Hello, welcome to the Centre's website. I hope that you find the information that you are looking for.
I am Steve Wakefield and have the privilege of being the manager of the Waddington Street Centre. We are a small independent mental health resource centre and have been around for over 33 years now having started from humble but purposeful beginnings in the United Reformed Church next door. The charity has a history of steady well considered expansion and the Centre as you see it today is the result of the hard work of the staff, volunteers and the trustee board that have supported the Centre and its service users over the years. And we still endeavour to do more essentially through our broad education remit and our close partnerships including those with New College Durham and Durham County Council Children and Adults.
Over the years the Centre has established a good reputation of being a locally based quality driven charity, serving predominantly people with mental health problems in the north of the county. I describe Waddington Street Centre as being a 'back street' charity, one that does not regularly get the headlines - probably in view of the people that we seek to help - but at the same time a charity which if it were not here would be a significant loss to the community based mental health voluntary sector and to mental health service users in County Durham. Our non accredited education and learning based activities provide people with the opportunity to come together, socialise and learn. We are quite passionate about what we do because we believe in what we do; however we do not hide away from the fact that finding the funding we need to keep our much needed provision going gets more and more difficult. If you can help in this regard I would be pleased to speak with you.
Needless to say education comes in varying guises and what may be seen as just a hobby or interest, whether that be perhaps art or sport related, will no doubt still have a learning experience attached. At Waddington Street we have always believed that participation within informal education in a supported environment can help greatly in maintaining a person's wellbeing - it is only now that its significance may be being fully realised further afield.
Over the course of the last few years we have sought to develop the education offer at Waddington Street, the majority of our learning activities being very much geared to the three academic terms and a Monday to Friday daytime provision. We have had some success with this and have stretched our activities into the summer months, the evenings and weekends as we know people want to see the Centre open to them at those times. We will endeavour to continue to provide these sessions. Out of hours we also have taken steps to make Waddington Street Centre more of a community meeting place, available and accessible to the local community.
I think it is true to say that we are gradually getting there on all these fronts, however we fully realise that we still have a lot of work to do to make it all sustainable; we do not want to be providing this extended service for only a limited period of time.
I hope you find your visit to the website useful. As I said at the start I hope that you find what you are looking for and if you don't, please do let us know.