Weardale Area Action Partnership (WAAP) are based at the Durham Dales Centre, in picturesque Stanhope, they are ideally placed in the heart of the community to hear what the residents need and how they might be able to help them get it.
The WAAP is the conduit between Durham County Council and the local community. It’s been based at the Durham Dales Centre, which is run by Business Durham, the economic development company for County Durham working on behalf of Durham County Council, for six years.
“They’ve been open and amenable to our needs and have supported us when we needed to take additional external space. Nothing has been too much trouble,” says Angelina Maddison, AAP coordinator.
“One of the assets of working here is the tranquillity. There’s an excellent atmosphere of peace and calm. All the rooms are open and airy and there are fantastic facilities on site with the café and the ample car parking. We also have an excellent meeting room with option of catering if we hold events.”
Angelina, says the WAAP’s role is about identifying what the community needs, what their concerns are and turning their concerns into positive action.
“The community asked for more activities for young people, for example, so we set up an apprenticeship scheme and employed two people from Weardale to gain more than 35 qualifications each in things like rock climbing and zumba dancing to coach others,” she says.
“Elsewhere, we’re working with partners so that damage to a footpath at Slit Wood in the dale caused by Storm Desmond is repaired and also that Eastgate village got its Christmas lights following the storm’s damage.
“It is a wide remit but we just try to help in any way we can and being sited in the heart of the community means we’re on the ground to find out what people really want out of life in the Dale.”
For more information visit www.durhamdalescentre.co.uk