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
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
Know Your Neighbourhood Project / October 3rd, 2023
Volunteering can be one of the most rewarding things that you can do in life. It takes a very special person to give up their own time to help others in need. As part of our Know Your Neighbourhood programme, you have the opportunity to join our team and make a difference in our community.
Consett Heritage Project / February 9th, 2024
Ray Lonsdale’s statue of Tommy, at Seaham had a profound effect on me. Tommy, or using it’s real title of “One Minute Past Eleven” depicts a weary First World War soldier slumped and gazing ahead. Tommy represents how many troops felt when the war ended – we had ‘won’, but at what cost?
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!