Monday, December 21, 2009


The Resident Association Christmas Fayre 2009 was a huge and enjoyable success. Thanks to all of you who attended and supported the event. Also, a huge thanks to all those who contributed their time on the day (too many to mention): stalls, entertainment, catering or behind the scenes. A special thanks must also go to Homes for Northumberland and the Isabella Community Centre for financial support and use of facilities, and the Deputy Mayor Coun Alisdair Gibbs-Barton, who opened the proceedings. More photos of the event can be seen by clicking this link

Entertainment was provided by the Community Centre Youth Group in the form of a panto and George Fryer gave us a Christmas number on guitar: see videos below

Were you there on the day? Why not leave a comment saying what you liked or disliked about the event.

Friday, December 11, 2009


John Potts, director/treasurer and Alan Fryer, caretaker/health advocate of the Isabella Community Centre receive the Northumberland NHS Care Trust Healthy People Healthy Business Bronze Award from Patrick Price, the Care Trust lead manager (centre), at a recent conference in the Britannia Hotel, Newcastle Airport.

To read about our Healthy Business campaign click the Healthy Business Label on the right-side menu.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Only six days now until the Christmas Fayre, organised by the Cowpen Farm and Isabella Residents Association. Here is the program for the day (all times are approximate).

11.00am Opening by the Deputy Mayor for Blyth, Coun Alisdair Gibbs-Barton

11.10am Panto production of The Big Bad Wolf and the Three Little Pigs by the Youth Activities group in co-operation with Steve Byron from Headway Arts

11.30 Santa will make a visit in the cafe area to hear the wish lists of the young ones

11.45am George Fryer to play a Christmas number, with a twist, on guitar

12.00pm Karate Club demonstration, led by Joe Mee

12.45pm Alan the Caretaker will play a selection of Christmas tunes on guitar

Stalls include so far: facepainting with the Credit Union, Crop and Craft club, PLR Nursery, Photographer David Railton, Tombolla and other prize stalls, Leukaemia Research and more...

Refreshments will be available throughout the day from the Community Centre Cafe.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Headway Theatre Company thrilled us all on Tuesday 24th November with a spectacular production. Read more about it and see a video of the event on Headway's website at

Thursday, November 12, 2009


The Isabella Community Centre Cafe is expanding the range of refreshments available on the morning menu (9.00 - 11.30am).

This will include espresso and cappuccino coffees, breakfast butties, pots of tea and scones among others...

Why not sit and relax while taking a break from using the computers or waiting for an appointment or even treat yourself to breakfast on the go.

Full menus are available in the Cafe area.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


The Cowpen Farm and Isabella Residents Association have purchased a laptop computer and printer thanks to a grant from the Northumberland County Council Community Chest.

The Association were awarded £400. The equipment will enable them to fulfill an aim of information sharing by allowing more of the group to participate in presentations, newsletter production, surveys and general administration as in the production of minutes of meetings.


In excess of 300 Morrison's tokens were donated to the Nursery to buy gardening supplies.

The Nursery are going to purchase seeds, pots and other items to give the kids a great educational experience.

Nursery manager, Julia Turnbull, expressed her gratitude to all those that had saved up their tokens. She said the gardening project would make a real difference to the youngsters.


The Annual Christmas Fayre, organised by the Cowpen Farm and Isabella Residents Association, is to be once again held at the Isabella Community Centre. The event will be opened by the Deputy Mayor at 11.00am on Saturday 5th December 2009.

Stalls provisionally booked include: Crop and Craft groups, Tombolla, Leukaemia Research, Pen and Pencil Engraver, Local Photographer, and many more aimed at the youngsters.

Santa is also making a visit to hear the children's wish lists and there will be performances from Youth Group, Karate Group and more...

It's free entry and refreshments will be available. So come along for family fun!

Sponsored by the Homes for Northumberland Community Fund.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Funding has been generously supplied by Northumberland County Council through the Community Chest Fund to resurface the pool table and supply new pool cues. This is a much used resource, especially by the Youth Club.

The table had been in a state of poor repair for some time, due to the amount of use it receives.

Youth Leader Steve Perry said, "It's splendid that the youths are able to enjoy more time playing pool, it has really made a difference to the quality of play".

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Friday Oct 30th 4.30pm at The Isabella Community Centre

Staged by the DJ Company with all proceeds going to Children in Need. £1.00 entry.

For children aged 4-16. Please come along for goulish games, freaky fun, frightening and spooky games (bring a flashlight!). Parents are welcome to stay and join in.

For more info call the DJ Company on 0778798669

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Congratulations to Rhys Wait who achieved a presitigious 4th place at the Northern Region Karate Championships. This was recently held at Sunderland University. Rhys is a long-standing member of the South Beach Karate Club based here at the Isabella Centre.

Karate Club on Tuesday and Thursday 7.00pm-8.30pm.

New members welcome. Discounts available to families.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


You may remember back in June of this year I wrote about the Men's Health Event we staged here at the Isabella Centre. This was part of our campaign to win a Healthy Business Bronze Award run by the NHS Northumberland Care Trust.

This involved achieving best practice in promoting health, safety and welfare among the Isabella Centre workforce and community, which involved: first aid provision, fire safety, Health and Safety Committee communications, three health promotion events, staff welfare facilities, health and safety policies with controls and risk assessments, management of long-term conditions, availability of healthy food choices and smoke-free promotion among others...

The Isabella Community Centre fulfilled the criteria, thanks to the co-operation and commitment of staff, volunteers and Committee, and achieved the Bronze Award!

This is what the award assessors had to say:

The assessors were really impressed by the level of commitment shown by the organisation in improving the health of their staff and delivering the health message to the local community. Partnership work on the Men’s Health Week event with Age Concern was successful despite low attendance and is something which should be encouraged in future years. We would particularly like to mention the huge amount of effort and commitment shown by the Health Advocate Alan Fryer who is a very enthusiastic and talented individual. He has ensured that all the criteria required for the Bronze award has been met and additionally has produced some fantastic newsletters and run many more than the required numbers of campaigns and events. It is also obvious that he has the support of the board and all the staff and volunteers. We are therefore delighted to confirm that the Isabella Community Centre has achieved both the Northumberland Healthy People Healthy Business and the North East Better Health at Work Awards. Well done!
We would like to thank Alan (Health Advocate) and Grant Davey (Board member) for their hospitality during the visit.

We move on to the Silver Award next. The criteria become more challenging, but with your continuing support we can all benefit and becoming fitter and healthier. Watch out for details of our next health events coming soon...


Local Savings and Low Cost Loans

The Credit Union of South East Northumberland hold a collection and member registration point in the main Cafe area of the Isabella Community Centre every Monday 11.15am - 12.15pm.

What is a Credit Union?

A Credit Union is a non-profit making financial co-operative run by a small dedicated team of paid staff and volunteer members.

How does savings work?

Members pay £1.00 to join and then agree to save regularly (as little as £1.00 per week). Credit Unions encourage you to save...

Is my money safe?

Credit Unions are regulated by the Financial Services Authority and are bound by law to be insured against fraud and theft...

How does borrowing work?

The money saved is available for low-interest loans to members and you can qualify for your first loan after 13 weeks...

How much interest?

A Credit Union is the cheapest way to borrow money. The interest rates are fixed by Parliament at 1% per month (12.68%pa) on the reducing balance...

Who can Join?

If you are 16 and live work or volunteer in SE Northumberland you can join the Credit Union as a full member - you need to be 18 to take out a loan. Under 16s can become junior members. Members can also have the opportunity to learn a new skill...

For more details: email or freephone 0800 141 2403

Saturday, October 3, 2009


The skills workshop from around 2004. A much under-used facility, currently utilised for storage, exciting plans are being developed for its future use. Watch this space...


Wednesday 14th October 2009 2.00-4.00pm at the Isabella Community Centre.

Find out about Northumberland County Council's funding programme for play facilities. Follow this link for more information

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


The Police mobile roadshow unit is to visit the Isabella Community Centre, to have a meet and greet session with the public, on Sunday 11th October between 10.30am and 2.30pm.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Cowpen Farm and Isabella Residents Association Annual General Meeting

Monday 12th October at 7.00pm, Isabella Centre

Agenda: Brief Committee report on last year's progress and future aspirations, Treasurer's Financial report, election to the committee, guest speakers on crime and disorder, any other business. All residents are welcome.

Guest Speakers: Mr Colin Blackett of the Safer Neighbourhood Unit; Mr Darren Dougan of the Safer Communities Unit who will talk about their role, recent changes and answer your queries and PC8121 Claire Bradbury.

Nominations: Anyone wanting to stand for the committee should come to the meeting by 6.40pm to fill out a nomination slip. If you can't make it to the meeting but would still like to be nominated contact me, Alan at the Isabella Centre (543773)

Read the October 2009 Newsletter...

Friday, September 18, 2009


Back in March 2009 Seven Stars and Headway arts and theatre companies presented a Healthy Eating production in Isabella Community Centre main hall.


The Princess Louise Nursery based at the Isabella Centre are collecting Morrisons Let's Grow Vouchers to assist in the purchase of kid-size gardening equipment. Please ask your family and friends to collect the vouchers and drop them off at the Centre and help give the youngsters of the community a great experience. Thank you.


Looking for a home? Can't use a computer? Think online searches may be more convenient? We can help.

Assisted Homefinder searches can be undertaken on Monday Mornings, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from the Centre's IT suite. It's free and friendly!

Your Guide to Bidding for a Home Through Northumberland Homefinder

How do I Bid using the Website?
  1. Type in to the address bar of your internet browser.
  2. Click the Click the Log In/My Account option then enter your housing register reference number and date of birth. At this stage your login will be confirmed and details of any current bids will be shown.
  3. Click the property search option. Select any search criteria that you require (for example you may wish to search for a particular size of property) and click search.
  4. A list of properties matching your search criteria will be displayed. If you are eligible for a property an Apply Now button will be displayed. Your current queue position should also be shown but note this can change as other people bid. If you are not eligible then the reason you are not eligible will be displayed.
  5. If you are eligible for a property and want to apply for it, click the apply now button. you will be shown the property details and asked to confirm your bid. When you confirm your bid you will be told that your bid has been successfully placed.
  6. You can place more than one bid, but you should place bids in order of preference.
Mutual Exchange

A mutual exchange is where you swap your home with someone who wants to swap theirs. If you are a tenant of a housing association, registered social landlord or another council, you may be able to exchange your home with another tenant who wants to swap, even if their landlord is different from yours.

To apply for a mutual exchange register online at the northumberland Homefinder website at

Click on My Mutual exchange

Select "click here to to complete a mutual exchange application".

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


The Isabella Community Centre have obtained new foam interlocking mats for the Karate group.

This will enable Karate group to extend the range and quality of the training that they practice. It will also mean that grading and competitions can be undertaken by the club.

This has been a facility that Karate group have desired for some time. Karate instructor Joe Mee said that he was "delighted" by the acquisition.


On Thursday 27th August Ronnie Campbell MP visited the Centre and officially opened an Energy event organised by Warmzone.

The event was to raise awareness and to give residents advice on reducing their energy consumption, especially now that Winter is just around the corner.

The highlight of the event was a state-of-the-art driving simulator which taught users how to drive more fuel efficiently. I scored badly, having crashed into a lampost. Twice!


For the second year running we have donated all the ink jet and toner cartridges collected from our Centre users to the Great North Air Ambulance appeal. Thanks to all those who have left their empty cartridges with us.

A recyclying box is available to deposit your spent cartridges in the Central Cafe area.

Monday, August 17, 2009


Age Concern Northumberland have recently extended their day care provision for the elderly at the Isabella Community Centre to include Mondays 9.00am - 3.00pm. A few places are still available at this session.

For more details contact the day centre manager on 01670 546992.

Monday, July 20, 2009


Starting from Monday 27th July, for three weeks, until Thursday 13th August.

Every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. It's FREE!

12.00pm - 3.00pm in the main hall.

Organised and supervised activities for youths aged 7-13 including: sporty day, team building, pirates day, arty day, explorers day, environmental day, wild west day and BBQ.

Thursday, July 16, 2009



To deliver Meals on Wheels in Blyth to older people in your community

Meals are delivered on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday From 11am – 12.30pm

Travel expenses will be reimbursed

If you have any free time on any of the above days

Please contact:
HR & Training Administrator on
0845 140 00 88


Day Services for Over 50’s

Age Concern Northumberland
The Round House
Lintonville Parkway
NE63 9JZ
0845 140 00 88

Registered Charity Number 1072394

Referred & Private Social Day Services for Older People


Activities may take place during the morning or afternoon, or both. These can be varied and we try to accommodate people’s choice wherever possible. Activities include; crafts, games, indoor bowls, indoor golf, quizzes, bingo, talks, healthy eating sessions and exercise classes.

Access to the group is by referral only, some people will be referred by Care Management through an assessment or by self referral, a family member, friend, District Nurse or GP, by contacting the
Day Services Development Manager on
0845 140 00 88

Transport is provided by our own vehicles. Arrangements will be discussed with you in further detail at your home visit.
Lunch and refreshments provided.
Once a referral has been made a member of the Day Services Team will contact you to discuss your needs and arrange to visit you at your home.
An individual service plan is drawn up with the service user, to make sure the service meets their needs.

Day Services are located in –

· Berwick
· Alnwick
· Amble
· Ashington
· Blyth (Isabella Community Centre)
· Hadston
· Morpeth
· Seaton Sluice
· Stakeford

The cost per session is £19.00 (private). Through Care Management the standard charge will apply.

We need your help

Volunteers are essential to the success of Age Concern Northumberland. Without volunteers the organisation and all its services would not exist. Volunteers contribute towards maintaining the high quality of the service given. They play a major role in the management of the organisation, the activities undertaken and the development of new and innovative services. They are the backbone of all the services we provide.

If you have time to spare please help us to help others. Call Age Concern Northumberland on 0845 140 00 88, where a member of staff will be delighted to discuss with you the variety of ways in which you could help


The Youth Club recently received a certificate of thanks from Comic Relief for their efforts in raising £50 on Red Nose Day.

It is displayed on the Main Hall noticeboard.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


The Association is a group of residents, passionate about their area, who work together to try and make improvements for the community's benefit.

The Association is a fully constituted group and is open to all in the former Blyth Valley Isabella Ward. Members of the public elect a committee of up to eleven who will meet usually once per month. Four of the meetings per year are open to the public. They try to keep the meetings as informal as possible and of a relevance to residents. Guest speakers are a usual feature of meetings.

The Association is recognised and supported by Homes for Northumberland Resident Participation Unit on behalf of Northumberland County Council. They have also developed rewarding partnerships with local councillors, the police, Safer Neighborhood Unit and the Community Centre's management committee.

They have been involved, along with partners, in the re-refurbishment and building of play facilities for youths, staging Christmas and Easter Fayres to strengthen community spirit, tackling the parking problems At Malvins School and addressing anti-social behaviour amongst many other problems.

Do you have a vision of how you would like your area to be? The more people that are involved the greater the voice for improvement. Skills aren't essential, just passion and commitment.

Contact the Centre for more details of the next meeting.

May 2009 Newsletter

Minutes of Public Meeting March 2009


This years' gardening project is now well under way. Our home-grown produce is a welcome addition to the Community Cafe menu.

We have already enjoyed our own strawberries, rhubarb, radish, herbs and lettuce. Pumpkins, cucumber, tomatoes, peas and potatoes are now growing well in the polytunnel.

This has been a rewarding and enjoyable experience for volunteers and staff. Gardening skills can be practiced in a relaxing environment. We have been delighted to welcome for the second year volunteers from the DWP 5000 Community Scheme. Without volunteers we cannot maintain and improve our gardens to the standard that we are aiming for. We are grateful for the contribution they make.

Why not pop around the rear of the Centre at some time and have a look for yourself.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


We opened the hall to all men, staff and volunteers from the Isabella Community and Blyth area on Thursday 18th June and invited them to get more healthy. In co-operation with Age Concern, visitors were able to wander round stalls where professional health trainers were on hand to give out information.

Blood pressure was measured and carbon monoxide levels were also taken from smokers who expressed a desire to quit. There was information and a video on healthy eating and an opportunity to sample some exotic fruits. Alcohol awareness proved popular. But, my favourite was the Tai Chi class. Very relaxing!

The turnout for the event was slightly dissapointing, but feedback from those present was very encouraging.

The event was organised as part of the Centre's campaign to achieve a Healthy People Healthy Business Bronze award. This is a NHS Northumberland Care Trust initiative. At this stage we are looking to provide a best practice for our staff and volunteers in health, safety, comfort and welfare. At a later stage we hope to provide this standard of support to the whole community. So, watch this blog for further announcements...


Looking to rent in Northumberland? Already on the Homefinder waiting list?

This summer, the way Northumberland County Council and their housing providers allocate housing is changing...

A team will be available at the Isabella Community Centre in Blyth on the 7th July (Tuesday) between 9.30am and 5.00pm to talk about how these changes will affect you. Pop in and meet them.


The Princess Louise Pre School Nursery will start their summer break on Friday 24th July.

The new term will start on Monday 7th September.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Saturday, June 13, 2009


South Beach Karate Club have been a popular addition to community life since taking up residence in the Centre in early 2007. Run by instructor Joe Mee, the group has a loyal membership. On average there will be between 12-15 in a class, ages ranging from 5-60. All abilities are catered for.

Dedication, hard work and Joe's experience have enabled some students to make fantastic achievements. It was reported in the local press in 2008 that Andrew Wait achieved his 2nd dan and is now an instructor in karate himself. Another young student recently made it to the England squad.

It is a good-humoured group, usually at my expense, and the Community Centre has been grateful for the enthralling displays the group have put on at open days and for our Youth Club. All of these have proved to be very popular entertainment.

Tuesday and Thursday 7.00pm-8.30pm.
There is a small charge for this group.