We’ve made things a little easier for you by rounding up all the help, information, services and support available locally in County Durham and Peterlee to help get you through Covid 19.

Essential Shopping

In line with Government guidance on 23 March calling for an escalation of Coronavirus social distancing measures, Castle Dene Shopping Centre is now closed for all retailers except those providing essential goods and services. The following retailers will remain open to visit:

Store Open
• B&M
• Home Bargains
• Cooplands
• Farmfoods
• Poundland
• Stephens news
• Wilko
• Post Office
• Iceland
• Boots
• Specsavers – emergency only
• Wells chemist
• Superdrug
• Castle Dene Dentist
• My Dentist:- Monday 8am-6pm / Tuesday 9am-4pm / Wednesday 8am-6pm / Thursday 8am-3pm /Friday 8am-3pm /Saturday & Sunday CLOSED

• Lloyds bank – reduced hours 10am-2pm closed Saturday
• Halifax – reduced hours 10am-2pm, closed Saturday

* Opening times may very, please contact the stores directly

Benefits and Money

We are also working closely with colleagues at Business Durham and Visit County Durham to actively promote and help you access the support available.  Up to date advice for business can be found at www.durham.gov.uk and at www.businessdurham.co.uk/news-events-county-durham/covid-19-information .  As events are changing rapidly, this information is updated regularly.

Please contact us if we can help guide your business through this challenging period on 03000 261261 or email BDHelp@durham.gov.uk

Businesses and Employers

For all the latest information on help, advice and support available to businesses and employers click here. This is kept up to date daily www.durham.gov.uk by Durham County Council in line with government guidance.

Travel Information

Do not travel unless it is absolutely essential – Stay at Home, Protect The NHS and Save Lives. If your travel is essential you can click here for the latest time tables.



Bin Collections and Recycling

Your council’s bin collection crews are working hard to ensure your bins are collected. However, there may be changes to your collection service. Click here for updates www.durham.gov.uk/bincollections


Whether you’re looking for emergency support or to make a donation, you can find all the information


Mental Health

The Coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) has taken a lot of us by surprise. Some people have described it as an episode of Black Mirror that they want to turn off, while others have said that they feel like the entire world is upside down.

One thing that we have seen all over the world is that kindness is prevailing in uncertain times. People are coming together to sing on balconies, others are setting up groups to offer support to the elderly or vulnerable – like collecting groceries or calling them for a chat. We have heard stories of people having virtual movie nights and creating choreographed dances over video chat to share with the world.

www.mentalhealth.org.uk/coronavirus/random-acts-kindness for a list of Random Acts of Kindness ideas during the coronavirus and help keep people smiling.

Family and children (keeping them busy)

We’re all spending a lot more time at home at the moment which means we’re having to come up with new ways to keep the kids entertained.

While most schools are sending out work and we’re inundated with lists of home education apps, there have never been more resources on hand to keep our children learning.

Carol Vorderman is offering free maths lessons, David Walliams has released 30 free audio stories and Joe Wicks has become the nation’s PE teacher with his daily YouTube fitness class – for those that have stuck at it anyway.

But there’s so much more that kids can benefit from too. From arts and crafts to nature trails and a whole load of Easter fun, there are all sorts of ideas to keep kids of all ages entertained.

Some of the ideas have been shared on the popular Family Lockdown Tips & Ideas Facebook page, which has proved massively popular since launching just a few weeks ago.

Set up by mum Claire Balkind, it has already amassed more than a million members and is growing by the day.

Explaining Coronovirus to children

The BBC Newsround site has a comprehensive section on coronavirus with text and video guidance focusing on tips if a child is worried, how to wash your hands, and what self isolation means. Read more

Older People

Age UK has had to adapt services to comply with government advice and to ensure clients, staff and volunteers stay safe. Find out about your local https://www.ageuk.org.uk/countydurham/

Home Schooling

School may have closed for the foreseeable future, and exams cancelled, but children still need to be educated and entertained – as well as reassured. Many schools plan to send work home and there are lots of free resources available via online platforms such as BBC Teach. But meanwhile, how do you even start home learning when this is all so new? The Guardian asked teachers for their emergency advice and you can find it here.

Domestic Abuse Information

At home shouldn’t mean at risk. If you or someone you know is suffering from #DomesticAbuse, isolation rules do not apply.

Police response & support services remain available.

Find support at www.gov.uk/domestic-abuse  or call 999 if you are in immediate danger. #YouAreNotAlone