From museums and art galleries, to adult education, social care, libraries, leisure centres and beaches, Hartlepool Borough Council has lots to offer. Are you making the most of your council's services?
Mick is 56 and has just retired from the fire brigade. He lives with his wife Kathy, who still works full-time, at their home in The Oval. Mick has always liked to be on the go and wants to use his new-found free time to do the things he's been putting off for years.
The great outdoors
After paying a visit to the council website, Mick phones up to ask about getting an allotment. He finds out that, though there are several allotment sites close to his home, they all have waiting lists. The admin officer takes Mick's details and adds him to the waiting list for a plot on the Catcote allotment site near Summerhill country park.
There are lots of ways to enjoy the great outdoors in Hartlepool. As well as our award-winning beaches, Hartlepool Borough Council is responsible for 16 allotment sites, 4 formal parks, and 6 local nature reserves including Spion Kop on the Headland and the dunes at Seaton Carew.
Learning for life
Last year, Kathy and her daughter Claire learned Italian with Hartlepool Adult Education. Mick browses the Adult Education website to see if there are any classes he'd like to try. He finds lots of language classes and creative courses such as photography and pottery. As Mick's always enjoyed the BBC One show Who Do You Think You Are? he decides to give ‘Family history on the internet' a go.
Hartlepool Adult Education has all sorts of different courses on offer. Some courses are free and discounts are available to some learners. Search for courses and enrol online at www.haded.org.uk, telephone 01429 868616 or look out for course brochures in your local library.
Free family fun at Hartlepool's libraries
At his first family history session, Mick learns that Hartlepool Libraries' reference service will be happy to help him with his research. He visits the Central library on York Road and discovers that he can also use the computers there to search several pay-to-use websites completely free of charge.
As he's leaving the library, Mick notices a group of parents with young children enjoying a story and craft session. One of the library assistants gives him a Story Times leaflet listing the different free activities open to children under 5. Mick decides to bring his granddaughter Poppy along to one of the library's Toys and Tales mornings next week.
Members of Hartlepool's libraries can enjoy free computer and internet access and use of several subscription websites, as well as access to books, newspapers and magazines, and storytime and craft sessions for children. It is free to join the library, and there's no age limit. Visit Hartlepool Borough Council website or pop in to your nearest branch to find out more.