LOOKING back to the week that was March 25 to 31, five years ago...

A CHILDREN’S hospice made a desperate appeal for support after it revealed it could be forced to cut its services due to financial hardship, in March 2019.

Zoë’s Place in Middlesbrough issued a rallying call to the public to help fund its vital work providing an essential lifeline.

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The hospice feared it could be forced to close for two nights each week due to its financial crisis, meaning it would be unable to offer emergency respite for families.

Speaking to The Northern Echo in 2019, Mark Guidery, general manager at Zoe’s Place, warned that further cuts to its services may need to be made if the financial situation doesn’t improve, a decision he said would “break his heart”.

Situated in Crossbeck House in Normanby, Zoe’s Place provides palliative, respite and bereavement care for families of babies and children with life-limiting or life-threatening illnesses.

Since first opening its doors in 2004, it has cared for more than 350 children right across the North-East, from as far north as Newcastle and as south as York and Scarborough.

The hospice had more than 30 babies and young children receiving regular nursing care at its centre in March 2019.

From coalfield songs to flat caps and banners, the mining heritage of two towns was celebrated as part of a special football match on Saturday, March 23, 2019.

Spennymoor Town FC joined forces with the Durham Miners’ Association (DMA) to make the home game against Alfreton Town a special one.

Both towns have a strong mining history which was marked during the Vanarama National League North match.

Lady Elsie Robson, a keen ambassador for the region’s mining heritage, was guest of honour at the match, which was also supported by business leaders.

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Supporters, both old and young, turned out in flat caps to show their support for the day while the club’s academy children marched onto the pitch holding historical mining banners from DMA, accompanied by a miners’ band.

Collections were held at the match for “The Marras” Friends of Durham Miners’ Gala, which runs the annual Big Meeting.

More than 1,000 people turned out to support the event, including the mayor of Spennymoor, Clive Maddison and MP for Bishop Auckland, Helen Goodman.

A campaign to remove ‘anti-bird’ netting came to an end in March 2019.

Wildlife activists celebrated when housing developer Homes By Esh agreed to take down netting from trees at a site on Edward Pease Way, near West Park, Darlington.

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The protest group, which initiated a ‘NO2NET’ campaign after finding a dead dunnock at the site on March 20, 2019, spent two weeks holding vigils against the use of nets.

On Wednesday, March 27, 2019, the campaigners expressed their joy when they returned to the site to find all the nets had been taken down.

Kendra Ullyart, leading the campaign, said she was pleased with the quick outcome of their protest.