Volunteer Week 2021

There’s a lot kicking off in June, and this week marks the beginning of Volunteers Week! From the 1st to the 7th of June, we will be celebrating our amazing volunteers who, without them, we’d be well and truly lost!

We would like to take the opportunity to thank all of our amazing volunteers across all of our projects: Without all of you, we would not be able to carry out our work and make such a difference to the environment and communities within Middlesbrough and the surrounding areas!

Throughout this week, we will be highlighting some of the fantastic volunteer groups we are currently working with and ways that people can get involved.
Again, a HUGE thank you to all our volunteers, past and present who make such a difference to our town!

May Recipe – Spanish Sausage Stew


15mi/1tbsp olive oil
1 onion
2 garlic cloves
1 carrot
4 fresh spicy sausages
150ml/1/4 pint/2/3 cup tomato juice
15ml brandy (optional)
1.5ml / 1/4 tsp Tabasco sauce
5ml/1tsp sugar
Salt and freshly ground pepper
30ml/2tbsp chopped fresh corriander


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan
  2. Cook the onion, garlic, carrot and sausages for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the sausage have evenly browned.
  3. Stir in the tomato juice, brandy, tobacco and sugar with salt and pepper to taste
  4. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes until the sausage is cooked and the sauce has thickened.
  5. Serve at once garnished with chopped coriander.

Forest Schools Taster Sessions for Half Term

Aged 16-24 and not currently in employment? Are you a refugee or asylum seeker? Are you Black, Asian or from a Minority Ethic group?

Families, groups or individuals of those above groups: If you’re interested in connecting with nature, why not try one of our Free Forest School taster sessions?

We have two 2 hour sessions available on Tuesday 1st June here at our site on Sandy Flatts Lane: A morning session will take place between 10am and 12pm and an afternoon session will take place between 1pm and 3pm.

Spaces are limited and must be pre-booked!

For more information, call Nicky on 01642 579839 or 01642 579820


SPECIAL funding is up for grabs to help keep homes toasty all year round.

The Tees Valley Warm Homes Fund is sharing out more than £6 million to install brand new central heating systems – free of charge.

The initiative – led by Stockton Borough Council – is part of a national fund established by National Grid and administered by Affordable Warmth Solutions.

And  this week one happy beneficiary described how his new central heating system had transformed his home, and urged others in need to contact the project.

Allan Walker (pictured), who has lived in his North Ormesby home since the 1950s, waved goodbye to costly and inefficient storage heaters and an ageing immersion heater.

In their place are a brand new gas-powered combi boiler central heating and hot water system fitted by the Warm Homes Fund.

The 93-year-old said: “It’s really made a big difference – I can now walk around the whole house and do things in all the rooms which I couldn’t do before.

“I’ve got new radiators in every room and the new boiler is much more efficient than the old immersion heater.

“I’d urge anyone who thinks they might qualify to make the call and see how their home could be transformed.”

To qualify, residents must meet the following criteria:

  • The property must not currently have central heating installed
  • The property must be in Stockton, Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough or Redcar & Cleveland
  • The applicant must either own the property or have the permission of the owner

Someone living in the property must either be in receipt of qualifying benefits, have a low household income and high energy bills or have a low household income and be vulnerable to the effects of the cold.

Councillor Ashley Waters, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive member for Regeneration, said: “It’s easy to take for granted, but an efficient and economical central heating system is crucial for health and well-being.

“Too many people still slip through the net, and that’s where this brilliant scheme has the power to transform lives.

“I’d urge anyone need to check if they’re eligible as soon as possible – you’ve nothing to lose, and it could save you a fortune.”

The scheme operates on a first-come, first-served basis, and applications will close once all the funds have been allocated.

To find out if you qualify and to arrange a survey call 01642 526100 (lines open Mon-Thurs 8.30am-5pm, Fri 8.30am-4.30pm) or visit www.middlesbrough.gov.uk/WHF

Earth Day Action w/ The Friends of Arty Path

An exciting day for CommUNITY Actions & One Planet Pioneers! Our teams have been busy spending the day supporting a new group ‘The Friends of Arty Path’ who would like to restore the historical site into its former glory, and what better day to do it than on Earth Day? Earth Day is celebrated around the world to demonstrate support for environmental protection. The friends of Arty Path with the support from MEC projects will be helping to clear the area, planting native flowers & reinstating the path to help it look glorious once again! Local interest has already been fantastic, with over 12 people volunteering on the day and even getting support from the Local Authority, and we would always welcome more! If you are interested in getting involved at similar events, please contact us directly or contact Sue from the Friends of Arty Path at friendsofthearty@outlook.com or visit their group on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1757858234396404!

Over 2 TONNES of green wasted shifted, 10 wheelbarrow loads of firewood on their way to the Scouts, and an entire cage van filled with general waste: Definitely a very busy day and, once again, a huge thank you to all of the volunteers who helped take part!

April Recipe – Pan Fried Mackerel with Chorizo and New Potatoes


  • 150g piece chorizo, roughly chopped
  • 2 small onions, chopped
  • 200g new potatoes, washed and cut into small cubes
  • 250g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 mackerel fillets, halved lengthways with pin bones removed
  • Large handful of fresh parsley leaves, chopped


  1. To prepare the potatoes, bring a medium pan of water to the boil. Add the potatoes, return to the boil and cook for about 5 minutes until par boiled. Drain in a colander.
  2. Heat a large, non-stick frying pan over a high heat. Add the chorizo and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes, until most of the oil has been released. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  3. Add the mackerel fillets to the pan skin side down and fry for 3-4 minutes. Turn and cook on the other side for the same time. Remove from the pan.
  4. Reduce the heat to low and add the onions and potatoes to the pan. Coat in the oil from the chorizo and cook for 12-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the potatoes are cooked through and the onions golden.
  5. Flake the mackerel fillets with a fork and add them to the pan. Stir the tomatoes and chorizo into the pan. Gently mix and cook for 2 minutes, until piping hot.
  6. Stir in the parsley. Divide between 4 plates and serve with a mixed leaf salad.


Climate Action Middlesbrough

Climate Action Middlesbrough (CAM) is a new programme which aims to facilitate reductions in Middlesbrough’s carbon footprint and encourage a change towards more sustainable lifestyles. In essence, we hope to increase community action across the areas of sustainable food, sustainable transportation, domestic energy, waste and the natural environment, as well as inspiring sustained changes in individual, community and organisational behaviours in relation to climate change.

Middlesbrough Environment City is working with a number of partners on the project including: ACTES, LINX Youth Project, Tees Valley Wildlife Trust, The Other Perspective, Thirteen Group and Middlesbrough Council. Over the course of the programme, CAM will engage the wider community through intergeneration activities. Young people are at the forefront of tackling climate change.

Climate Action Middlesbrough is funded by the National Lottery Community Fund through the Climate Action Fund.

Aims and Objectives

We have a number of aims and objectives in this project:

  • To facilitate reductions in Middlesbrough’s carbon footprint.
  • To create a well-informed social movement supportive of tackling the climate crisis, through the combination of education, awareness-raising, increased involvement and connectedness and delivery of practical projects.
  • To create a community – led movement for social change towards a sustainable environment.
  • To enable communities to have a voice on addressing the changing climate.

Middlesbrough’s Green Strategy

Middlesbrough Council is setting out an ambitious 10-year vision to develop a green agenda designed to rise to the challenge of climate change, as well as support and improve biodiversity in and around Middlesbrough. The green strategy will include measures such as the aforementioned biodiversity, as well as increasing recycling rates, addressing health inequalities, providing and sustaining more green transport options, food security and energy reduction, all based around the ten One Planet Living principles to ensure Middlesbrough embodies them.

In doing this, it sets a programme to meet Government targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and make the town more climate resilient to ensure we are prepared and can adapt to changes in the climate, as well as to minimise the environmental impact of Council services in the future.

Broadly, the Strategy has three key aims to meets its obligations:

  1. To make Middlesbrough Council net carbon neutral by 2029
  2. To ensure Middlesbrough as a town is net carbon neutral by 2039.
  3. To make Middlesbrough a lead authority on Environmental issues