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 Community groups battle it out in Dragon’s Den style competition


​A huge well done to the community groups in Darlington who battled it out this weekend in a Dragon’s Den style competition to win their share of a £35,000 grant.

The funding was secured as part of the TEAM (Together Everyone Achieves More) initiative, which has been running in the Bank Top and Lascelles area of the town for the last 18 months.

Bids were received from a number of groups and a shortlist of projects were invited to ‘pitch’ their initiatives to more than 200 local residents at an event at Cleveland Bridge Social Club, in Neasham Road, on Saturday (November 16). The residents then voted for their favourites to win a share of the money.

St John’s Church of England Academy were the overall winners who took home £7,500, which they will put towards new outdoor play equipment.

The other winning groups were DAFT (Darlington Activities Fundraising Team) who organise social activities for people living with dementia; Family Help, who wanted to set up a group to help people suffering from domestic abuse, and Keyring Living, who wanted to develop a group to help socially isolated adults get back into the community.

A fifth prize was also awarded to the YMCA who are going to set up a weekly youth club in Bank Top.

PC Jeff Summerhill, from Darlington Neighbourhood Police Team, said: “We had a fantastic turnout to the event on Saturday with more than 200 people coming along to have their say on how the money is spent in their community.

“The TEAM project has been really well received in Bank Top and Lascelles, with the community really coming together over the last 18 months to decide on ways to improve the area and develop it for future generations.”

Christine Shields, Darlington Borough Council's assistant director for commissioning, performance and transformation, said: “A big well done to the successful groups. This funding - which comes from a pot specifically set aside for community projects - will help support the efforts of these groups and the wonderful, life-enriching contributions they are already making in the Bank Top and Lascelles area.”