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Re-elected council chair announces new charities

May 31, 2024 | Local News

A charity supporting premature and sick new babies and a group that tackles loneliness and social isolation are set to receive an extra boost.

Cllr Joan Nicholson has chosen Tiny Lives Trust and Friends Together Crook as her official charities as she enters her second term as Chair of Durham County Council.

Cllr Nicholson was re-elected as Chair at the local authority’s annual meeting and will be supported in her duties by Cllr Patricia Jopling, who will serve as Vice-Chair.

Cllr Nicholson said: “I am greatly honoured to have been elected to serve as Chair of Durham County Council for a second year. I love County Durham and its people, and it means a lot to be able to represent them, while also fundraising for charities that make such a positive difference.

“I am passionate about supporting children and young people and last year, as well as raising funds for the Alzheimer’s Society, it was my privilege to support the Durham Association of Boys and Girls Clubs. For my second year, I wanted to do something for very young children. My older sister was a tiny baby and since then we have come so far in terms of what we can do to support premature babies and their families. It’s so important we continue this good work.

“I chose Friends Together Crook as it’s a cause very close to Patricia’s heart. I have heard a great deal about the fantastic work they do to bring people together, and I am really looking forward to learning more over the coming year.”

A former pupil of Annfield Plain Secondary Modern School, Cllr Nicholson, 73, worked in the Co-op in the village, in Taylor’s Pharmacy, and as a childminder before re-training at Houghall College and opening her own floristry business.

She was elected to Durham County Council in 2008, prior to local government reorganisation in 2009, and represents the Annfield Plain electoral division.

Cllr Nicholson is married to Robert, a retired miner and maintenance co-ordinator for a car parts manufacturing company. They have two children and three grandchildren.

Vice-Chair, Cllr Jopling, was originally elected to Wear Valley District Council in 2007 before joining Durham County Council, where she represents the Crook electoral division.