Ron Mitchie, Chairman of Great Aycliffe Community Aid Partnership welcomed an increasing number of partners to their monthly meeting held at DISC offices near the Blue Bridge.
The chairman reminded partners that if they would like to address partners about their organisation at a meeting they could be part of the programme of speakers.
Monday’s speakers was Alison Firby from the Foodbank who spoke passionately about a project ‘Places of Welcome’ they were going to present. We are all aware of Hunger in School holiday periods when universal free school meals and means tested FSMs are not available to families with low income. Allison said they were also starting a project in October half term with  the ultimate aim – Healthy menu, Healthy eating 3 times a week. There would be activities and a meal for the whole family the daily cost would be FREE OF CHARGE.
The other guest speaker was Stacy Porter from Durham University, a Staff Volunteer and Engagement Officer. Stacy’s responsibility was to find 5 days voluntary work for staff numbering 4000. Durham University operates an employer supported volunteering scheme, enabling University staff members to volunteer for up to 5 days per year during work-time. The volunteering could be Monday to Friday, evenings, weekend. Opportunities range from individual placements utilising an individual’s professional experience, to departmental team challenges, involving practical Secretary Joan brought the partners up to date with happenings since the last meeting. The Website was stable and ready to go according to Steven Mitton of County Durham Furniture Help Scheme who had been helping GACAP move this forward.
The management committee had been for a training session at CDFHS and new email addresses had been established for officers. This had been a real breakthrough and was welcomed by everyone.
Partners agreed to 2 Management Committee recommendations GACAP to widen the range of people/organisations who wanted to link in with them as “Friends of GACAP” and/or “Associate Members,”
Peter Driver Harvest Church Partner and elected partner to the Management Committee was elected as Assistant Secretary due to the higher admin work load. Both recommendations were passed unanimously. The secretary said this change had left a vacancy on the management committee for another partner to join the Management Committee. The secretary said she had received one nomination subject to the partners accepting the management committee recommendations. If you would like to be a member of the management committee please contact the secretary.
In Any Other Business, Brian Wilson from SAAFA thanked Sheena Stephenson for referring a needy client to them, showing how well GACAP worked together. Sheena Stephenson confirmed that Baby Blessings had now altered its name to ‘Children’s Blessing’ as there were needy children in Newton Aycliffe as well as babies. Partners agreed there was real evidence of partners working together.
The chairman thanked all for attending and said the Speaker for next month was Rachael O’Donnell from ADVICE. Anyone wanting more information about GACAP please contact: