County Durham school children receive our activity packs in time for Christmas

Christmas came early for these primary school children in Bishop Auckland.

Youngsters at St Wilfrid’s RCVA Primary School have just received our ‘Scrappy Dooz’ activity packs – in time for the Christmas holidays.

These latest deliveries around South West Durham have been made possible thanks to the help of Bishop Auckland College students and staff from The Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle, who have joined forces with Children North East to get the resources out to schools in the area before the end of term.

Children North East’s ‘Scrappy Dooz’ scheme, which began during the first national lockdown, has so far seen more than 3,000 children around the region receive resources including pens, books, stickers and games.

More than 50 students, aged 16 to 18, spent three days last week filling the packs with fun activities donated to our charity and, together with The Bowes Museum, they began distributing them to eight local primary schools yesterday (December 14).

Valuable resource


Luke Bramhall, our School Research and Delivery Service Manager, said the ‘Scrappy Dooz’ packs have been really valuable for the region’s families during the pandemic.

“Following the first national lockdown, we very quickly identified that thousands of children across the North East were at home with limited resources, limited games and limited books, with a new expectation on parents that they were going to have the facilities to deliver some form of home schooling activities,” he said.

“After an initial call-out to businesses, Children North East received a torrent of additional donations from businesses, individuals and funders, including Culture Bridge North East; County Durham Community Foundation and Tyne and Wear and Northumberland Community Foundation.

“Families have told us that the packs have been invaluable during what has been, and continues to be, an extraordinarily difficult time for so many.”

Childcare Lecturer at Bishop Auckland College, Stacy Stoker, said: “This is a wonderful initiative which more than 50 students from our early years, health and social care, hair and beauty, and catering departments have supported as part of their Enhancing Social Action project for the National Citizenship Service.

“They also planned their own fundraising activity as part of the three day volunteering project. The college is delighted to be working with Children North East and The Bowes Museum to help so many young people across County Durham at this difficult time.”

Julia Dunn, The Bowes Museum’s education and learning coordinator, added: “We’re really pleased to be able to work with Children North East and Bishop Auckland College to be able to deliver 600 of these packs to children throughout the area for them to enjoy with their families.

“Creative activity is well known to help with emotional wellbeing and we have done previous projects like this with schools.”

Photograph by Barry Pells shows left to right: Julia Dunn (The Bowes Museum), Cathryn Gathercole (Children North East), Stacy Stoker (Bishop Auckland College) and Jo-Anne Steel (Bishop Auckland College student).  Front row: Teacher, Barbara Lee with children, Luke Maddison, Phoebe Littley and Noah Robinson.