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STOP PRESS!
We now have permission to announce that our new garden will be at Sedgefield Primary School! We will work in partnership with them and have use of their land, greenhouse and raised beds to grow our produce to support the community. I’m thrilled and excited about our Market Garden (Sedgefield) C.I.C. project. It will help so many of us. Carole.


An update from Carole Lawford & Honey

We’re back! Since I last wrote, I’ve been having treatment for my MS and have moved into one of the beautiful adapted properties in Caden Court. Named after Father Caden of this parish I’m told; some history in the new.

I wish I could promise you a COVID 19 free zone, but it’s bounced us into a new direction with the Market Garden project and I am excited to share it. The location we were hoping for is now not available and we thought we were on hold, but as things progressed, I realised we may be needed more than ever. So I’ve started to sow the seeds we have (as it happens, they were with me when lockdown began) but my committed colleagues will join in when they can. I’m not in this alone, and am grateful for the support and advice I’ve had.

Honey has adapted too; having her first season in isolation, she is enjoying regular walks from our kind neighbours who take her on their daily exercise trips. Thank you, Harry, Simon, Jim & family who answered my call on FB and practise social distancing to keep us safe. Honey is learning passers-by don’t need to be greeted with a bark. She’ll get there!

Our plan is to grow produce from the seeds and kind donations we’ve received, to support residents of Sedgefield and surrounding areas - those who are furloughed, isolated through disability or age, low income and impacted.

Thank you to Sedgefield Community College for the compost and plants donated; I’m sure we will work together when the time is right; and to those who left plant pots as a response to my Facebook plea. We have had more seeds, a greenhouse, compost and wheelbarrow added to our list.

We are a social enterprise, here to help each other and support those who need us. Nobody is paid, and all profits will go to the local community through projects like this one. Supported by Durham County Council & the Area Action Partnerships, we are applying for community funding to set up a market garden. Once the isolation restrictions are lifted, we’ll welcome volunteers to join us and tend to our produce, help put things together and in turn help each other through our new normal, whatever that will be.

It’s tough now for many of us; but please keep going, stay home, respect the restrictions and look after each other and our amazing NHS. We can do this, so let’s be proud, set the right tone in our neighbourhoods, to our young people and children, just as I’m seeing so far. As a society we will change, we’ll lose jobs, businesses, airlines, etc. and live a simpler life, supporting local producers who are delivering where they can and adapting their lives and businesses. Thank you to them all. I am certain that there will be new jobs, new businesses set up everywhere by people like us that will meet new demands as we all adapt. It is happening already; we’re seeing it in the news, and it will continue.

If you’re finding the news difficult to watch, try again, and watch for the communities coming together, clapping for our NHS, carers and all essential workers; for restaurants and food outlets adapting and delivering; schools and factories making protective face masks and people sewing scrubs & wash bags.

The race for a vaccine is on right here at NETPark. The good is out there, we just need to focus on it. So thank you for the small things, a wave, a passing chat; for collecting a neighbour’s prescription, shopping for them along with your own, walking their dog, respecting the 2 metre distance and helping others do it if they forget - generally being the wonderful community that is the Sedgefield area.

Lastly, some ideas if you would like to help our project. Make a bug hotel - any size, any materials, add your name so we know it’s yours. We would love a scarecrow, child or adult size, cute as a button, creative. All will be cherished and shared.
If you work with wood, a birdhouse/cottage/treehouse/rocket? Do make it safe for both wildlife & people!
Feel free to get in touch at carole.lawford1@btinternet.com

Regular Feature

Greener Sedgefield

With us all being forced temporarily to abandon our normal daily lives some impressive changes have already been noticed. Fish have been spotted in rivers which were thought to be too polluted, air quality has improved, and reports of drastically lowered CO2 levels have been making headlines. It's difficult to predict how long lasting these improvements are and how quickly human activity will make up the carbon emissions currently withheld, only time will tell. But what can we as individuals learn from the current situation? What positive changes can we take from it that we can implement to our lives after the crisis?

With supermarket shelves emptier than normal, our access to shopping limited and the financial strain many families are under, there has been an impact on our food consumption. Maybe we have become little bit more careful with our food planning and preparation, cooking only what we need and resourcefully using up our left overs. Lack of flour and yeast in the shops show that many of us have already taken up home baking, a skill to be proud of - why not stick to it in the future? Maybe a few more of us have also considered growing our own, be it a few potatoes, some strawberries or even just a few pots of herbs on the window sill.

With everything closed and nowhere to go, maybe a few more of us have worn certain items of our clothing for a bit longer than we'd normally have done and not felt the need to upgrade our wardrobes for more fashionable items. Hopefully some who couldn't stitch or sew before have picked up a needle and thread to sew a button or put a patch on the knees of children's jogging bottoms, which don't need to be perfect anyway if the children are playing only in the back garden. If we can also keep doing these small things in the future we can considerably limit the negative impact that fashion industry has on our environment.

Maybe the time we have had to spend in our own houses and gardens has also given us a chance to learn new ways of spending quality time, be it gardening, reading or a new craft skill we have learned, so perhaps by the time we will finally regain our freedom we will think twice before jumping into our cars to travel unnecessary distances in a search for entertainment. After all, individual small changes will mount up to big changes on a bigger scale.

Hopefully, when all this ends, we will come out stronger, wiser, more resourceful and also more sustainable. Stay safe everyone!

Can you sew?

For The Love Of Scrubs, Our NHS Needs You. Volunteers are needed to make Scrubs for health care workers looking after our nearest and dearest. A simple pattern and some free fabric is available. Help is needed urgently. If you can't sew, could you donate clean, plain cotton or poly-cotton bedding? Please drop it off in a sealed bag at Sedgefield Co-op. For further information, contact Beth and Alex on 01740 623557. Thank you.


Capture the Spirit!

Local photographers are being invited to test their creative skills by capturing images depicting ‘the spirit of Sedgefield’.

The photographs could be used in the 2021 calendar planned by Friends of St Edmund’s Church. Membership secretary Brian Mutch said “We’re looking for pictures showing more than the local beauty spots and events we have featured in the past two years. We’d like to see interpretative shots depicting aspects of life that make our town the special place it is.”

Entries in colour or monochrome and suitable for use in the slimline, month-by-month calendar. Opportunities to get out to take pictures may be restricted at the moment because of the coronavirus, but people might welcome the chance to look for unusual subjects whilst out on the permitted daily exercise walks.

Brian would be happy to provide further information on 622302. You can send hard copies to Brian at 6 Hasledon Grove, Sedgefield, TS21 2JW or email your entries to b.mutch@btconnect.com.


Local innovation helps the fight against Covid-19

New technology is being used to connect loved ones and keep staff safe at North Tees and Hartlepool Hospitals. Hospitals across the region are deploying technological solutions to combat the spread of the Coronavirus. Here are a few of the changes taking place at our local hospitals.

Remote observation devices have been installed to reduce Coronavirus contact for front line staff. The devices can automatically take several observations from a patient, including blood pressure, oxygen saturation, and heart rate. The observations are displayed on a central computer allowing one nurse to monitor an entire ward. If any observations move outside safe ranges, a warning alarm is sounded at the central computer.

This solution would normally have taken several months to deploy but it was done in just a few days with local teams and suppliers all pulling together. High quality video conferencing cameras have been put in place to allow loved ones to talk to patients without putting themselves or others at risk. To reduce the number of in-person visits, software has been provided to allow community staff to hold virtual visits (where clinically appropriate) with patients using a video link across the internet. All of these developments help us to fight back against Coronavirus, keep more people safe, and help the heroes at the front line.

Whilst NHS staff are delivering care services directly to Covid-19 patients, thousands of people are working behind the scenes delivering all sorts of services and keeping businesses solvent. Innovation has come to the fore and individuals, communities and businesses are finding new ways of doing things to adapt and tackle the challenges that we face.

Four businesses based at NETPark are working directly to innovate and develop solutions to tackle different aspects of the pandemic.
REPROCELL Europe, who specialise in tools and products for stem cell and 3D cell culture research, have joined a consortium to develop a vaccine for COVID-19. Dr David Bunton, CEO said: “We are pleased to support an international consortium, led by the Belgian life sciences company eTheRNA, which is developing an RNA-based vaccine.”
Nano-technology manufacturer Graphene Composites has been working on a graphene ink that can be applied to face masks and other PPE as a viricide (virus killing) to provide added protection against coronavirus.
Stream Bio Ltd develops and manufactures fluoroscent molecular probes used for labelling antibodies. The probes increase the sensitivity of antibody testing, enabling earlier detection. It is hoped that Stream Bio’s probes can be used in the fight against COVID-19.
Biotechnology firm Kromek Group is developing a mobile pathogen detection system, to detect biological threats, such as COVID-19.br> Janet Todd, NETPark manager at Business Durham, said: ‘It’s great to see that NETPark companies are looking at innovative ways to fight COVID-19 and pro-actively seeking out collaborative opportunities.’


Sedgefield News: from the past

by Martin F Peagam, The Time Traveller, for Sedgefield Local History Society.

In 1918 – 102 years ago, Sedgefield was coping with a Pandemic.
The First World War ended with the signing of the Armistice on November 11th. At 25 Front Street, Sedgefield, Mr and Mrs Robinson had hoped that their family could soon be together again. Willie Robinson was with the Machine Guns Corps on the Belgian/German border. His elder brother Richard was with the Royal Army Service Corps in Thessaloniki, Greece.

Just before Christmas, May, their sister, had the sad task of writing to Willie, to inform him that Richard had succumbed to something which was proving much more deadly than the guns and bullets of the trenches.

A global pandemic, the Spanish Flu, spread rapidly, killing indiscriminately. In a world ravaged by war, and in the years prior to the foundation of the NHS in Britain, it wreaked havoc. The Spanish Flu remains the most-deadly pandemic to date. It infected 500 million people, about a quarter of the world's population at the time. The death toll is estimated to have been anywhere from 17 million to 50 million (and possibly as high as 100 million) - an estimated 1% to 3% of the world's population. But there was hope.

By December 1920 the pandemic was over. And life for everyone, including the Robinsons, would return to normal.


Enjoy Blooming Sedgefield

Take your permitted walk for exercise around Sedgefield and you’ll see evidence of Mother Nature’s handiwork everywhere you look. Spring bulbs are popping up everywhere, colourful tubs and troughs, bright flowers at Beacon Lane, alpine beds near the Golden Lion, beautiful gardens in Ceddesfeld Hall grounds, not to mention our rich heritage of mature trees and blossom around the village. All these and more bear witness to the care and devotion of gardeners past and present and to the strength of Sedgefield’s community spirit.

When circumstances change, it would be lovely to put together a display of photographs showing nature’s bounty during this difficult time. Please email your pictures to norma@neal.myzen.co.uk. Keep safe and keep blooming !


Going that “eggstra” mile

With rainbow pictures showing huge support for the NHS a similar theme was adopted for the Sedgefield virtual Easter Egg hunt. The community came together on Facebook, posting images of decorated eggs adorning the windows of more than 120 local homes.

A band of volunteers, adopting social distancing, delivered eggs to each home. Thanks must go to the Coop, Sainsbury's and John Robinson, who all sponsored eggs. A great example of community spirit.


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Sedgefield Energy Switch is a new initiative from Sedgefield Development Trust.

Working together with iChoosr, we're trying to help Sedgefield residents save money on their domestic gas and electricity bills. Sedgefield still continue to have the highest switching rate in the country.


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Sedgefield Farmers Market is held every first Sunday of the Month, on the village green, from 8.30am to 12.30pm. The market has about 20 stall holders each month, varying throughout the seasons, providing meats, vegatables, Handmade pies, pastries and cakes, Fish, Spices, Cheeses and more.

To book a stall call Roger Clubley: 01740 620609, email Farmers Market: farmers@sedgefielddevelopmenttrust.co.uk


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