September 2017

REVEALED- Who's hiring at my 2017 Tynedale Jobs Fair


One week to go until my 2017 Tynedale Jobs Fair! Northumberland County Council and Tynedale company Thompsons of Prudhoe are supporting the event on 28th September, and the list of companies that will be attending and looking to hire is growing by the day!

The list of businesses so far attending includes-

  • Active Northumberland
  • Aldi
  • Army- Royal Artillery
  • Blue Arrow
  • Cambrian Group- Dilston Hall
  • Carillion
  • Co-operative
  • Danshell Health Centre
  • Endeavour North East
  • Esh Group
  • Gateshead College
  • Gentoo Homes
  • Generation North East
  • Go North East
  • Helen McArdle Care
  • Hextol Foundation
  • HFT-Charity
  • Howard Snaith
  • International Citizen Service
  • INTU Metro Centre
  • Lowgate- Roseberry Care
  • Marks and Spencer
  • Matfen Hall
  • Matthew Charlton- Jewson
  • National Careers Service
  • Natural Ability
  • NCDN
  • Need Ltd
  • Northumberland Adult Learning
  • Northumberland College
  • Northumberland County Council
  • Northumberland Fire Service
  • Owen Pugh
  • Penshaw View
  • Princes Trust
  • Q-Hotels
  • Release Potential
  • Royal Navy
  • Sure Start- Hexham Children’s Centre
  • Tesco Extra
  • The Beaumont Hotel
  • Thompsons of Prudhoe
  • Tynedale Community Bank
  • Voices- Bridge Project
  • Vattenfall
  • Waitrose
  • Walwick Hall
  • Wheels 2 Work- Go Smarter



The 2017 Tynedale Jobs Fair takes place from 10am-4pm on Thursday 28th September at Wentworth Leisure Centre in Hexham- free of charge. With so many companies looking to hire, it would be great to see you there!

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Ringing the bells to welcome Reverend Tom Birch


I would like to welcome the Reverend Tom Birch, who is the new parish priest of St Oswin’s Church in Wylam and St Mary the Virgin Church in Ovingham. He is the first vicar to be the incumbent of both parishes, and on Monday evening he was welcomed into the community at a packed St Mary the Virgin Church, where he was licensed by the Bishop of Newcastle, the Rt Rev. Christine Hardman. Mr Birch was previously assistant curate at St Nicholas’ Church in Gosforth.  I wish him, his wife Jessica and their three children the best of luck in their new community, and I look forward to getting to know him over the coming years.