About Us..

Supporting Communities in the Durham Dales
In May 2000, and after a great deal of hard work over previous years from many community members, UTASS opened its doors to the public. A company limited by guarantee and a registered charity, UTASS is managed by local people for local people. Our dedicated team of eight project staff, mainly part time plus volunteers provide a wide range of support services to communities in Teesdale and we specialise in agricultural matters.

 But what do we do ….

  • 24 hours a day, seven days a week support & advice service for those with urgent needs.
  • Practical support with the completion and submission of complex forms and paperwork, including awareness raising re: CAP Reform regulations.
  • Production and dissemination of regular briefings consisting of essential information distilled and de-jargonised from Defra, EU etc. and pertinent to the running of livestock based farm businesses.
  • Support with issues brought about by Foot and Mouth Disease, Blue Tongue Virus etc.
  • In cases of severe hardship, acting as third party referrers to organisations which include E Finn Care, Independent Age, Addington Trust and RABI.
  • Support and training in setting up of sustainable methods of dealing with on farm paperwork, including the computerisation of farm records.
  • Quarterly Community Newsletters.
  • Various training courses based on locally identified needs including Farmers of the Future.
  • Advocacy and liaison work with local Landlords, Defra, Trading Standards & other agencies.
  • Lamb Bank, Sales & Wants and Labour/Skills List development work.
  • Facilities for advertising local businesses/services.
  • Short term loan of ICT equipment   Topical presentations & awareness raising events.
  • Requesting & receiving feedback on consultations at local, regional & national levels.
  • General drop in and telephone advice on a range of issues and signposting to other helper organisations & agencies.
  • Provision of meeting venue & outreach facilities for a range of agencies & organisations including Citizens Advice Bureau, Durham Dales Action for Carers, Age UK, Teesdale Housing and
  • Durham County Council’s Environmental & Community Care.
  • Provision of facilities for pilates sessions (twice weekly).
  • Support with the provision of Local Producers Markets.
  • Young People’s Drop In sessions include TV, darts, wii, X Box, table tennis, arts activities, music decks, healthy eating programmes & debate on lifestyle choices
  • Young People’s C-Card and Chlamydia  screening services
  • Wear and Tees Farmwatch and the Teesdale Heritage Group work under the umbrella of UTASS
  • Support with the organisation and delivery of local agricultural shows
  • Organisation and delivery of social & community events.
  • www.utass.org Website available at all times.
  • Internet access, photocopying & faxing facilities.