The ROAD Team are proud of the work we are continually doing to help our Participants to overcome a variety of barriers in their lives. Here, you can read about some of our many successes to date.

COVID-19 (Corona Virus) Update

Date: March 18, 2020

COVID-19 (Corona Virus) UPDATE


ROAD has made the decision to temporarily suspend all face-to-face meetings with our Participants and stakeholders until further notice. We will be making contact with all of our Participants via other methods and will continue to remain in contact and offer support via these channels.

Please follow our social media platforms for updates.

You can contact us via our Facebook Page, email [email protected] or call 01207 524 833.


The Government Strategy is to delay transmission across communities and keep people safe. On 16th March 2020, The Prime Minster outlined measures to be implemented, including:

The general population is advised to:

  • stop non-essential contact with others and to stop all unnecessary travel;
  • avoid social gatherings (big or small) and
  • avoid pubs, clubs, theatres and other such social venues.


Vulnerable Groups are determined to be:

  • People over 70 years old:
  • People with serious chronic conditions; and
  • Pregnant women.


Government advice for people in the above categories is to shield themselves from non-essential contact for a period of 12 weeks.


Stay up to date

Keep up to date with the latest public information and advice regarding the virus at


This situation is evolving and ROAD staff are monitoring it closely and will provide regular updates.  We urge people to think through the practicalities of their own circumstances and take necessary steps to safeguard themselves and others.

Glenn branches out with volunteering opportunity


Glenn, who is profoundly deaf, wanted to improve his quality of life, and add structure to his week.

After a joint-meeting with his mother, who helped communicate via sign language, Glenn’s ROAD Navigator discovered he has a love for the outdoors and even had his own allotment.

ROAD sourced Glenn a place on Durham Wildlife Trust’s Naturally Social programme, which supports mental and physical well-being through engagement with nature.

The programme was even able to purchase wellies and a waterproof jacket, allowing Glenn to get started the very next day.

Many months later, Glenn continues to be a vital part of the heathland maintenance team at Durham Wildlife Trust!

Helen takes over class thanks to ROAD

Date: December 3, 2019

Helen was unemployed for more than two years before receiving support from ROAD.

Navigators and trainers from across the programme worked with her to improve her confidence and self-esteem through one-to-one support, as well as specialist courses.

To help Helen move closer to her ambition of working in the health and fitness sector, ROAD found a volunteering opportunity with an organisation running healthy eating courses. After attending for a few weeks, she joined the team and began planning and delivering her own sessions!

This proved to her she had the ability to lead a class, and gave her the confidence to complete a fitness instructor qualification, meaning she is now ready to enter an industry for which she has a passion.

ROAD is a winner for gamer


Thomas was a ‘video game addict’ and very rarely left the house. It left him feeling lonely and isolated, despite the fact he had many only friends. So much so, that he reached a point where he didn’t even enjoy playing his games anymore.

His lack of any workplace experience or qualifications meant Thomas didn’t have the confidence to pursue work out of fear of rejection

Thomas worked with ROAD Navigator Kerry to develop a plan to help integrate him more into his community and move him towards his ambition of becoming a chef through volunteering at a community allotment group and community kitchen, as well as supporting him to gain hygiene and health & safety qualifications.

Thanks to ROAD’s support Thomas has recently started a full time role in the kitchen of a care home and continues to be a valuable member of society through his volunteer work at the allotment and community centre.

ROAD is recipe for success for Barry


Barry, who has a level of learning difficulty, joined ROAD as he wanted to make more meaningful use of his time.

After meeting with ROAD Health Trainer FAYE, she discovered he had a passion for cookery and baking, along with artistic talents.

To help Barry create a local support network, and help Barry make the most of his passion for art and food, Faye arranged for him to attend an art club and take part in a Level 2 Food Safety in Catering course at a local community centre.

As Barry felt his learning difficulties would hold him back from completing the course, Faye also went along to make sure he understood the principles.

He passed and is now on his way to working in the catering industry!

Sarah says: "Thank you for helping me to gain confidence..."

Date: July 22, 2019

Sarah Pringle was referred to the ROAD team by housing association, Livin. She wanted to live a healthier lifestyle but lacked motivation, she also wanted support with getting on top of her finances as she wanted to save for her future better. She always saw herself taking on a qualification too, but wasn’t sure where to start.

Sarah worked with a financial / digital & health / wellbeing specialist & was also well supported by her navigator, who guided her along the journey to achieving her aspirations.

A tailored plan was implemented that enabled Sarah to better manage her finances, alongside 1:1 cooking sessions in alignment with the NHS Eatwell Guide inspired Sarah to shop well, plan her meals & eat more healthily.

This quickly became a great habit, which, in turn, had a positive impact on her mood & she sleep patterns.

Sarah continues to experiment with food, paying close attention to her budget, buying key ingredients at a reasonable price & batch cooking & freezing portions where possible. Her social life has also benefited as she now has the confidence to cook meals for friends.

Since Sarah has been supported by the ROAD team she has started to plan for the future, undertaking a distance learning course. She hopes to start a degree next year.

Sarah says: “Thank you for helping me to gain confidence & understand that I can follow my dream. I wouldn’t have applied for my college course without the support of the team at ROAD”.

Here at ROAD, we believe that Sarah made all the changes herself, & that we were just a small part in the process. We know that it is easy to lose focus, especially when life gets tough, however, with the right kind of support & guidance, our specialists can help participants to work on an action plan that helps them to prioritise their wants & needs, & put them on a path to setting future goals.

Sarah quickly achieved clarity after a short time of working with the team. Regular progress reviews reminded her of how far she’d come.

Well done Sarah, you should be incredibly proud of yourself. It was a pleasure to support you!

ROAD Hops on Board Google Bus & Meets MP Kevan

Date: July 8, 2019

When the Google Bus came to Stanley, County Durham, ROAD Groundwork NE & Cumbria Health Trainer Faye, from Pioneering Care Partnership – PCP got on board to spread the word us.

Whilst on the ROAD, she met Kevan Jones and Cllr Carole Hampson, the Mayor of Stanley, who were both VERY enthused by the good work we have, and will continue to do with our many Participants, even writing this short article:

ROAD works with those aged 25 and above in County Durham who are out of work, and is a FREE and VOLUNTARY programme.

For more information, call 01207 524 833, email [email protected] or visit to read how we have helped hundreds of people to FIND THEIR POTENTIAL.

ROAD is funded by the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund.

#TNLComFundESF #helpingustohelpyou

ROAD Funders National Lottery Community Fund Undergo Fab Rebrand!

Date: January 30, 2019

Here at ROAD Groundwork NE & Cumbria, we love the new logo the Big Lottery Fund have released following their recent rebrand to the National Lottery Community Fund

For more information on this fab news, please visit:…/national-lottery-good…

ROAD is a Building Better Opportunities Programme, jointly funded by the European Social Fund and the Big Lottery Fund (TNLCF) until July 2019.

Helping the unemployed in County Durham, aged 25 and above to overcome barriers to employment, we are proud to be involved in this wider social-inclusion project.

More information on European Growth Funding can be found here ℹ️…/england-2014-to-2020-european-structur…

Visit our webpage to see some of our many success stories:

Call us on 01207 524 833 or email on [email protected]

ROAD Signs up 500th Participant

Date: December 7, 2018

ROAD Groundwork NE & Cumbria are proud to announce that today, we signed up our 500th Participant!

This means that since the launch of our FREE and VOLUNTARY service on 31st October 2016, we have helped 500 individuals across County Durham to find their potential.

ROAD is a partnership of fantastic community and voluntary sector organisations, all of whom have helped so many individuals.

To see some of the fantastic work we have done with our many Participants to date, visit

ROAD is funded by the European Social Fund and the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund and works with those aged 25 and above who are out of work in County Durham to find their potential.

For more information, call 01207 524 833, email [email protected], or visit


Citizens Advice County Durham CDC Enterprise Agency Cornforth House Changing Lives Humankind Charity Jack Drum Arts Pioneering Care Partnership- PCP Finchale Durham Community Action Durham Christian Partnership

Success for Participant with Health & Wellbeing

Date: September 18, 2018

A ROAD Participant working with Navigator, Gillian, from Humankind has begun to turn her life around with help from the ROAD Programme.

The Participant signed up to ROAD in February 2017, and having last worked in 2008, was completely lacking in confidence and feeling socially isolated. They were referred to the Health and Wellbeing strand of ROAD, and began working with a Health Trainer looking at healthy eating and exercise. The individual took part in the ROAD walking group, joined the gym and began to attend the coffee afternoon, but still isolated themselves from the main group, feeling uncomfortable in social situations.

The Health Trainer began running quizzes which the Participant excelled at, increasing their confidence, after which they attended an accredited Volunteering Passport and Skills for Employment course, further improving their confidence, leading to several volunteering opportunities that they took part in.

The Participant is now volunteering at a lunch club for the elderly, and now they are confident enough to attend interviews, they are actively job searching.