Stanley is rapidly becoming a leader where local charity and community events are concerned. This was more than obvious over the August Bank

The ladies teams began the day with a spectacular tournament
The ladies teams began the day with a spectacular tournament

Holiday weekend as there were no fewer than fourteen major events that took place over the three day period.

There was something for everyone and catering for all tastes. However, one of the most poignant and popular charity events was the one held at the Craghead Village Hall in aid of the Simba charity.

The Simba Fun Day and Charity Football Tournament took place at the village Hall and the outdoor football pitches and was held in memory of local youngster Faith Brooks who, sadly, passed away on 24th August 2013.

The national Simba Charity was created to honour babies who have died, been stillborn or have miscarried and to assist in gathering timeless memories instead of, as happened until recently, the baby being taken away without so much as a cuddle, touch or even time together with the bereaved parents. In other words, without memories.

Simba helps the parents and families to gather precious items for a personal “memory box”, among other things, that allows parents to remember and reflect.

Organised by Faith’s patents, Beth Dixon and Chris Brooks, and friends Mark Valentine, Billy and Nicola Middleton, with the over 40’s game being organised by Martin Valentine, the Craghead Family Fun Day was held to raise funds for the Simba Charity by holding both a Fun Day, and the Charity Football Tournament on the Craghead F.C. pitch.

Taking part in the tournament were ladies teams, Divas United and Team Simba, which consisted of most of Consett Ladies and a few local ladies,

Then. along came the men's teams for the afternoon tournament
Then. along came the men’s teams for the afternoon tournament

who were willing to help provide for the charity match. Whilst the men’s teams included Bonz Butties, Dairy Devils, Lanchester Dairies and the Mighty Milkmen. With refereeing duties being carried out by Billy Middleton (Ladies) and Tomma Daglish (Men).

While the more physical activities were taking place on the pitch, there were other activities aimed at the youngsters and others in the form of Shelley’s Bouncy Castle, face painting, cake sales, a raffle and a sponsored leg wax by Katie Dixon (With Chris Brooks and Chris Brown)

Commenting on the event, Organiser Beth Dixon said, “Through our donations and support Simba will be able to continue their work and provide Memory Boxes to those who sadly lose a baby during pregnancy or close to the time of birth. Additionally, they work with maternity units to provide family rooms where special memories can be recounted and where they provide a Tree of Tranquility as a symbol of remembrance to the babies. And thanks to everyone for making a difference.”

The entire day raised an amazing total of £1098, with trophies and medals, kindly supplied by Colin from Durham Trophies, awarded to the winning ladies team, Team Simba (Sponsored by Beth Dixon), and the winning men’s team, The Dairy Devils (Sponsored by Lanchester Dairies)

For further details on the Simba Charity, please check out their website at

To contact the organisers of the over 40’s event with enquiries or Shelley’s Bouncy Castle, please call  07713904310


Then. along came the men's teams for the afternoon tournament
Then. along came the men’s teams for the afternoon tournament


And then to the victors, the spoils.
And then to the victors, the spoils.


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Jim Callan
I am a professional photographer,journalist and writer with over 35 years of experience in producing award-winning images and articles covering a multitude if subjects that have ranged from popular music, film and charity events to celebrity, live events and press /media coverage. Along the way, I have run my own businesses and have held editorial and photo-library managerial positions. However, photography and meeting people have always been my passions. I have been fortunate in getting to meet a number of my favourite celebrities across the years as well as many, many others. I have also covered many state events, regional events and other such occasions. Many of my favourites having been in London, South Tyneside and regions around the country. And, especially, abroad in cities such as Paris. I still get a thrill from seeing my work in print. Even after all these years.


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