Voices of Consett - Sharon

Consett Heritage Project / August 25th, 2023

Voices of Consett - Sharon

My name is Sharon and I am currently a teacher at Consett Academy. I

have been living here for 25 years when I moved from up the valleys of

south Wales for a new relationship in Blackhill in Consett.


Would I ever return to Wales? No. I absolutely love the area. I love the

school that I work in and I love the students.


My Father-in-Law is really interested in Consett’s heritage and used to

work in the steel works, as did his father, and his father before him.

When we first moved to Consett may daughters, who were then aged 5 and

7, used to spend hours with him going through what Leadgate and

Blackhill used to look like in the 19th century. He would explain and

show them images about how much the old steel works used to overpower

the surrounding area of Consett.


In Wales, where I was born, and lived was also a very industrial area

and reminds me of Consett, with pits actually underneath us. A friend

even used to message me when he was mining under my old house! We had a

huge industrial steel works there called Llanwern Steel works, which was

even bigger than Consett, it was huge. But unfortunately, it also fell

foul of the economy and was closed down, so I understand the context of

Consett steel works closing.


My current views of the town are that I like it but there are not enough

facilities for students in this area. There seem to be things to make

money and there is a lack of funding to support students. The money

seems to go towards fast food outlets rather than giving access to youth

projects, Youth clubs and outdoor play areas.


We do have lovely spaces like Blackhill Park but I would like to see

these resources utilised to support children in these areas. For

example, I would like to see more concerts at the bandstand and funding

to encourage the children to participate in local sport.


There is a lot of regeneration around building new housing, but much of

it seems to be unaffordable to young people and young families in

Consett. I would, like to see the new housing linked to bringing new

industry to the town, to stop young people having to move out of the

area, to better their lives.


My hope for the future is that we attract new business to the town

without ruining the land. There are so many roads that lead to Consett,

you can easily get to the wonderful countryside that surrounds us around

Castleside and Weardale. However, we must revamp the town centre, and do

something to link education with employment, to create opportunities for

young people.


I hope that local young people, take any opportunities that they can,

work hard and even move away for a while to experience life and broaden

their horizons. Then they can return in the future, if they wish, and

help to boost the local economy to support others



Find out more

Aspirations and Future Planning / September 3rd, 2019

Starting School

As we approach the ‘big day’ for the students who are either starting school or who are moving up to ‘big school’, I thought I would share my own experience of the preparation for my own first day at school.

Youth Social Action / May 21st, 2024

Consett Area Youth Consultation

Tell us how you would like the Consett Area to look by 2036. What can we all do to improve on what we already have? What ideas do you have to ensure the continued and positive growth of the Consett Area?

Wellbeing and the Arts / December 19th, 2022

Travelling Home for Christmas | Robson Laidler Christmas Video 2022 - Featuring Building Self-Belief CIO

The Building Self-belief team were delighted to be invited to take part in the Robson Laidler Christmas video, which this year is a parody of Chris Rea’s 'Driving Home for Christmas' video, with a sustainability theme. We performed along with the County Durham Community Foundation and Oases Housing. Please enjoy the video, and feel free to share it!