Christmas Roundup 2022

Aspirations and Future Planning / December 20th, 2022

Christmas Roundup 2022

What a year it has been for Building Self-Belief! It is such a relief that we are finally getting back to normal after the ongoing uncertainly linked to the Covid restrictions. Now we are back in full flow, we have exciting times ahead.

Christmas 2022 Toy Appeal

This year, we have made a determined effort to support the most in need in our communities. Through a £2,000 grant from the Derwent Valley AAP and the support of Councillor Kathryn Rooney, we ensured that some of the most in need students at Consett Academy received Christmas gifts. We tried to combine some practical winter warmer gifts, alongside some fun items for the young people. The art sets were also a great boost. Students who previously struggled to complete work at home, now have some fabulous materials that they can work with in their own time. It is a tough winter for so many, we were so pleased to be able to help in any way. Sharon Hopkins said, ‘Our students were thrilled to get such lovely presents. Knowing that local people care makes all of the difference to them.’

Wellbeing Groups and Winter Warmer

We received some funding from the County Durham Community Foundation towards winter warmer kits for our projects. We had a few boys’ wellbeing programmes running, and as part of their Christmas gifts, we wrapped up a hat, gloves and a hot water bottle. I warned them not to get too excited about the presents– but they were all genuinely thrilled. They particularly loved the hot water bottle – so many of the said that they had always wanted one. I think it just goes to show that we make assumptions about what young people want. What this initiative has proved is – they were genuinely grateful for the simplest of items. It was a joy to share it with them.  Our groups have been amazing, they have made so much progress!

Woodlands at Leadgate

The sessions at Woodland have been a real joy – they were particularly excited to see the birds arrive to feed off the fat ball bird feeders they had created. We are particularly looking forward to the next event with Haystax and the continuation of our collaborative work with the young people.

Tow Law

Just before Christmas we started our Free activities club at Tow Law Community Centre. The sessions include free hot food and drinks, with craft activities and games. Alongside this is a session for a jobs and budgeting support group. The aim is to help to the community get through the winter with as much support – and fun – as possible. This is part of the Poverty Hurst fund from the Co Durham Community Foundation. The children loved their winter warmer packs, too! Session are in term time, every Friday from 4.00pm-5.45pm – please spread the word. #Povertyhurts

New Trustees

A huge thank you to our long standing support of the charity – it makes such a difference to know we have such great support. We are thrilled that Lucy Reed and Isabel Wherritt have both joined us as Trustees in recent months. We are always looking for new ideas and new approaches, and having such fabulous people supporting us makes such a difference to our work,

Our Christmas Video

Our Christmas Celebration took a new turn his year, when we were delighted to be invited to take part in the Robson Laidler Christmas Video. If you need cheering up, please take a look, it was lots of fun to make!

Next Steps

  • We started two new Wellbeing groups before Christmas, and we are excited to be taking these further
  • There is some exciting news to come in the New Year – we are on the cusp of agreeing a very exciting new project – we are just waiting for confirmation. If we get the official go ahead – it will be the best Christmas present ever!
  • Decisions are still to made on a few of our bids – if we are successful – we have some very exciting times ahead.
  • We are going to be working with the Cranfield Trust to put a marketing plan together to finally get our Resource Hub fully launched.
  • Fund raising – we will be working with Danny Mitchell who will help us raise our profile and fund raise at the same time. This will be alongside out very supportive Trustees, who have all agreed to help us in any way they can.
  • Thank you to our team here at Building Self-Belief – they take on the most bizarre range of activities and they always run with the ideas that we have and help us make sure they are all a success.

Here is wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy and prosperous New Year from myself, and the Team at Building Self-Belief.


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Self-Belief and Emotional Wellbeing / March 9th, 2023

Teenage Emotional Wellbeing and Environmental Engagement

Our project used environmental, and creative arts related activities, to support the young people’s emotional wellbeing and self-confidence. The programme’s activities developed their arts-based skills and also included visits to Haystax Inclusive Farm Experience in County Durham, where they participated in a range of environmental based activities.

Aspirations and Future Planning / December 1st, 2020

Future Planning

Future planning is essential. We always encourage young people to have a goal. Passing an exam is not enough. Why do they need the qualification? What are they going to do with it? If they do not do as well as expected, what is their plan?

The Activity Den - Transformation

Self-Belief and Emotional Wellbeing / May 18th, 2019

The Activity Den Transformation

This is an extended version of our film outlining the transformation of The Den activity centre in Tanfield Lea. Over a three month period we held weekly sessions and made plans, for transforming this amazing space.