Our #50Faces series will introduce you to some of the council's unsung heroes. We'll meet people doing all kinds of jobs, who each make a difference in their own way.
1. Trisha English
A fantastic lollipop lady who works hard to keep the roads safe...
Trisha has become part of the scenery at her spot on busy Brinkburn Road; plenty of passers-by stop for a chat even if they aren't crossing the road.
She first became a crossing patrol officer - or lollipop lady as she prefers to be called - when her own children were young.
2&3. Suzy Hill & Laura Pattinson
Familiar faces for library users of all ages...
Suzy joined the library team back in 2008 and Laura joined her in 2017.
Between them, they put on sessions and events for families, to try and encourage reading and book borrowing.
4. Sarah-Jayne Sams
Teaching Darlington's youngsters to swim...
Sarah-Jayne has been a swimming instructor for more than 20 years and says she finds it very rewarding.
Her goal is for no one to feel in danger in the water.
5. Joseph Robb
Working hard to help keep families together...
Social worker team leader Joseph Robb works in the Keeping Families Together Team. No two days are the same in his job.
He says working for the council feels like a family.
6. Ellie Walker
Flying the flag for equality and diversity...
Corporate trainer Ellie Walker's job is to help council staff understand their responsibilities around equality and diversity.
A real people person, Ellie says no two days are the same in her role.
7. Sarah Travis
Helping drive economic growth in Darlington...
Sarah Travis works in the business support team and helps existing companies and those thinking of moving to Darlington.
Part of her job satisfaction comes from seeing a business achieve its aspirations.
8. Lee Hutton
Changing roles in challenging times
Lee usually works as the aquatic manager at the Dolphin Centre, but throughout the pandemic has worked for the community HUB.
He takes great pride in providing a good service and working in a great team who have really stepped up to the plate.
9. Margaret Enstone
Keeping Darlington on track for a greener future
Margaret has recently joined us as our sustainability and climate change lead officer. She works with teams in the council to create a plan for Darlington to become carbon neutral.
She makes sure to do her own part for the environment by walking when she can, taking public transport, and shopping locally.
10. Andrew Goodfellow
A new role during Covid-19
Andrew has swapped his usual job as a swimming instructor to join Street Scene during the Covid-19 pandemic.
He is helping us spread the #recycleright message and enjoying seeing some of his pupils on his rounds
11. Matthew Hufford
Hello, my name is Matthew Hufford and I'm the community engagement coordinator here at Darlington Council.
I've been enrolled about six months and I've previously worked in customer services for about two years so you may have seen me um on the counter or spoken to me over the phone.
What my role is, and it's a lot different obviously in this last six months because of Covid. I'd like to be out and sort of seeing people more and doing sort of face to face in the community and but I tend to have been working on the housing Facebook page and giving you all the information that you may need which includes things like property adverts, giving you all the safety information about you your houses, and some good news stories which we all need.
The day-to-day of my work is very challenging, it's interesting and it's completely different to anything I've done before but I hope I'm growing in the role and getting more used to it and hopefully in the next couple of months you'll see more of me. I'm born and bread in Darlington so I'm looking forward to sort of working within the community and making the community stronger.
I'm also involved in the engagement strategy which is a four-year plan how to make engagement better so hopefully you'll see a lot more of me in the next couple of months and it'll be nice to see you all.
We're nothing without you...
Matthew works as a community engagement officer in the housing team, a role he’s been in for the last six months after previously being in customer services.
He has a passion for strengthening the community and looks forward to working face to face with customers.
12. Andy Wood
Hi, my name is Andy Wood. I am the Darlington Dog Warden, a job I’ve done for around 25 years
My job is always very interesting, even the times when a dog wants to try and bite me, which has sadly happened several times over the years.
It’s always very rewarding when you find a lost dog and reunite it with the owner.
One highlight of my job is that no two days are the same, as I’ve been called upon to help capture different types of animals from racoons and ferrets to swans.
I’ve also assisted the police and other agencies to deal with a stray or dangerous dog.
Since the start of the lockdown I’ve been asked to help the community in different ways too, including delivering medicines and food parcels to the vulnerable members of the community.
The council has also recently set up a new community group called DOGwatch with the aim of helping highlight issues and offer some useful advice in relation to things like dog theft.
I enjoy being the dog warden as I’ve met so many different people over the years and worked with a lot of interesting people.
Being able to make a difference and help people is always very rewarding.
Being able to make a difference is always very rewarding...
Andy works as Darlington's dog warden where he helps people every day.
It's a very rewarding job where two days are never the same, and he's been helping the community in other ways during the Covid 19 lockdowns by delivering food parcels and medicine to vulnerable residents.
13. Laurence Ward
It's so rewarding to see people improving their confidence and their lives through their love of art...
Lawrence uses his love and experience of art to inspire adults with learning disabilities to try out a variety of visual arts with some amazing results that have been celebrated in exhibitions around the world.
14. Sarah Gouldsbrough
Hi, my name is Sarah Goldsborough, and I'm the learning and access officer
here at Head of Steam Darlington Railway Museum.
I've got really varied job and I work with families, school groups, community groups, and I run activities such as our dementia, café our Station Scamps group for under fives and all kinds of different things.
We're quite a small team here.
So we all do a lot of different jobs and sometimes it feels like we're spinning plates, but we all have a lot to do and we all help each other out.
It's very rare to have a typical day.
So sometimes I could be working with a school group and then I go into a Zoom with a different school group, then I was working with a freelancer to develop some new resources.
And also, I might be preparing activities such as our dementia café or another activity.
So there's lots of different things to do and rarely a typical day.
I work in a building that is open to the public so it has been impacted by Covid.
We've had to think really carefully about how we open to the public and what sort of things we were able to do.
We tried to make sure there was as much access for our visitors to enjoy the exhibitions and our objects as possible.
But as I'm sure you can imagine, quite a lot of things in a museum can't be cleaned by antibacterial wipe.
That would damage the objects that we're caring for.
So we've had to be quite creative in some of the ways we've helped people to enjoy the museum.
And we're also open as a rapid testing center from January till May.
And so myself and several of my colleagues were working in that with colleagues from the Hippodrome and other departments.
And it was really good to be able to do something very practically useful at a time when people were quite anxious and scared about Covid and the effects it was having.
And so to be able to do the testing and help them and talk to them was really good.
And it certainly helped my mental health at a time where just after Christmas, I was feeling a bit sort of a bit flat, really.
And so being useful really helped and also getting out in about a bit.
I'm just trying to think of other things that we do, we also work with a lot of different colleagues in the council, It's really good to be part of a big team where we can be working with people from the children's center or we can be working with adult social care and supporting colleagues across the council in different ways and just as they support us.
So, you know, it's really good to be part of that bigger team.
And one of my favourite parts of my job is working with children.
I trained as a primary school teacher originally, and and we've been working in museums for quite some time and working here for about 15 years now.
And so one of my favourite parts of the job is when I'm working with a school group and children get the a-ha moment and they've really understood something or they've realized something about the history of Darlington in the railways, or they've seen an object that's really interesting or unusual, or they may just have seen our Victorian gentlemen's toilets, which, of course, are amusing for children of all ages.
A love of history and meeting people create a perfect combination
Sarah works with schools, families and community groups, and runs activities such as our Dementia Café, as well as lots of other things, so she never has a 'typical day'.
15. Emma Moore
My work involves helping to monitor and reduce the council’s carbon emissions
I am part of a small team dedicated to helping the council achieve its aim to become carbon neutral by 2050.
I love working for the council because every day.
Myself and the team have a positive impact on the lives of young people.
Steven Winterburn talks about his work as YEI Programme Co-ordinator and how the team has worked to become the best in the Tees Valley. Click here for more.