Darlington Town Mission newsletter 

 DTM are pleased to announce that Sue Allison, pictured above, has been appointed as Missioner and will commence on 1st February 2018.  Sue is very familiar with DTM as she is the daughter of Derrick Hewitson who was involved with DTM for over 30 years as Missioner and then as a volunteer.  Sue has also been a volunteer for DTM for many years.

We are all pleased that Sue is going to follow in Derrick’s footsteps and look forward to have her as our DTM Missioner.  Please remember her in your prayers and give her a warm welcome when you meet her next year.

Sadly we said goodbye to Kirsten Bertram who left as Missioner on 30th April 2017.  We are grateful for the work Kirsten did and the DTM Friends have appreciated her visits.  Happily Kirsten has agreed to stay on as a volunteer.


There are a number of places in Darlington that have set up cafes for people to get out and meet others and share friendship especially if you are on your own. If you are able to get out you may like to try one you will be made very welcome, listed below are some of the venues:

St Marks Church, North Rd third Tuesday of each month 1pm to 3pm.

Haughton Methodist Church, Haughton Green every Tuesday and Friday 10am to 1pm.

Bondgate Methodist Church Monday to Saturday 10am to 1.45pm

Care & Share- Mondays 1pm to 3pm Darlington Baptist Church, Grange Road and Wednesdays 1pm to 3pm Kings Church, Whessoe Road

Age Uk lunch clubsare monthly at 12pm to 2pm venues as follows:

Branksome Hall ,Whitby Way 1st Tuesday 

Elm Ridge MethodistChurch,Carmel Rd South 2nd Tuesday  

St James Church, Barton Street 3rd Tuesday  

Corporation Rd Baptist Church4th Tuesday 



From Rev Andrew Wigram DTM Chairman

Here we are, well into the summer season, with another moment to comment on how the Town Mission is faring – as we do with every newsletter.

We are grateful to God for the way people have responded to challenges that can appear unexpectedly and threaten to rock the boat.  Being a charity we rely almost entirely on voluntary support, with friends giving their time and help willingly – generously – so that we continue to fulfil our goal to be alongside our Friends and offer the companionship and social events expected.  Because we are small in numbers, when a need arises beyond normal we can find ourselves wondering how to meet it. 

The past few months have brought such challenges; but we are thankful, not dismayed, with the outcome just because of the supportive spirit of our members.  You will be aware that Kirsten, who took over as Missioner last year, gave in her notice unexpectedly early this year to return to work she had previously being doing, and which suited her family commitments better.  You will also know that Sue (former Missioner) has stepped in temporarily to fill the job part time.  She does this while continuing with what she has already been doing as Town Mission Secretary.  How grateful we all are to Sue for her willingness to (we might say) step back out of retirement to take on this role; also how grateful to David, her husband, for his being willing for this to happen.

The Management Committee had the task of advertising for a new Missioner, and conducting interviews.  This, in time, came about with gratifying result.  The management is able to announce the name of our new Missioner, Sue Allison.  This Sue will introduce herself at the time of her taking over the job.  However, that will not be before the New Year as she has yet to complete her time in her current job in the NHS - which is in early January 2018.  Many of you will already know Sue, not only through her own involvement with the Mission, but also through her father Derrick who played the organ/keyboard for the Town Mission for so many years.  We are delighted to receive Sue back into the family she knows so well, and especially to be taking on the key job of Missioner.  And meanwhile we are more than grateful to the other Sue (Case) for continuing as part-time Missioner in the intervening months.  It’s a big undertaking that’s she agreed on; and we hugely appreciate her offer to do it.

There are always challenges in running events, be they social or fundraising (often both at the same time) to be able to draw on sufficient volunteer support to be sure that everything is up and running – enough people available to do the setting up, the manning of stalls, the ferrying, the escorting, the cooking, the clearing and washing-up, the tidying away the carting off, let alone the organizing – and so it can go on.  Over the past weeks we have run such events with a larger band of help than has been in the past.  This has meant that the pressure has been taken off the few shoulders that formerly have had to carry it because we have appealed for new volunteer help – thankfully, as it turns out, ready and willing to step in.  So I want to say thank you to everyone who has come on board to offer their help, in whatever form it takes, to share the load and increase the enjoyment of each event.  Thank you!

A final challenge to report with an encouraging outcome is what has resulted from applying for a grant from the Co-op locally.  We have been delighted to have received a grant this year, after putting in our bid for some funds to enable Friends to enjoy a special treat, over and above the usual pattern of events.  We had in mind a trip to the newly reordered and restored Civic Theatre (to have a new name too) when it opens in a few months’ time.  Remembering how impossible it was in the old theatre for any sort of disabled access it will be exciting to see how well the new design caters for all such would-be audience.

So, as I write , it has been good to be able to report on these positive and encouraging things, all marking progress; for which we thank God, and we thank all the generous supporters of Darlington Town Mission.

Andrew W


Fundraising News

Events since the last newsletter :

Come and sing £601.68

Coffee morning £136.30

BBQ £415.00

North Park Stand £60.60

Mary Drury’s afternoon tea £ 726.86

We would like to thank Rachel Carver who was kind enough to raise £146.00 for DTM when she ran the Darlington 10k road race  

Forthcoming events:

Street Collection 23rd September 2017

Quiz 20th October 2017 7.30pm at St Thomas Aquinas Church Hall tickets £5.00 to include pie and peas

Glam Party 25th November 2017 see invite on the right

DTM Carol Service 8th December 2017 Haughton Methodist Church at 2pm . All are welcome.

DTM fundraising team are made up of a group of only 5 volunteers so they are always grateful for any offers to help , whether is is an hour occasionally or helping at all the events any offer would be most welcome.

Give as you live is a free and easy way to raise money for your favourite charity , just by shopping online.Once you have signed up at  giveasyoulive.comyou can browse their website for the store you want to shop with, there are hundreds of leading retailers including Marks and Spencer, Debenhams, House of Fraser, Next, John Lewis and many more.If you nominate DTM we will receive between 1% - 10% of what you spend.

Grow Your Tenner, will kick off on Tuesday 17th October at 10am and run until the match funding runs out (or midday on Thursday 16th November - whichever comes first). 

This year a special emphasis is on monthly giving - the aim being to help local groups attract long term supporters. Regular donations are hugely important for small, local charities, helping them to stabilise their finances and plan for the future.

During Grow Your Tenner 2017 donors will be able to support their favourite Localgiving charity or community group in two ways:

Make a one-time donation and it will be matched up to £10.

Set up a monthly donation and after your first six donations, the following six donations will be

matched up to £10.

Grow Your Tenner 2017 currently has a total match fund pot of £200,000:

£100,000 is available for matching one-time donations.

£100,000 is available for matching  monthly donations.

Donate at localgiving.com


Useful telephone numbers

Healthwatch Darlington- tell us what you think about our local health and care services, either the way they are commissioned or provided, or whether they are good or bad, if you don't tell us we can’t help you and we can’t influence change or share good practice.

Healthwatch is independent and transparent, with the authority to demand action!

We love listening to the most wonderful stories of fantastic care experienced by so many of you, but we also feel saddened and often frustrated with the lack of care experienced by others.

With your help we can change this and help influence our local services so everyone gets the right care at the right time.

Contact us, talk to us, tell us your story, tell us your opinion. It starts with You!

Email:  info@healthwatchdarlington.co.ukTel: 01325 380145 Mobile: 07525 237723

North East NHS Independent Complaints Advocacy

Unhappy with your NHS treatment or care? Want to make a complaint but you’re not sure where to start? This is where North East NHS Independent Complaints Advocacy (ICA) can help. Delivered in your area by well established charity, the Carers Federation,ICA is free, independent and confidential.Your local ICA Advocate will be at the CVS Building, Church Row, Darlington, DL1 5QD, on the first Monday of every month 11am-1pm. (excluding bank holidays).

To make an appointment please contact: Freephone:0808 802 3000 Email:ica@carersfederation.co.uk

Silver Lineoperates the only confidential, free helpline for older people across the UK that’s open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The helpline number is: 0800 4 70 80 90.They also offer telephone and letter friendship schemes where they match volunteers with older people based on their interests; facilitated group calls; and help to connect people with local services in their area.


Update from the Missioner

The last newsletter I contributed to was to say goodbye on my retirement.  Is there really such a thing as retirement or is it a myth I ask, as here I am back again ha, ha.  I am only covering till our new Missioner starts , who is also called Sue so no excuses for forgetting names, and I will only be doing 15 hours a week.  We will do our best to try and keep things ticking over.  For those of you who gets visits they may be not as frequent as you are used to, but we will try to keep things as normal as possible.  We have had 3 outings since I returned.  In May we had the Ride and Tea where we had a run out to various destinations and then all got together at Bondgate Methodist Church for a wonderful afternoon tea provided by the ladies at the cafe and finished with a little hymn singing.

In June we were due to go to Thornton Hall Gardens on two separate days in two separate groups. The first group enjoyed a lovely sunny afternoon at the gardens, but sadly on the day of the second visit it rained so plan B was put into operation.  Instead the second group of Friends went to Sam Turners Garden Centre at Piercebridge, not as colourful but I was assured by all those who went that they still enjoyed it.  In five years of organising the outings this was the first time we have had to change our plans due to poor weather, which is quite amazing when you think of how changeable the British weather is! In July we attended the Polam Hall School Sunshine Party and were well entertained  by the students who showed us their musical talents.  We also enjoyed a delicious afternoon tea and all went home with a gift and happy smiling faces.  DTM are so grateful for all the staff and students have done for us over many years of  support and co-operation.  

August saw us at the seaside in Marske we enjoyed a lovely lunch at The Mermaid then travelled a short distant nearer to Redcar and enjoyed an ice cream, finishing off with a drive along the Coast Road through Redcar.Again we were blessed with good weather.We have some more nice outings planned for the rest of the year so I hope to seethose who are able joining us on these.

If you need to contact me the DTM mobile number is 07943251357( if I am unable to  answer the phone please leave a message with your name and contact number and I will get back to you)


Message from a DTM Friend

When Sue asked me to write a piece about my connection with Darlington Town Mission, Fred’s time as Chairman, or anything that stands out in my memory that would  be of interest to the readers, my mind went back again to 1963, when Fred and I first heard of this wonderful, caring organisation, unique to Darlington. The first thing we noticed was that every Christian denomination in the town was represented and connected with it.  We also noted that it is financed by the generosity of people, by donations, subscriptions, fundraising events, collection boxes, (of which I still have one) and help from the churches.  This was what drew us to help in any way we could.  We have always been proud to be supporters of such a wonderful cause.  We still supported DTM, even after Fred went into the ministry.  I feel very honoured to have been connected to it.  I know Fred was too.

The first thing that happened when we retired on August 28th 1991 was another Methodist Minister knocking on our door asking Fred to be DTM Chairman as he was going to Llandudno to minister there.  Looking back I had forgotten that Fred and I were to share be joint Chairmanship.  One of the first things Fred suggested was Volunteers to help the Missioners.  All the work done was unpaid, apart from the Missioners.  The first person out of the five to offer was Mrs. Brenda Nicholson who, like me, now benefits from all the lovely outings etc. In those days we held all the meetings and coffee mornings in The Quaker House in Skinnergate.

One year I remember we held the main event of the year, a coffee morning in "Dalkeith House", there was the usual cakes, crafts, preserves etc. which resulted in quite a good amount of money being raised.  Those of us who could bake used to bake lots of cakes.  They were collected by Mr. Derrick Hewitson and his daughter Sue.  Everything was sold!  Derrick became our longest serving Missioner.  Now his daughter Sue is going to follow in his footsteps in February becoming a Missioner herself.  As now, we went into the care homes to bring some spiritual help.  The hymns we found were sung with gusto.  Fred used to choose the "Old time favorites'" which the older people remembered and loved.  He also chose some of the new hymns which he thought they knew too.  The residents always joined in the prayers where possible.  They appreciated Bible readings which they remembered from childhood always responding to us and showed their appreciation for the visits.  It truly was a blessing to us, as well as, I pray, to them.

Over these many years, I have known & grown to love all the many Missioners, volunteers, helpers.  All the people connected in any way to DTM.  We have been truly blessed by each & every one of them.  Some of them now gone from us, but will never ever be forgotten.  The Churches in town have played a very important part in the success of this very caring, comforting, compassionate, helpful, practical service.  I am so pleased we came to live in Darlington; proud to be connected to DTM; thankful for all the help I, and so many others, have been given during our "Twilight Years".

My prayer is that God will bless the DTM.  May the charity go on from strength to strength for many years to come bringing help, care and comfort to so many people in need....


Message from a new Volunteer

I am trying to recall when I first heard about the Darlington Town Mission (DTM) and it was probably when Ann and Brian Tyreman mentioned a fundraising event which members of my church, All Saints’ and Salutation, were invited to support, about three years ago.

Since then DTM has crossed my radar on several occasions in the guise of Brian Holmes, Brian Simpson, Kirsten Bertram and, more recently Sue Case, (who was evidently at the same school as myself, but several years below me as she hastens to add!)

 Kirsten knew that I was retired and as is the common assumption about retirees, people seem to think we have masses of spare time on our hands!  I was given a programme of events for DTM and was asked if I might give someone a lift to the lunch to be held at Northland Methodist church. This seemed quite straightforward, so I duly accepted and little did I know what a treat I was letting myself in for!

My first ‘passenger’, in March 2017, was Margaret and it was such a lovely initiation into being associated with the DTM.  I could not have had a better start.  We chatted freely on the way to Northland and it was such a pleasure to hear all about Margaret’s life.  The meal, which I enjoyed at Northland that day was absolutely sumptuous….no tea for me that day!

Since then I have driven people to the lunch club on several occasions and latterly I have had two trips out; one a mystery tour and the other to Redcar. My ‘passengers’ on both occasions were the lovely Doris and Kath, and they are such interesting people….we are never stuck for anything to chat about!  The first outing was a mystery tour, so the route was of my choosing and it became a mystery to me too, as part of the road was closed for repairs and we were sent off course, so I just pottered around some country lanes until we found our bearings.  The loveliest surprise of the trip was when I mentioned that we were going through

Barton.  Kath immediately said that she had worked on the buses which took that route, and she proceeded to tell me exactly where we were at each turn!

The outing to Redcar in August was a lovely day out with a delicious meal at the Mermaid followed by ice cream on the front near Redcar.

I am thoroughly enjoying my time with DTM and am looking forward to the next outing in September, which will finish with afternoon tea in Reeth….yummy!

Sue Elliott-Lyall

August 2017


Sweet quiz


1) High class thoroughfare  ..................................., 2) Money making royalty  ...............

3) Dark occult  ................................                         4) Clever folk  ...................

5) Sport for princes  ...............                                 6) Arrange marriage partners  ...........................

7) Edible fasteners  .....................                            8) Wobbly infants  ..............................

9) Talk quietly  .......................                                 10) Istanbul harem  .............................. 

11) outside meal .................                                    12) locals from Malta.................... 

13) reward........................                                       14) toothless drink............................

15) sweet tooth cleaner.........................                  16) mothers local........................

17) Grden flowers ................                                  18)spin around....................

19) sly giggles........................                                 20) big bus............................


Answers below










1   Quality street , 2   Mint imperials,  3   Black magic,  4   Smarties,  5   Polo,   

6   Matchmakers, 7   Chocolate buttons, 8   Jelly babies,9   Whispa,10 Turkish delight,

11 picnic, 12 maltezers, 13 bounty, 14 wine gums, 15 candy floss, 16 mars bar, 18 twirl, 

19 snicker, 20 double decker