UNWANTED mobile phones and used printer ink cartridges were handed in to a school to help two charities, 20 years ago.

Pupils at Pittington Primary School collected unwanted phones and cartridges as part of a fundraising project in aid of St Cuthbert's Hospice and Durham Wildlife Trust.

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At a school assembly the items were handed over to representatives from the two worthy causes.

Pittington Parent Teacher Association member Lesley King said: "We wanted to involve our children in an environmental project.

"But at the same time we also wanted to do something for other people so we chose the Durham-based St Cuthbert's Hospice and Durham Wildlife Trust."

People were objecting to the proposed sale of a former community centre that they believed could house a school for children with behavioural and emotional difficulties, in May 2004.

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They said the Grangetown Centre, the former home of a learning disability service, on the Bolckow Road Industrial Estate, would be more suitable for the school, rather than the proposed empty Alderman William Jones building in Grangetown, next to a primary school.

People living near the Alderman William Jones building were worried that teenagers with behavioural difficulties could play truant and cause anti-social behaviour problems in the area.

Parents, who were concerned that primary school children at neighbouring St Mary's RC Primary School could be wrongly influenced by the older children, have been collecting signatures for a petition against the proposed site.

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They believed the Grangetown centre, home of a learning disability service for 28 years, which closed earlier in May 2004, would have made a better site for the school.

The centre's 90 users and 30 staff were to be moved to five community bases in the area, which centre manager Chris Horn believed would create a more flexible service and create better links with local communities.

But Grangetown councillor Peter Dunlop was sad to see the facility close.