Durham Aged Mineworkers’ Homes Association (DAMHA) has received the Louder than Words charter mark from Action on Hearing Loss, the new name for the Royal National Institute for the Deaf (RNID).

The Association, which is based in Chester-le-Street and owns over 1,700 homes across the North East, achieved the charter mark after undergoing a rigorous assessment process.

It started with a benchmarking exercise against a set of key standards, which included having clear and visible deaf-aware policies, meeting requests for communication support whenever requested and training staff to communicate appropriately with customers who suffer from hearing loss.

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CRIME CONCERNS: A public meeting for people to discuss concerns about crime is being held at Leadgate Community Centre, back of Plantation street, Leadgate, on December 19 from 6pm-7pm.

The meeting will be attended by a representative from the neighbourhood policing team and will be specific to the area, Individual neighbourhood priorities will be discussed. All members of the community are welcome.

SONG TIME: Lanchester Male Voice Choir meets meets at 7.30pm each Monday in the main hall of Lanchester Community Centre. All men are welcome and auditions are not required. Email lanchestercommunitycentre@yahoo.co.uk for more information.

AVOID FRAUD: Durham Rural Community Council is holding an event to help people avoid becoming victims of fraud at Citizens House, Station Road, Consett, on Tuesday, December 11, from 1pm-3pm. Refreshments will be available CHRISTMAS TREES: The Friends of Chopwell Wood raise funds for improvements and conservation work within the wood with the sale of real Christmas Trees each year.

There is a choice of spruce, pine or fir trees and prices start from £15. The Christmas tree sales site is alongside the main car park at Chopwell Wood, and is open from until Friday December 21 from 8am-8pm each day.

Refreshments available.

ART GROUP Lanchester Art Group meets every Thursday morning from 10am till noon at Lanchester Community Centre.

Three exhibitions of work are held each year; two small ones are held in June and December in Lanchester Library and are usually themed, and a large exhibition is held in Lanchester Community Centre on the third weekend in October.

The Art Group has an annual programme which usually includes sessions with professional art tutors, visits to local and regional art galleries in addition to individual and group ongoing projects.