CARNIVAL TIME: Pam Wood and Rob Kirby, representing Middleton Carnival, receive the cheque from Tom Ridley and Ali Collinson
CARNIVAL TIME: Pam Wood and Rob Kirby, representing Middleton Carnival, receive the cheque from Tom Ridley and Ali Collinson

NINE good causes have received thousands of pounds thanks to the efforts of shoppers at the dale’s four Co-op stores.
The money is raised through the Co-op’s membership scheme.
Shoppers who sign up as a member can choose one of three nominated good causes and every time they buy selected own-brand goods, the Co-op donates 2p for every £1 spent.
The money raised for each organisation is paid out once a year – usually in November.
This year, shoppers at the Middleton-in-Teesdale branch led the way, helping to raise almost £6,300.
Middleton-in-Bloom received £2,078, which the group’s Pam Phillips said would help cover the costs of planting during the coming two years.
Volunteers at Middleton-in-Teesdale Carnival picked up a cheque for £2,188.
The carnival’s Rob Kirby said that after a two-year Covid-enforced hiatus, work had already begun on bringing the popular family event back in full for 2022.
He said the plan was for the carnival to return on its traditional date – the first Saturday in August.
Mr Kirby said the Co-op cash would help pay for attractions for the village’s younger children and a small marquee.
The final cheque from Middleton-in-Teesdale went to the Friends of Upper Teesdale. It is the second time the friends group has benefitted from the Co-op’s community fund.
Last year, money raised through the scheme helped to pay for improved access to the car park and tracks at Cow Green Reservoir.
Godfrey Williams, chairman of the friends, said the £2,208 received from this year’s payout would help improve signs and information boards around Low Force, in partnership with Natural England and the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty partnership.
In Barnard Castle, the Abbeyfield Society, which provides sheltered accommodation for the elderly in the town, received £1,467.
Linda Bird, chairwoman of trustees, said the money would help pay for furniture in the new courtyard garden at Abbeyfield’s Galgate complex.
She said the garden had provided a haven for residents to enjoy during Covid and is a place to sit and chat with others.
The Friends of Montalbo School are also using the £1,443 they received to develop an outside area.
Joanna Buchanan, friends chairwoman, said: “We are building a roundhouse outdoor learning space in the school grounds which, once it’s up and built, can be used by groups from outside the school as well.
The project is costing about £25,000 altogether and construction is due to begin next month.
The £1,630 received by officials at the Bright Woods Forest School, at Deepdale, Startforth, will fund a wellbeing project for adults who have been struggling with mental health issues.
Director Gemma McColl said: “It’s about helping people build confidence and build self-esteem.”
She said the scheme had been running on and off for the past few years as and when funding allowed.
In Cockfield, shoppers helped to raise £1,300 for the community cafe, which is based next door to the village’s Co-op store.
The Cockfield Christmas Lights committee received £1,394 and the charity Beyond Limits, which helps some of the most disadvantaged families in the area, picked up a check for £1,328.
Fundraising via the Co-op membership scheme for 2022 has now begun. The organisations which will benefit are:
Middleton-in-Teesdale – The Pathway; Dawn Til Dusk Nursery; Teesdale Rainbows.
Barnard Castle – Friends of Montalbo School; Green lane School; Barnard Castle Youth Football Club.
Cockfield – Cockfield Primary School; YMCA Teesdale; Evenwood Cricket Club.
For more details about the Co-op community fund, ask in store or go to https://