Tennis World celebrates 30 years in business

A Middlesbrough tennis club that has helped develop international players is celebrating its 30th anniversary.

Tennis World located on Marton Road in  Middlesbrough was set up in 1986.

Tennis World

The club has four indoor courts and six outdoor courts and has more teams in the national league than any other tennis club.

Tennis World has created more than 250 county players as well as 14 junior internationals representing the UK.

Nigel Garton, is the operational manager and director and also a tennis coach at the club.

As well as Nigel the club is run by the members including two part time receptionists.

Nigel Garton

He said: “We see Tennis World as a happy place for all our members and non members and it delivers a great service for the town.”

“We try and facilitate for everybody, young and old.

“I truly enjoy my job and can hand on heart say I haven’t had a day I didn’t wanted to go to work.”

Tennis World was opened in 1986 by Fos and Betty Garton is home to over 400 members of all age groups and is the only tennis club in Middlesbrough.

The club is independent but part of the new sports village built two years ago.

It’s a very active club and they keep their members occupied by organizing tennis camps as well as attending training camps abroad.

With the help of Middlesbrough Council the facilities will go through a refurbishment starting this spring.

Some of the land belonging to Tennis World is being sold on to the council for further housing development which will generate capital for the refurbishment.

The refurbishment will include new floodlights for the outdoor courts as well as big improvements indoor.

The changing rooms will be updated and so will the lounge area which has stayed unchanged since the opening 30 years ago.

They will also get a brand new wheelchair access for the indoor courts.

New padel  tennis courts will also be built outside within the next eight months.

Nigel said: “Padel tennis combines the elements of tennis, squash and badminton and is only played in doubles.”

“It is the fastest growing sport in south America and it’s getting more popular here in the Uk.

“We are aiming to start working more with local schools to introduce padel tennis to the younger generation.

“It’s easier to play as the rackets and courts are smaller.

“It is a great sport for the younger age groups and we hope it will attract more people to tennis world.”


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American Football: Why get involved?

American Football is a game in which all shapes, sizes and ages can come together and be part of one team.

At Teesside University we have the Teesside Cougars captained by Harry Clark.

The game is not seen as popular here in England but university leagues are a large part of the growth of the sport.

There are currently four leagues in England, one of these being the university league.

Harry has played for the Cougars for three seasons and in his second season was moved to quarterback and was elected captain.

So what inspired him to join the cougars nearly three years ago.

He said: “I was inspired to join the team simply because when I came to university I fancied trying a new sport, and I’d played rugby for years so enjoyed contact sports so I just thought I’d give American football a try.

As well as the game being something new for most students Harry also makes the point that the sport is something anyone can be involved in.

The current squad involves 70 students showing that a range of people can come together as part of one team.

Harry said: “It’s a sport anyone can play, as there is a position for everyone.”

“‘I am really happy that the sport is growing, most universities now have a team and there are a number of senior teams that play in nationwide leagues.”

“I love playing the sport and I hope to continue for years after I leave university.”

Despite the growth of the sport it may still be overlooked by many students as it is new and something most people would not have been involved with before.

However, Harry believes this is the main reason for joining.

He said: “I would say the biggest appeal would be that for most people it’s something they have never done anything close to it before.”


Harry Clark in action for the Teesside Cougars last season.



The Teesside Cougars are always recruiting and have a Facebook page if you are interested in joining.


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Middlesbrough’s newest restaurant provides a “Fork in the Road” for ex-offenders

Social Enterprise Fork in the Road

The Fork in the Road, Middlesbrough’s new restaurant, is offering a new beginning for recovering addicts, ex-offenders and the long term unemployed.

Teesside charity leader Andrew Preston is behind the plans which include a restaurant, dry bar and community cafe.

The 60-seat restaurant offers classic dishes to a high standard using locally sourced ingredients.

Fork in the Road works with the local Probation Service and authorities to find eligible people to support.

The restaurant has already hired two ex-offenders as kitchen staff, offering them the chance to integrate back into the community.

A Redcar teenager was hired as a kitchen porter and it is his first employment since his one year prison sentence.

Fork in the Road staff preparing for opening night

The charity venture has created 11 jobs so far.

Mr Preston hopes to create more jobs through training and employment opportunities for the most vulnerable people in society.

The Fork in the Road has a no tipping policy but charges premium prices in order to pay their employees a higher wage.

Businessman Mr Preston believes there is no project like this within the UK.

Mr Preston said: “My mission is to change lives for the better.”

The community cafe will be called The Spoon and will be a great opportunity for Middlesbrough’s people to meet and socialise.

The dry bar, which opens on the January 26, will be called Bar Sobrio.

Bar Sobrio will offer jobs to people who are not yet ready to work in an environment that serves alcohol.

Mr Preston believes the dry bar will play an “important role in Teesside’s recovery scene”.

The bar will be available to book for private functions but will not serve alcohol.

Mr Preston said: “I’ve been working for five  years with organisations which look into problems with homelessness and addiction.”

“We thought a dry bar would be great for Teesside’s recovery scene.

“It would create an environment for recovering addicts to socialise and receive mentoring.

“We did quite a bit of research on dry bars and realised that they regularly lose profit.

“We were all against the idea but I wanted to find a way to make it sustainable.

“So I hatched the plan to create a restaurant which works with the dry bar so it can share staff and distribute the profits between ventures.”

The high-end restaurant situated on Linthorpe Road  opened on December 24.

Andrew Preston is chairman of both Teesside Philanthropic Society and CEO Sleepout.

CEO Sleepout Durham

CEO Sleepout funds more than half of the money to enable the non-profit social enterprise Fork in the Road and Public Health England also provide financial support.

CEO Sleepout launched 3 years ago and has raised over £800,000 from events across the country.

The charity aims to inspire business leaders to sleep rough for one night in order to raise funds for the homeless and vulnerable people in society.

CEO Sleepout is now a national event with 15% of all funds raised coming back to Teesside.

The charity have big events coming up in St James’ Park, Durham Cathedral and Lancashire Cricket Club.

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Teesside woman has nationally acclaimed nail business

Above: Sophie Dale – owner of Nancy Loves Nails

A young Teesside entrepreneur  has set up her own nationally acclaimed nail business.

Sophie Dale, 20, from Normanby,  started her business Nancy Loves Nails when she was only 14-years-old after spotting a gap in the market for vintage nail designs.

She said: “I didn’t have any interest in following the crowd.”

“I didn’t want to go away to university like everybody else and I didn’t have a particular interest at school.

“However, I enjoyed creative subjects such as Textiles and English Literature.

“I liked the idea of having complete control over what I wanted to create.”

Now six years later she is working full time as a self-proclaimed “Nail Queen”.

Sophie  also won the Gelish Gives Back award in 2013, being given the title of one of the top five nail technicians in the North of the UK.

Sophie has been described as “a credit to the brand” by Gelish owner Jason Smedley.

Sophie works full time as a nail artist in her studio in Normanby, however this hasn’t always been the case.

She said: “When I first started, I worked from home a few nights a week in my mam and dad’s dining room.”

“It was a bit strange at first because I was inviting people I didn’t know into my house.

“Over the years, I have made friends with my clients.

“I wanted to create a relaxed, friendly atmosphere where people could come and have a chat, a cup of tea and a good set of nails.

“It’s lovely to see people happy with your work, and it makes them feel good too.

“Working from home to start with definitely helped my image of being a friend more than just a nail technician.

“I hate small talk and so I think it is important to get to know your clients and build a relationship with them. There’s so much more to talk about than the weather.”

Above: One of Sophie’s floral designs on a client

Sophie started her business when she was  at school after watching YouTube tutorials and practicing on her friends and family.

She then went on to do childrens’ parties and birthday parties – word soon spread about her talent and her reputation grew from there.

At 16, she started charging people for her services and established her brand – Nancy Loves Nails, whilst also doing her GCSE’s at Eston Park Academy.

She also went on to study her A-Levels at Prior Pursglove College, achieving A, B, C.

She said: “It was sometimes hard to juggle my business and education, but it was worth it.

“It was great to be able to control your own working hours and give yourself time off to study if needs be.

“It was also good to be earning my own money at the same time as doing what I love – money can often be a worry for most students, but this wasn’t the case for me. I enjoy being my own boss.”

She then went on to become a fully trained, qualified and insured nail technician.

After gaining 1,000 Facebook followers in her first week of trade, Sophie became more and more popular as the appointments flooded in.


Above: Sophie’s Fried Egg design on a client

Sophie does a wide range of designs – from floral, stripes, glitter, polka dots and even fried eggs!

So, what is next for Nancy Loves Nails?

Sophie said: “I’m only at the start of my career.”

“I want to gain more experience in the nail world.

“I want to build on my client base – I have 5,000 Facebook followers and almost 4,000 followers on Instagram, along with followers on both my personal accounts – but I want to build on my reputation.

“I think the next step is to employ somebody to work alongside me.”


For appointments, contact Sophie through the Nancy Loves Nails Facebook page.

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Teesside female footballers set for European Tour

Teesside Womens’ Football Team is off on a tour of Croatia.

Teesside University Womens’ Football Team is off on a four match tour of Europe.

The team will be going to Croatia to play in the ‘I Love Tour’ for four nights.

This is where all the universities will compete against each other.


They will travel to the Croatia on April 1 and  the competition will run from April 2-8.

They will have two days of playing football and the rest to relax and enjoy their time in Croatia.

Teesside’s striker Bianca Owens said: “We are looking forward to going away with a good bunch of players and looking to do well while we are over there.”

The team is currently top of the league this season with four wins, one draw and one defeat.

However,  they have played two more games than York St John’s and they are only one point behind.

Bianca said: “Hopefully we will carry on our form into this tour as we want to win every game.”

“Winning will make this trip amazing, as we can go out and celebrate.”

They have four more games this season and are title contenders.

Their season ends on the March 15 against York St John’s University and it could be a title deciding game.

Bianca said:”Winning the league is our aim.”

“It’s still possible but we have to hope that York will slip up.

“We have to concentrate on ourselves. We’ve proved that we can score a lot of goals and play well together.

“If we keep that going then we can get the job done.”

The ‘I Love Tour’ is a organisation which arranges group travel for thousands of students every year.

Sports teams, study tours and really anyone who wants to travel from universities all over the UK can take part.

If you would like to join the Teesside University Womens’ Football Team they train twice a week on a Monday and Thursday on the Olympia Astro Turf.

The team also trains in the gym every Friday.

For more infomation and contact details are here if you would like to join the football team:




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Homelessness on Teesside

Homelessness is on the increase in Middlesbrough.


Homelessness has been a growing issue within Teesside  with more and more registered homeless people each year.

56 people applied to Middlesbrough Council for homeless status in the first three quarters of 2015.

In the first three quarters of 2016 there had been 75 applications made according to

This is not the first year that the numbers have increased in the Middlesbrough area.

The number of  homeless applications have been rising steadily over the last seven years.

These rises in the number of homeless people have lead to a severe strain on the resources of organisations such as The Salvation Army as well as the council itself as they try and support homeless individuals.

38- year- old Peter has been affected by homelessness since 2013.

He said: “I have noticed that when I first put in a homeless application there seemed to be a lot more support, or at least the support that was available seemed to be more accessible.”

“I’m not trying to say we’re owed anything but we do appreciate whatever help we can get and the fact that we no longer have as much of it makes it harder and harder to cope.”

There are dozens of people like Peter becoming homeless each year in Middlesbrough yet many people don’t even realize.

The Salvation Army and similar organisations such as Crisis and Barnardos are constantly trying to raise peoples awareness of the problems associated with homelessness.

One of the biggest issues for homeless people is health care.

They are unable to register at many doctors’ surgeries as they have no fixed abode within the UK.

This inability to see medical professionals can lead to a lot of homeless people becoming severely ill from relatively simple ailments such as dental abscesses and chest infections.

The only option most homeless people have in terms of health care are accident and emergency units such as the one at James Cook hospital in Middlesbrough.

This often leads to A&E units having even more pressure put onto them as they try to treat people who in many cases have no medical information to speak of.

Kelly Dennis, a local NHS receptionist, said: “At the surgery where I work we have had an increase in the amount of homeless people that attempt to book appointments through us but we as a surgery can’t do anything to help them in terms of treatment.”

“The hardest thing is telling them we can’t help when many of them have no other options, it’s heartbreaking.”

Remaining healthy is mad even more difficult due to the lack of regular meals and nutrition available to the homeless of Middlesbrough.

Although the local food bank does help in whatever way it can, a person must be referred it by an external organisation of health visito, something that many of these people are unable to see.

This lack of contact means that some homeless people haven’t got the help that they need.

If you would like to get involved in helping to resolve the issue of homelessness in our community, here are some helpful places you can look:

Middlesbrough food bank

The Salvation Army


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