Whats happening at Aspire?  :  Archive

Congratulations to Supporting Sister Mary Finley!  

Congratulations to Supporting Sister Mary Finley for being presented with her Health Champions Award this December after completing the accredited training programme. 

You can find Aspire on the Wellbeing Directory which also has information about the Health Champions Programme and there is more about our volunteers and Supporting Sisters here on our case studies section.

Female Paid Sessional Tutors Wanted!  

Location: Aspire House, Chester le Street, DH3 3AW

Applicants should be able to demonstrate a strong commitment to lifelong learning and be ready to build the skills, confidence and knowledge of women through the delivery of inclusive and engaging teaching and learning. All specialisms and subjects considered but the main areas of interest are To be considered for this role.  We have also posted this vacancy on the NE Women's Network website here.

To be considered for this role, please email a current CV and covering letter.


Our Supporting Sisters did  a great job facilitating the Mental Health for the Festive Season drop!  

Our Supporting Sisters did  a great job facilitating the Mental Health for the Festive Season drop in this morning (Friday December 6th) - some fab Christmas jumpers on display too from our volunteers!  Our women’s festive social is tonight (tickets sold out but watch this space for our full report on the evening coming soon) and you can also join us for our next Mental Health Drop In Event 9.45am on Friday 13th December here at Aspire.


MP Kevan Jones visits Aspire on the 8th November 2019!  

Former MP and current candidate MP for North Durham, Kevan Jones visited Aspire earlier in November to see first-hand the leaning, wellbeing and support services we provide from our Chester-le-Street hub and to listen to our women discuss their stories and celebrate their achievements.  

Find out more Here.

The Rhythm Sisters’ are performing for the Chester le Street Christmas light switch on!  

Our Aspire drummers - the Rhythm Sisters’ - will be performing for the Chester le Street Christmas light switch on Saturday Nov 30th from 1-5pm in the town centre. There'll be other festive entertainments and activities throughout the afternoon, culminating in the switch-on at 4pm. Drumming will be one of the many exciting courses on offer to our learners with the new programme starting January 2020, please watch this space for more details. For more information about the lights switch on event please visit their events website.


Our Supporting Sisters project is entering its 4th year!  fiber_new

Supporting Sisters has been funded by the Big Lottery Community Fund Women and Girls Initiative to enable “at risk” women to stay well, feel supported and get more from life.  Today for the National Lottery’s 25th birthday, we are releasing our Interim Report to celebrate our work so far and look ahead to the final two years of the Supporting Sisters project. 

Our Interim Report tracks the development of Aspire’s holistic, integrated support services and their impact on the lives of the women who use them.


Free Women Only 'All About' Drop-In's   fiber_new

This is a chance for women to chat in a safe place and with refreshments provided.  No referral or booking is required so if you would like further information please contact us by email or telephone.  For more information you can download or view our poster Here.

Aspire’s Work Helping Women to Avoid Financial Challenges Made into Short Film in Partnership with Durham Savers 

Film Link:  Youtube Video

In 2019 Aspire seized the opportunity to work with Durham Savers, a Durham County Council supported initiative that enables and encourages people to ‘switch & save' by changing their energy providers. Aspire was proud to become a registered collection point with North East First Credit Union. County Durham is the most deprived area of North East of England, both in terms of income and employment deprivation (Source: Area Action Partnership’s Chester-le-Street area profile, 2012). Aspire’s own service users raised financial issues in 20% of Listening Service Appointments 2017-2018, showing a real need for this kind of support and financial security provision within our centre. The credit union has been a huge success, now boasting 50+ members, saving on average £5 per week, and it is proving not just popular with our savers but also a brilliant opportunity for our trained volunteers, who facilitate the service.

As part of Aspire’s continued commitment to supporting women with their finances a number of our volunteers have  now also accessed Community Advocate ‘Stop the Loan Shark’ accredited training and we will be hosting a Gambling Awareness session in-house later this year. If you or a woman you know or work with is at risk of financial difficulties, targeting by loan sharks or has questions about saving with our credit union please contact Aspire on 0191 389 1504 or contact us by email.northeast.

Aspire Supporting Sisters Open Day Invitation 2019 

Do you work with women?, Are you looking for community based services with free childcare facilities on site?
Aspire Learning, Support and Wellbeing would like to invite you to our Open Day on Thursday 5th September 2019 between 9.30am - 4.00pm

Aspire celebrate success at the Adult Learning & Skills Awards 2019 

The annual Adult Learning & Skills awards are part of the Festival of Learning and organised by Durham County Council recognising the success, achievements and commitment to learning across the region. The services on offer at Aspire cover a broad range of activities around learning, support and wellbeing and all three were recognised at the glitzy awards ceremony at the Ramside Hall on 4th July - tap Here for the full story.

Aspire lift the Cricket World Cup on behalf of North East Women fiber_new

The men’s England cricket team may have won this year’s Cricket World Cup but the directors of local women’s organisation Aspire are sharing their own success having carried the trophy for the Sri Lanka vs South Africa match on 28th June at the Emirates Riverside Stadium. - tap Here for the full story.

Report: Why Women’s Centres Work: An Evidence Briefing fiber_new

Aspire Learning, Support and Wellbeing are proud to be able to share the following national report: Why Women’s Centres Work: An Evidence Briefing (2019) which we directly contributed to and was authored in partnership with The National Lottery Community Fund (Women’s and Girls’ Initiative) the Child and Women Abuse Studies Unit, Tavistock Institute of Human Rights and DMSS Research.

‘Why Women’s Centres work‘ is designed to help commissioners, service providers, funders and professionals understand how Women’s Centres can play a key role in meeting the needs of women in their communities. It provides:

• a brief description of the Women’s Centre approach
• an outline of why Women’s Centres are needed and the benefits they offer
• a summary of the evidence in relation to how and why they work
• quotes from women who have received support offered by Women’s Centres

Aspire women consistently tell us how much our health, wellbeing, support and learning services mean to them as attendees, volunteers and Supporting Sisters but it has been amazing to have this recognised with data and evidence by this key national report.- tap Here to view the full pdf report.

Aspire has moved to a more secure and reliable hosting / email server.   

On Friday 1st February 2019 we began the careful process of moving our website and emails to an alternatve provider.  We have also added 256bit SSL Encryption which not only provides trust to those visiting our website, but adds encryption for all sensitive information sent to and from our server; this ensures only the intended recipient, i.e. Aspire can access any information sent.  [What is SSL, how does this protect me?]

Aspire scoops the County Durham Volunteering Kite Mark   

Achievement of the County Durham Volunteering Kite Mark which is facilitated by Durham Communtiy Action demonstrates that Aspire meets standards to overcome barriers to volunteering, and recognises the value of recruiting and retaining volunteers. The Kite Mark shows an organisation manages a volunteering programme where volunteers receive a high quality, positive volunteering experience.  [More Information]

January 2019 enrolement is here!   

Enrol from the 18th December 2018 at 9.00am to reserve your place - many of our courses are very popular and spaces fill up quickly!
Check out or website for detailed information on each course and service available - if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

Supporting Sisters - Open Day Invitation   

Do you work with women, are you looking for community based servicese with free on-site child care facilities?  Why not drop in to our service information open day on Wednesday 5th September 2018 between 9.30am - 4.00pm.  For more information you can call us on 0191 3891504.

Aspire have scooped the Unsung Hero Award 2018!   

Aspire were nominated for 6 awards at the Festival of Learning #lovetolearn Adult Learning and Skills Service Awards Programme held on Thursday July 5th @RamsideHall. The Festival of Learning aims to recognise the commitment, achievements and successes of learners across Durham County, as well as the projects and groups that support individual achievement and the centres that provide services promoting lifelong learning.

• Volunteers Andrea Turner and Debbie Hall were highly commended in the volunteer of the year award category.
• Four of our learners were nominated in the Inspirational Learner of the year award category.
• Both Colleen Baker and Val Kilner were nominated in the Inspirational Tutor of the year award.
• Aspire received a nomination in the Learning Project of the year award.

Huge congratulations to the Supporting Sisters who also scooped the award for Unsung Hero – an amazing achievement and recognition of all their hard work and commitment.  Aspire also won the last and main award of the evening the Festival of Learning Award – celebrating our outstanding commitment to learning.

We have a new and much improved website! - 21st April 2018  

After a couple of months of planning, we are extremely proud to launch our all new website.

The rising popularity of smartphones and tablets has prompted the need for websites to adapt to different screen sizes. Our new website is fully responsive in order to give you a great user experience – no matter what device you’re on.  We hope you like the fresh new look to the website and the improved navigation that will allow you to find the information you need more quickly and easily on desktop and mobile devices.

We are continuing to update our pages with useful information about our services, so please do check back with us for updates.  

April - July 2018 Programme is here!  Enrol NOW to learn something new in 2018!  

Our latest programme [April - July 2018] is packed with free and low-cost courses, support and wellbeing opportunities. Information, advice and Enrolment day is on Monday 26th March 2018. You'll be able to meet our staff and volunteers, duscuss your course choices and take a look around the centre.

You can reach us using several methods, by Phone, Email or in Person:

Telephone: 0191 3891504
Email: enquiries@aspire-northeast.co.uk
Drop In: drop into our centre (Mon - Fri, 9am-4pm)

Enrol NOW to learn something new in 2018!

Our latest programme [Jan - March 2018] is packed with free and low-cost courses, support and wellbeing
opportunities to help you get the new year off to a good start.

You can reach us using several methods, by Phone, Email or in Person:

Telephone: (0191) 389 1504
Email: enquiries@aspire-northeast.co.uk
Drop In: drop into our centre (Mon - Fri, 9am-4pm) 

Spring into learning! Aspire programme cover for April 2017

Our latest programme is packed with over 20 FREE courses, support and wellbeing opportunities. Enrol from Monday 27 March 2017 to secure your place!

By phone: (0191) 389 1504 or
In person: drop into our centre (Mon - Fri, 9am-4pm)

Not sure which course is right for you?
Come along to our Information and Advice Day on Wednesday 5 April (10am - 2pm) to take a look around the centre, meet our tutors and enrol in person.