Scarth Memorial Hall in Staindrop has received an illuminating donation of £2,300 from Northumbrian Water, who hold a long standing fund with County Durham Community Foundation, helping local residents feel safe when using the services.

Scarth Memorial Hall provides facilities to over one thousand users every month. Activities include Pilates exercise classes, lunch clubs, dance classes, toddler groups and an annual beer festival. Until recently the rear access lane was unlit and was both a safety hazard for people unsteady on their feet and also a security hazard at night. Hall users were scared to use it, especially users from the older generation. Thanks to the grant, lights have now been installed to provide a safer and more secure access for vulnerable hall users.

Ed Chicken, from Scarth Hall said:

“County Durham Community Foundation and Northumbrian Water have helped us to provide a safe entrance to all users of the hall where people can now feel safe to come to meetings on dark nights without the worry of not being able to see.’’ 

“The hall is attended by people aged between 0 and 90 and has been running for over 140 years. We like to offer a fully accessible community facility for all to enjoy.’’

The donor, Northumbrian Water, which provides water and sewerage services to 2.7 million people in the north east of England, has held funds with County Durham Community Foundation for many years. 

Jane Morland, Assistant Partnerships Manager at Northumbrian Water, said: 

”Our panel of employees decided to award a grant to Scarth Memorial Hall from our fund held with County Durham Community Foundation to improve accessibility to the hall for the community. This hall is a valuable asset for the community and well used by all ages, and we hope the safety improvements made from our grant will extend the use of the hall even wider”.