After an overwhelming response, health and wellbeing charity Pioneering Care Partnership (PCP) and County Durham NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are delighted to announce that over £49,000 has been awarded to establish ‘Happiness Hubs’ across County Durham and Darlington.

Happiness Hubs aim to provide safe spaces for local people to meet, make friends, talk and feel supported. The ultimate goal is to help people to live happier, healthier lives whilst promoting mental health and personal resilience.

Mike Brierley, Director of Commissioning, Strategy and Delivery (Mental Health & Learning Disability), said: “This fund provides vital support at a neighbourhood level for people who might be struggling with their mental health and wellbeing. By routing NHS England’s Transformation Funding through the voluntary and community sector we hope to be able to reach out to people and prevent crisis whilst also providing ongoing support.

In addition to the external funding, organisations have committed to match-funding of just under £35,000 and this means that people and communities will benefit from £84,000 of extra support.”

PCP Chief Executive, Carol Gaskarth, added, “The quality and diversity of applications was excellent; which made the panel’s job incredibly difficult! In this first round we were pleased to support thirteen organisations, many of whom sought funding to extend delivery into evenings and weekends. Incredibly, during 2021 collectively, the Happiness Hubs will engage with over 850 people in County Durham and Darlington and help almost 100 people to volunteer.

Naturally some of the ideas have been amended or slightly postponed due to the pandemic, however the voluntary sector is well-placed to provide support through virtual platforms and organisations have been flexible and creative in their approach. We look forward to seeing them in action, hopefully in the New Year.”

The following groups have been supported in round 1:

• Cornerstone Support Housing and Counselling

– Refresh, Rebuild Relate

• East Durham Veterans – EDV Social Inclusion

• Ferryhill Ladder Centre – Connect

• ManHealth – Man Talk

• SHAID Ltd – My Beautiful Mind

• Sunniside Community Association – Friendly Friday Club

• Teasdale Clubs – Happy Minds

• Teasdale Community Resources Hub – Happiness Café

• The Active Life Foundation – Young at Heart

• Tiny Toes Bumps and Babies C.I.C. – Support Sessions

• Trimdon Grange Community Centre – Community Reconnections

• Willington Methodist Church – Willington Open Door Café

If you would like to know more, or if you run a community space/building and are interested in becoming a Happiness Hub, please contact: 07715 204462 or email