Health and wellbeing

The Coronavirus (Covid19) outbreak has meant that life has changed for everyone for a while. Whilst the situation is only temporary, looking after your body and mind is important. Click on the information below for some tips and further information which may help you and your family stay well.

If you are spending a lot of time at home you need to look after your mental health, as well as your physical health. To support yourself, you can:

  • Limit checking in with news and media to once or twice a day. Use reputable sources for information such as:
  • Fact check the information you get from news feeds, social media or other people
  • Plan ahead and think about what you will need to be able to stay at home
  • Ask your employer, friends and family for their help to access the things you will need to stay at home
    plan how you can get access to food and other supplies such as medication
  • If you are shielding, ask friends or family to bring you supplies or order supplies online (make sure these are left outside your home for you to collect)
  • Make sure that you keep in touch with friends and family over the phone or through social media
  • Keep busy with activities such as cooking, reading and online learning. Many local activities are offering online alternatives. See the culture section below to find out more
  • Think about how you can adapt and create positive new routines – try to engage in useful activities (such as cleaning, cooking or exercise) or meaningful activities (such as reading or calling a friend). You might find it helpful to write a plan for your day or your week
  • Keep your mind active - Read, write, play games, do crossword puzzles, sudokus, jigsaws or drawing and painting. Find something that works for you
  • If you can, once a day get outside, or bring nature in.  If you can’t get outside much, spend time with the windows open to let in fresh air, and get some natural sunlight, or get out into the garden if you can.

Try not to get into bad habits

  • Stay active at home - see the keeping active section below
  • Try to limit your alcohol intake - see our tips [pdf document] or NHS One You [external link] for top tips for drinking less
  • Try to eat healthy well balanced meals and drink plenty of water
  • Look after your sleep by maintaining regular sleep patterns.

Get more information and tips at the Every Mind Matters website.

Find a leaflet on looking after your wellbeing during COVID-19 [external link].

To offer support with how to cope during the coronavirus pandemic, the Recovery College have put together a free online short course[external link]. 

If you are new to working at home, the following advice will help you to keep well while doing so:

The space where you work…

  • Create a space for the work that you can tidy away or close off, so work isn’t around you all the time
  • Find somewhere where you can maintain confidentiality and concentration
  • Get a headset or use earphones when making calls
  • Make time to get familiar with other IT options such as video calls
  • Prioritise your internet access
  • Think about your posture, the chair you use
  • Make sure you have enough light
  • Try to give yourself breaks between calls.

The basics….

  • Get dressed for the day
  • Try and create a routine – especially if children are home. It may not be realistic to be able to work 9-5
  • Agree your working schedules with other adults at home
  • Have regular drinks but not too much tea and coffee (caffeine)!
  • Don’t forget mealtimes and breaks!
  • Move about/ stretch or go for a walk

The household balance….

  • Agree a homeworking / schooling structure with family
  • Accept that more ‘screen time’ may need to be allowed for children
  • Be kind to yourself, especially if you can’t live up to your expectations
  • Be aware of your own limits
  • Take breaks so you and your children / partner/ friends know what’s happening and you get time together (and apart)
  • Get out of the house for your daily exercise if you are not self-isolating (remember social distancing)
  • Find time on your own
  • Check in with work colleagues verbally – be mindful of those who may not have any social contact at home
  • Be mindful that people might be more reactive and not behave in their usual way, try to not take it personally
  • Talk about something different than work
  • Self-care has never been so important – what can you do that you enjoy
  • Have things around you that help you when you feel stressed or overwhelmed


Our culture offer has moved online, keep up with library activities [external link] and online dance classes with the Hippodrome [external link].

Mental health

Darlington Mind and Listening Post

Darlington Mind and the Listening Post have established a dedicated support service for young people aged 11-18 who may be feeling anxious or worried during this time and may want to talk to someone.

  • Mind is running the phone line between 1.30pm and 4.30pm each week day, and it is available by calling 07432843161.
  • The Listening Post helpline is available between 10am and 12noon each weekday, and is available by calling 07847933799.
  • If the line is busy, or unavailable people can email [email protected] or [email protected]

Not sure about how to talk to your child about coronavirus and the current situation? Try this children’s guide

Recovery college

With two separate courses written specifically for children aged between 7 and 12 and young people aged between 13 and 18, the Recovery College have put together a short online interactive course, to help children and young people learn more about the virus and how to stay healthy. Click here for more information.

Listening Ear for Families

Safe Families for Children [external link] through their network of volunteers are offering the opportunity for parents/carers of children and young people to talk through any worries you have and provide you with guidance on coping with life when movement is restricted. They’ll be a listening ear if you are concerned about anything or need support with accessing services.

Just email the team via [email protected] with:

  • Your name
  • Post Code
  • Contact number and details of when you would prefer a call
  • You may also wish to provide an overview of what you may like to talk about in your call

A member of the team will then aim to contact you within 24 hours

By emailing Safe Families you are agreeing to a call back to you on the number provided within the next 24 hours to discuss your current situation. Once with Safe Families, information gathered will be stored according to their data retention policy, available on their website [external link]

Please note if you have concerns about the welfare of a child/young person, do not use the email above, please contact the Childrens Front Door via 01325 406222 (option 2) or via email [email protected].

Independent Living and Accommodation Based Support - Foundation Support Service

Foundation provide an independent living support service in Darlington for Parents (this will include support (presently via the telephone) in areas such as; support with running a household, managing correspondence, budgeting, engaging with services and developing life skills) and support with accommodation needs. You can self-refer to Foundations.

by telephone on 01325 351579

or email [email protected]rg.

Please note if you have concerns about the welfare of a child/young person, do not use the email above, please contact the Childrens Front Door via 01325 406222 (option 2) or via email [email protected].

Keeping children safe online

Children are potentially spending more time online, find guidance on keeping them safe.

Just because we are indoors, doesn’t mean we can’t stay active!

Aim to ensure children are getting at least 60 active minutes and adults at least 30 active minutes, but the more the better and any is better than none!

Darlington School Sport Partnership [external link] are posting a suggested activity for children and young people every day

For loads of ideas of how to stay active indoors and out on Sport England's #StayInWorkOut movement [external link]

Tees Valley Sport [external link] has released information, videos and tips on keeping active at home. There are sections for adults, young people and older adults.

Find a list of indoor activities to do with children on change for life [external link]

Find a selection of easy to follow workouts 

Getting your daily exercise safely – a message from Durham Police

Physical exercise and getting outside is incredibly important for your emotional wellbeing.

We’d encourage everyone to take part in their daily exercise, whether that be one run, walk, or cycle each day, but please make sure you adhere to social distancing measures when outside.

Remember to only exercise alone or with members of your household, and keep at least two metres away from anyone who does not live with you.

The Government advice is to stay local and use open spaces near to your home where possible – do not travel unnecessarily.

We are out on patrol across Darlington and will be speaking to people who are out and about to explain what the restrictions are, and encouraging them to follow them.

Only when it is absolutely necessary will we take enforcement action, but we really hope it doesn’t have to come to that.

Public rights of way

You are still permitted to walk on public rights of way, please be certain to keep to the 2m social distancing guidelines.

More information on rights of way

While our cultural services may be temporarily closed - they are still accessible online.

The library service

The library service has set up an at home service for existing members who are over 60 - you can get 10 books delivered to your home every 4 weeks [link]

The weekly activities for children and families are running virtually on their social media pages [link]

Find out more about the online library and digital readingwith Darlington Libraries.

Some video activities to join in with:

Liz Millions Draw along [external link]

Imagine me story with Jo [external link/

The Hippodrome

The Hippodrome has set up two weekly culture and theatre quizzes which you can join from home. The next quizzes are:

Family Quiz - Wednesday 20 May 2pm

General Quiz - Friday 22 May 7.30pm

They are also running their dance classes for children online, with contemporary, fitness and mass dance classes [link]

The Head of Steam Museum

The Head of Steam museum has uploaded a virtual tour of the museumwhich you can enjoy from home.

They are still active on social media. Find them on Facebook [external link] and Twitter [external link].

Live Gigs from your living room

We have teamed up with Tracks Darlington and Creative Darlington to provide FREE live music online.

The schedule is:

FRIDAY 10/04 @ 7PM: Anna Leigh Stainton
SATURDAY 11/04 @ 2PM: BIG Little Gigs “Silly Song Singalong” with Sarah Wilson
FRIDAY 17/04 @ 7PM: Jamie Farrell
FRIDAY 24/04 @ 7PM: Nadedja

Simply tune in on Tracks Darlington Facebook page

Bereavement is the experience of losing someone important to us. It is characterised by grief, which is the process and the range of emotions we go through as we gradually adjust to the loss. 

Losing someone important to us can be emotionally devastating - whether that be a partner, family member, friend or pet. It is natural to go through a range of physical and emotional processes as we gradually come to terms with the loss.

Bereavement affects everyone in different ways, and it’s possible to experience any range of emotions. There is no right or wrong way to feel.

Local Bereavement Services

Cruse Bereavement[external link]

Phone - 01325 288633

Darlington Mind

Loss and Bereavement

Helpline and Counselling service

Phone - 07377 910227

Email - [email protected]

St Teresa’s Hospice

Phone - 01325 254321

Email - [email protected]

Bereavement during the Coronavirus pandemic

Coronavirus has meant that we could be facing very difficult circumstances around bereavement and loss. Cruse Bereavement Care[external link] have created information specific to dealing with bereavement in the current situation.

Useful information

Cemeteries and crematorium information

Register office information

For those who are experiencing or feel at risk of domestic abuse, staying at home can cause anxiety and fear. Domestic abuse is unacceptable in any situation, no matter what stresses you are under.

For anyone who feels they are at risk of abuse, it is important to remember that there is help and support available to you. Support is also available to help perpetrators change their behaviour.

What is domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse is more than physical violence. It can also include, but is not limited to:

  • coercive control and ‘gaslighting’
  • economic abuse
  • online abuse
  • verbal abuse
  • emotional abuse
  • sexual abuse

Where to get help

If you believe you are being abused, or worried you may commit domestic abuse, please use the following services which can help you.

If you suspect that your neighbours or those in your community are victims of domestic abuse, we encourage you to report it to the police.

Call 999

If you are in immediate danger, call 999 and ask for the police - the police will continue to respond to emergency calls

If you are in danger and unable to talk on the phone, call 999 and then press 55. This will transfer your call to the relevant police force who will assist you without you having to speak.

National Domestic Abuse Helpline

The National Domestic Abuse Helpline website provides guidance and support for potential victims, as well as those who are worried about friends and loved ones. They can also be called, for free and in confidence, 24 hours a day on 0808 2000 247. The website also has a form through which women can book a safe time for a call from the team.

Women’s Aid

Women’s Aid has provided additional advice specifically designed for the current coronavirus outbreak, including a live chat service.

Men’s Advice Line

The Men’s Advice Line is a confidential helpline for male victims of domestic abuse and those supporting them. It can be contacted on 0808 801 0327.

Local Services

Family Help Darlington – provide confidential information and secure refuge   01325 364486

Harbour Support Services – provide information and support about domestic violence and abuse 0300 0202525

More local information and support can be found in our directory.


Local Health and Wellbeing services

Information on services that are available locally:

For a more comprehensive search of local services visit the Living Well Directory