A LOOK through some of the stories of the last 12 months which appeared on this page.


A hedgehog lover has turned her Darlington home into a sanctuary for her favourite animals. Sandra Simpson, who lives in the Branksome area, is registered with the British Hedgehog Preservation Society.

A glowing report from Ofsted inspectors brought smiles to pupils after their primary school was officially rated ‘good’. Gurney Pease Academy, in Darlington, earned high praise from education examiners visiting the site who recognised hard work to improve the school.


Carers looking after a pair of sheepish-looking dogs were hoping their lamb-like looks will

secure them a new home. Coco, 12, and Bob, 13, arrived at Dogs Trust Darlington.

A boutique owner was helping the homeless keep warm by giving out coats. Beryl Hankin, owner of Guru Boutique in Blackwellgate, placed a clothes rack and sign outside of her shop in hope that customers would also donate their unwanted coats.


A FRIENDLY pony brought smiles to the faces of residents at a Darlington care home. The unusual visitor was one of many to visit the Oak Lodge care home for their open day.

ONE of the world’s oldest football trophies was reunited with its lid after it went missing for four decades. The lid of the Cleveland Challenge Cup, which was first played for in 1882, was discovered in a loft in Middlesbrough after being lost since the late 1970s.


SAVAGE cuts’ were behind the sad demise of a charity that helps thousands of people a year. Gay Advice Darlington and Durham (GADD) closed at the end of the month after funding cuts left its services unsustainable.

But it was better news for one charity marking its 30th anniversary when Darlington Association on Disability (DAD) celebrated three decades of supporting people.


A hospice is boosting its retail presence with the opening of its first ever charity superstores. St Teresa’s Hospice has adapted a former training unit to increase its fundraising abilities to find the £2m per year. While a band of kind-hearted pirates ignored the rain to tackle two laps of South Park to raise vital funds for the charity