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.

Ladies Have Bouquet of Fun at Jack Drum Arts Session

Date: March 15, 2018

ROAD Participants had a fantastic time when they attended Jack Drum Arts’ Ladies’ ‘Me Time’ sessions, where they took part in a flower arranging class.

We think the results are fabulous!

The sessions will continue to be ran until 26th April (except for 5th & 12th of April).

For more information, call Faye on 07749 933 962 – open to existing ROAD Participants only

Laura is now on the ROAD for real

Date: March 1, 2018

ROAD Participant Laura, who has been working with her Health Trainer, Angie from PCP, on lots of aspects of her health and wellbeing for almost a year now: confidence, weight loss, anxiety. Through discussions at her regular one-to-one appointments, it was identified that having a driving licence would support Laura to find and gain an employment or volunteering opportunity, giving her the option of looking for opportunities further afield.

Angie secured external funding via Social Prescribing for both a 10-hour lesson block and a theory test, which Laura impressively passed on her first attempt, which we reported on last year! Angie then went on to secure funding via ROAD’s Health and Wellbeing Specialist Fund to finance a further 15 hours of lessons, and also a practical test.

After overcoming many hurdles during the past year, Laura has dealt extremely well with her nerves and anxiety surrounding her practical driving test, and we are pleased to say, she passed first time!

Laura is now on the ROAD for real, and this has had a positive impact on her life, and that of her daughter.

Well done Laura, from everyone at ROAD!

Ladies Enjoy Me Time at Jack Drum Art's Sessions

Date: February 14, 2018

ROAD Participants had a fantastic time when they attended Jack Drum Arts’ first Ladies’ ‘Me Time’ sessions, where they created home-made DIY health and beauty products, including:

Avocado and banana face mask

Lime Salt scrub

Fragranced Sugar scrub

A range of oatmeal beauty products

The ladies also enjoyed a healthy dessert of layered yogurt using fruit natural yogurt and oats.

The sessions will continue to be ran until 26th April (except for 5th & 12th of April).

For more information, call Faye on 07749 933 962 – open to existing ROAD Participants only

ROAD Participant Paul Designs ROAD Christmas E-Card

Date: December 11, 2017

ROAD Partner, Jack Drum Arts, has been running Christmas Arts and Crafts sessions for a number of weeks, and we thought this was a fantastic opportunity to get a design for our ROAD Christmas e-Card.

It’s safe to say that a lot of time, care and effort went into creating these hand-crafted lino prints, and we are so pleased with all of the entries, it was difficult to choose. Anna from Jack Drum Arts says:

“Everyone has put in equal effort and have been on their own personal journey with this activity (and others that we have ran), and all have tried something that they thought that they never would. There were a few other designs belonging to Participants who did not get to complete in time due to unfortunate health issues or volunteering and these were equally as deserving.”

On behalf of all here at the ROAD HQ, thank you to Anna and Jack Drum Arts, and all of the Participants who took part.


The chosen design was created by Paul, and of Paul, Anna from Jack Drum Arts says:

“This is his second course with JDA; he has been working with them for 16 weeks in total and was really keen to participate in the Christmas Crafts. Before JDA, he thought art was just painting and sculptures, he now knows it’s more than that, and is something he can be involved in and try new mediums to find what works for him.

He mentioned when he first started programme that he had a problem with anxiety and wouldn’t go anywhere without his wife Hazel, and he said ‘ROAD has given me a purpose, its built me up’. He now is able to leave the house and enjoys seeing the friends he has made since attending the craft groups with JDA.

When told about the competition, he discussed his idea of a landscape in lino cutting. Anna spent time with him planning out the design and how to vision into reality. He initially wanted to start a summer scene, of the rolling hills and a road, but then decided to add snow and tyre tracks. Planning in paper how and which parts of the lino to cut, he kept working until he was happy with the overall effect to realise the texture and patterns of the landscape.

Paul has put in a lot of planning to realise his design, its been an exploration of texture and detail.”

Here is Paul’s fantastic design, incorporated into the ROAD Christmas e-Card, which was sent to staff and Participants this week:

Groundwork NE & Cumbria Gets their first ROAD Job Start!

Date: December 5, 2017

Patrick started, very reluctantly, with ROAD on 14th February 2017. Initially, he didn’t want to engage with us, but soon realised that ROAD was there to help him.

Over the months he has worked hard with his Health and Wellbeing Health Trainer, Jane Marley at Pioneering Care Partnership, and his Finance and Digital Coach, Emma Woods at Citizens Advice County Durham, to help to improve his lifestyle, finance and ICT skills. He has also worked with Geoff, Financial Crisis worker also at Citizens Advice to help with a sanction.

He began working with Vicky Wood, Employer Engagement Navigator at Groundwork NE & Cumbria and he secured a job as a security guard on the 24th of November 2017, becoming the first Participant of ROAD Navigator, Alison, to get a job!

Of Patrick, Alison from Groundwork NE & Cumbria says, “He loves coming to work with us here at ROAD, has previously been involved in the first ROAD Participant forum and received very positive feedback from his Job Coach at Peterlee Job Centre Plus. He is the perfect Participant and we think the world of him!”

A huge well done to everyone who worked with Patrick to help him on his ‘road’ to employment, and to Patrick for being a joy to work with.

ROAD Provides Steps to Mental & Physical Fitness

Date: November 25, 2017

Angie, Health Trainer at the Pioneering Care Partnership, has been working with ROAD Participant, Kat, since August. When she came to ROAD, Kat was suffering from a low mood, high levels of anxiety and low fitness levels, and with Hypermobility, she was prone to repeated injuries such as sprains. Because of this, Kat needs to exercise in a structured and supported way.

Through social prescribing, her Health Trainer managed to secure funding to purchase a yearly gym membership. Kat has had her induction and is now benefitting from using the Facilities at Chester le Street gym, which includes classes such as Pilates to build core strength and help Kat with breathing techniques to help with her anxiety levels. Kat is being supported at the gym by her Health Trainer and the staff at the gym to ensure that exercise is safe to minimise the risk of injury. The access to this gym membership allows Kat to have some time to herself to exercise which will improve her mental health and her mood, as well as her fitness.

Laura is Driving up the ROAD of Success

Date: November 24, 2017

ROAD Health Trainer at PCP, Angie Cooke, has been working with Participant, Laura, for some time on her confidence, anxiety and weight loss.

Laura was unable to drive, which was becoming a huge barrier to her securing volunteering placements and employment opportunities working with animals. Having recently completed the Volunteer Passport Training course with Durham Community Action, Laura sadly realised that all available opportunities would be out of her reach unless she could drive.

Suffering from severe anxiety, Laura can only manage an automatic vehicle, and in order to help her to achieve her goal of being able to drive one, her Health Trainer accessed social prescribing funds to secure ten hours of driving lessons and a theory test. Laura invested lots of her time into studying and revising, having extra one-to-one appointments with Angie to perform mock theory tests. Laura passed her theory exam on the 11th of August 2017!

Through ROAD, Laura now has access to a further fifteen hours of driving lessons and her practical test which is funded by the Health and Wellbeing Specialists and is very much looking forward to becoming independent.

Well done Laura and Angie.



"Scovan took her exam after the 1 and a half day's training and passed!"

Date: November 13, 2017

ROAD Health and Wellbeing Trainer, Angie Cooke of Pioneering Care Partnership has been working with Scovan for some time now, and of this Participant’s amazing journey, she says:

“Scovan has gone through a personal recovery journey and became involved with ROAD via a mindfulness course she saw advertised. Scovan completed the course and started to work with a Health Trainer on a one-to-one basis to receive support around her anxiety, confidence, weight and healthy eating.

She made small changes to her food intake to reduce sugar, and her Health Trainer secured funding via the ROAD Health and Wellbeing Specialist fund to buy an annual gym membership which will greatly help with Scovan’s medical problems and assist her weight loss.

Scovan was interested in volunteering for ROAD as a Peer Mentor for the Health and Wellbeing offering around alcohol awareness and wanted to complete the Royal Society of Public Health Qualification which is a Level 2 in Health Improvement to enable her to support others.


Scovan took her exam after the 1 and a half day’s training and passed!


She has also completed her Food Hygiene Level 2 Qualification to enable her to assist with Breakfast Clubs and Coffee Afternoons.

Scovan is looking forward to putting her new knowledge in to practice in order to support other ROAD Participants and to continue working with her Health Trainer to continue her weight loss and improve her confidence.

A huge well done, Scovan!

"Volunteering increases my sense of worth..."

Date: November 10, 2017

ROAD Participant, Steven, has been helped by the ROAD Programme for some time now, and is currently volunteering with one of our Partners, Jack Drum Arts.

Of Volunteering, Steven says:

“Volunteering increases my sense of worth, purpose and motivates me, I feel valued and part of something which makes me feel good about myself, it helps improve my self-esteem and confidence.

I feel it improves my employment prospects, as it provides me with opportunities to build upon existing and learn new skills, knowledge and experience and it allows me to continue my personal and professional development.

It’s also a great way for me to give something back to an organisation and project that has positively impacted my life and to show my appreciation to those who’ve supported me, all in all I find volunteering to be a very meaningful use of my time that provides many benefits.”

Well done, Steven! You’re doing us all proud.

ROAD Participant Karen Wins Volunteer of the Year Award

Date: October 27, 2017

Karen joined the ROAD Building Better Opportunities Programme in January 2017, having been unemployed for over 5 years.

Karen had been referred to Wellbeing for Life to assist in the development of her own health and wellbeing, and as part of this Programme, Karen trained as a Health Coach and began to volunteer for them in this capacity.

Karen has worked with ROAD Navigator at Finchale, John Marr, Health Trainer, Mary Taylor at Leisureworks, along with Janine Elgie, Financial and Digital Coach at Durham Christian Partnership. With the support of both the ROAD and Wellbeing for Life Programmes, Karen has moved from being a shy and introvert individual, who demonstrated little confidence in herself, into a strong, self-supporting and confident, forward-thinking and acting individual.

In early October 2017, Karen was nominated for Volunteer of the Year at the Leisureworks ‘Derwentside’ Sports Awards.

On Friday 13th October 2017, Karen was announced as the recipient of the award on the night, which was a fantastic surprise to Karen, as the award acknowledged her dedication and the vast amount of time she has contributed on a voluntary basis.

Upon accepting the award, Karen said:

‘I have never been nominated for, or won, an award before’

Karen surprised herself by having the confidence to speak in front of 200 to 300 people, her pride was spilling over, and her family were as proud as all staff who have had the pleasure of working with and supporting her.