20th Jun 2019

Durham Community Action have supported Breathing Space, a church project that seeks to help the community make fuller use of the church and its grounds as a way of promoting wellbeing, to be successful in being awarded nearly £80,000 in Big Lottery Grant which will enable the project to continue its work for a further 3 years.

The Breathing Space project based at St Michael’s and All Angels in Witton Gilbert nr Durham City was founded in 2011 in an attempt to use the peaceful space of our church and the adjoining dene to provide a place for people to pause, reflect and slow down, promoting wellbeing for members of the community. Since the project started it has raised nearly £200,000 in grants and through fundraising.

The grant gives Project Co-ordinator Gillie Boggon extended hours and more time to liaise, network and administer her duties that have been so pivotal in the success of the project since she was appointed in 2013.

Gillie said of the support from Durham Community Action:

“After having had some recent knock backs in going for core funding the trustees were feeling deflated and we were looking to work out an exit strategy in case we didn't attract any more funding.

However, Susan’s knowledge that there was funding available with the Big Lottery Reaching communities, her support and gentle persuasion boosted our confidence to apply. 

The process was just as simple and straightforward as Susan had explained and we are grateful that she encouraged us as it has given us a real foundation from which to move forward. Many thanks.”

Activities that are undertaken within the project include:

  • Men’s Shed – conservation
  • Get Active – seated gentle exercise for those being rehabilitated.
  • Mindfulness Walks / Courses – learning to live in the moment.
  • Creative Writing – using the outdoors as inspiration
  • Folk Singing
  • Woodland Wonders – Children’s forest school
  • Walk for life – starting from St Michael’s 10 circular routes.

For more information please visit

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