Virtual events are being held to thank people and groups across County Durham for their good work during the pandemic and to gather views on the future of the area.
Durham County Council has been running its Better for Everyone sessions through its 14 Area Action Partnerships (AAP) to hear views on a wide range of issues and also thank the public for its efforts throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
The Great Aycliffe and Middridge Partnership (GAMP) meeting will be held on Thursday, November 12 (6-7.30pm), with residents, businesses and community organisations invited to take part.
Following each session, a word cloud image has been created using key words of gratitude and the names of the groups that people wanted to thank in each area.
The picture is made from words from the comments made in the meeting’s chat function to thank those who have helped out within their community during the pandemic.
Each meeting is being attended by Cllr Simon Henig, leader of the council, and Amanda Healy, the county’s director of Public Health, to give an update on the pandemic, the authority’s work, and details on how residents can play their part in reducing the spread of the virus by becoming community champions.
Cllr Henig talks about the new Vision for the county, which has been developed by the council and the County Durham Partnership following a major consultation exercise last year and highlights as key priorities, more and better jobs, connected communities and supporting people to live long and independent lives.
Those taking part in the online events have the opportunity to influence future projects and activities including £20 million of work to make towns and villages around the county more vibrant – one of the key priorities of the Vision.
Since the pandemic began, the AAPs have provided more than £1.1m to almost 300 community groups and organisations working to support the county’s most vulnerable residents. This is in addition to support provided to groups through partner organisations including Durham Community Action and the County Durham Community Foundation.
Cllr Simon Henig, Leader of Durham County Council, said: “These sessions have been extremely valuable so far in allowing us the opportunity to hear residents’ views for what they would like to see for the future of their areas as we look towards our new Vision for the county.
“But, not only that, the meetings have also enabled us to meet and thank the people who have been working incredibly hard within their communities, dedicating time to help those who are vulnerable or in need of support during this difficult time as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
“I am looking forward to meeting and speaking to more people in the remaining sessions to come.”
The events will be taking place on Microsoft Teams so attendees will need access to an internet-enabled device.
Further information and places at the sessions can be booked via www.durham.gov.uk/betterforeveryone.