A MAJOR conference highlighting the effects of public spending cuts and austerity measures attracted more than 200 delegates from across the North-East.

Hosted by East Durham Trust the Putting Brilliance into Resilience Was held at the Glebe Centre in Murton, near Peterlee.

The conference included addresses from key public figures and workshops highlighting ongoing work to protect vulnerable people affected by reductions in household income.

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Speakers included shadow cabinet minister Chi Onwurah, director of public health Anna Lynch, Durham University Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Ray Hudson and Durham Police Commissioner Ron Hogg.

The audience included representatives of local community groups, individual volunteers and a range of public sector staff from across the region.

East Durham Trust’s chief executive Malcolm Fallow said: “Although we were overwhelmed by the turnout we weren’t surprised.

“Clearly communities are concerned at the effects of the economic downturn on local people.

“We are seeing rising demands for food parcels, growing levels of social isolation and people becoming reliant on payday lenders and loan sharks- these are all symptoms of a community in crisis and the attendance reflected a groundswell of concern.”

For more information contact the East Durham Trust on 0191-569-3511, email info@eastdurhamtrust.org.uk or visit www.eastdurhamtrust.org.uk