Feb 12 2016

Active Citizens Study Visit to County Durham


From 23rd February to 25th February a group of 5 ‘Active Citizens’ from the USA, Pakistan, Ukraine, Jordan and Wales are visiting County Durham in order to see first-hand the work Jack Drum Arts are doing to support our community.   

The community workers will spend 3 days in the area, learning how their British counterparts have created projects that have improved people’s lives.

The visit was arranged by Jack Drum Arts as part of the British Council’s Active Citizens programme.  The programme works with youth leaders, women’s groups, educators and faith leaders to run social action projects that have a positive impact on the community.

Helen Ward, Managing Director from Jack Drum Arts said:

“We are thrilled to have been selected as the first County Durham based partner for the Active Citizens programme and are really looking forward to building on our successful international work with new partners.  Our guests will have the opportunity to see first hand some of the great social action initiatives going on here in South West Durham whilst also sharing with us their knowledge and skills in how to make the world a better place working at grass roots level.”

The visitors will be taken to Chatterbox Café a great community café tackling social isolation in the upper Dale area, Slack House Farm, a small farm holding run by local textile artist Ellie Langley, Jack Drum’s Colour Your Life programme in Crook as well as Auckland Castle which is behind the Eleven Arches volunteer programme launching this summer.  Transport will be provided by the hugely successful community initiative Weardale Community Transport with entertainment by local activists including Hannabiell Sanders and Yilis del Carmen Suriel of Ladies of Midnight Blue as part of a cultural sharing event at the St Cuthbert’s Centre in Crook.

This is one of five Active Citizens international events that will be taking place, involving participants from 17 different countries.

Monomita Nag-Chowdhury, Active Citizens Manager at the British Council, said:

“International Study Visits are about giving people that are working hard to make life better in their neighbourhoods the chance to learn from the experience of other parts of the world and to develop ideas, gather inspiration and get advice from the UK on how they can run projects that will really make a difference to their communities.

“The experience is also of huge benefit to UK communities and hopefully, we’re creating long-lasting ties between like-minded individuals who will think globally as well as locally in the future.

“This isn’t just about working together for a few days. The knowledge and skills they acquire over two days in Jack Drum Arts will have a lasting impact on communities in USA, Pakistan, Ukraine, Jordan and Wales as the participants return home and begin tackling social issues. ”