Information, advice, contact and communication


Thank you all for your contributions. The site is being updated regularly, so please drop by regularly and see what’s new.

The Parish Meeting is asking people to put their names forward if they can volunteer any help. See below. The latest Flyer includes a form asking you to let Stuart Godfrey (contact details below) whether you’re isolating or can offer voluntary help. Please fill it in and return it.

HELP 1: Register yourself on the government data base as a high-vulnerability isolater and you get priority with, eg. supermarket deliveries (see June Johnson email in the postbox below). Google ‘Get Coronavirus support as an extremely vulnerable person’ and  follow the links.

HELP 2: There’s a national network of community support groups offering help and guidance – see

MEALS: Spice Island is offering free meals and delivery – see below under Home Delivery. The Milbank Arms  (01833 621955) is doing takeaway meals for anyone who doesn’t want to mix with customers inside or can deliver. Smallways Country Inn  (01833 627225) offers Sunday dinners (enormous, we’ve tried them, good value at £8) from noon to 7pm and will deliver to your door.  Support your local pubs however you can – we’ll miss them if they have to close for good.

OFF: The Big Cheese Night in Barningham village hall on April 24th has been postponed until at least the autumn. Other events in the area are being cancelled or postponed – see the Flyer for updates. The Parish Meeting AGM, due this month, is another casualty — if you have any urgent business relating to parish administration please contact the clerk, Robin Brooks, at Park View (01833 621203,

NEWSHAM: A group there are co-ordinating volunteers. It’s being organised by a local GP, Heather MacConachie, who invites calls or texts from anyone needing help or advice, whether isolationists or volunteers. She’s on 07595 904158 or on Facebook — look for Newsham Village Neighbourhood Support Group.

WALKS: There’s no reason, as far as we know, why you shouldn’t wander out for a walk so long as you’re not getting too near anyone else. Walking the dog up to the moor end shouldn’t be a problem. Nor should standing in your doorway having  a conversation with someone 10 yards away at the gate.

CALL: If you know of someone who may not have family contacting them regularly – especially if they’re elderly – you could give them a ring, if only to say sorry, wrong number. They may well welcome talking to somebody.

POST & PARCELS: Our postmen, bless ’em, are well aware of what’s going on.  Delivery drivers are no longer asking you to sign for parcels but still thrust them into your hands. Nobody’s sure how long the virus can survive on paper/cardboard but you might want to be a bit wary. Wash your hands etc after opening mail or packages. And how many of us remember to disinfect the bell-push or door knocker??? Those drivers cover scores, maybe hundreds of calls every day….

SCAMS: Action Fraud have received reports of COVID19-related scams. The majority are related to online shopping scams where people have ordered protective face masks, hand sanitiser and other products, which have never arrived. Other frauds being reported include ticket fraud, romance fraud, charity fraud and lender loan fraud. For more details, see

Detailed counter-fraud advice is available online, including from Scamsmart, ActionFraud, CIFAS, TakeFive, Citizens Advice, Trading Standards and the National Cyber Security Centre.

Reporting to Action Fraud can be done online at or by calling 0300 123 2040.
To report offers of financial assistance from HMRC contact

BOOKS: If you run out of reading matter, there are hundreds of free paperbacks in the village hall: get someone to browse through them for you. Ann Orton at the Old Chapel (01833 621024) has a key if it’s not open. There’s the mobile library, too, next due in the village on Thursday April 2nd, 11.20-11.35am, though it may be a coronavirus victim by then.

DVDs: There are plenty of these in the village hall, too. And if you’ve got a box set at home you’ve finished with, put a notice on this website because somebody may be happy to borrow it.

QUIZ? Do any of  those incarcerated (or anybody else, come to that) fancy doing an online quiz on this site? Something to wile away the hours stuck indoors? If enough people are interested, email Jon – details below – and we’ll have a go.

CHECK, MATE? Anyone fancy an on-line game of chess? We’re not much good, but we’ll give it a go. Email us with your opening move and we’ll dig out a board. Or put you in touch with a better player.

RUBBISH? If you think the whole coronavirus business is blown out of proportion and we should just carry on as normal – and there are a few who do – we’d welcome your views, too. And responses. Please keep comments fairly brief or we’ll run out of space.

AND… Stay cheerful. Spring’s on  its way.

If you’d like to add anything to this page please contact Jon Smith — details further down.

See below for

Isolationists: Who’s doing it, how they’re coping,  tips to make it easier

Volunteers: Who’s willing to help and what they can do

Home delivery services: How to get stuff to your door

Postbox: Your thoughts and comments

Last update: Sunday April 5th, 11.30am



People who are in self-imposed isolation include:

Jon Smith, ex-Heath House, now isolated in Newsham for the duration.  07740 844183

Judith Lewis, 2 Church View, 01833 621562 / 07791 951436

Mike Peach, The Hollies 01833 621239


People who aren’t isolated and have offered to help those who are:

Stuart Godfrey, Newby House 01833 621171  Happy to fetch and carry for anyone in need.

Steve Riddell, Manor House 01833 621560 / 07710 044572 uk. Give me a ring or email if you need anything collecting – I’m in and out of Darlington daily. 

Martha McBarron, The Hollies 01833 621239 / 07984 756080 Happy to help in any way needed including picking up shopping or prescriptions.

Jane Longfield, Bramble House 07470 548024  Collecting prescriptions from Gainford later this week (March 25/26) if anyone wants me to collect theirs.

Emma Howard, Hilltop 07802 801010  Happy to help where I can.

Laurence Collyer, 01833 621 311 / 07967 936537.  I collect prescriptions roughly the first week of every month from Barnard Castle surgery and if anyone needs any picking up I’ll be happy to collect for them.



Coghlans in Barninigham are offering free delivery of everyday foods and essentials – including fresh bread, ready meals, meat, fish and toiletries (maybe even toilet rolls!). Call 07494 582444 or email for more information and order forms.

Spice Island in Barney are offering free meals and delivery for the over-70s in isolation, which sounds too good to be true but click on this link to see their offer: SPICE

Farm shops offering to deliver include Stoneygate Farm at Ravensworth (01748 897131,,  Mainsgill (0325 718860,, Cross Lanes (01833 630619, and Thorpe Farm (01833 627242 or 07909 910255) who are doing ready meals for Age UK and would like to offer them to the wider community – call and collect, drop in (not another soul there when we called) or call and they’ll deliver free; they say they’ll try to provide anything specific you want and they’ve got loads of stuff in – fruit, veg, meat, frozen meals.

Barney butchers Peats and Macfarlanes will deliver, as will Perry at The Orchard if a few people order together

Acorn Dairies, of course, deliver milk, Tuesdays and Fridays  (01325 466999). And Galgate News (01833 690355)  get newspapers and magazines as far as the bus shelter. The i newspaper, a good intelligent choice at only 65p a day and now doing four pages of puzzles  plus a fairly fiendish crossword,  is offering a six-week free delivery deal — email or ring 0800 9806907 for details.

The supermarkets have been overwhelmed with delivery requests and as far as we can see all are now saying they can’t provide deliveries for weeks ahead. Support your local farm shops and pubs!

When they get themselves sorted:

Morrisons will deliver online orders to your door (minimum order £40, delivery fee £5). Find them at Beware: their service has appalling reviews online, rated among the worst in Britain, and they cancelled your website administrator’s order last week because their bank security check was made in a text at 2am in the morning which of course went unanswered.

Tesco’s deliver from Catterick. See It’s a subscription service, a few pounds a month but you get a month’s free trial to start with. £40 minimum spend.

Sainsbury’s deliver: £40 minimum, £7 a delivery. See

Have you used any of these? How do you rate them? Any tips?


Comments etc very welcome – email Jon Smith at and we’ll add them here.

‘I was really pleased to see you’ve added this page to the website — it’s a really helpful and friendly source of information.’ — Jane Longfield, Bramble House

‘I’m in it for the long haul, I’m afraid. Feel like I’m on a desert island with a dog, two cats and a hedgehog. It’s quite perverse, really, as I’m one of the few people who are still busy at work. People stuck at home are turning to craft, so I’m spending my days packing parcels of buttons, ribbons, etc. Quiz sounds interesting — count me in!’ — Judith Lewis, 2 Church View

‘Thanks to Brookses for collecting  prescriptions. I’m high-risk (NHS emails every hour!) but sadly Sheila doesn’t want to isolate so I’ve moved out of Heath House till we find a solution. Discovering Zoom. Watch this space.’  — Jon Smith, c/o Merok Cottage, Newsham. 




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