UK Blog Awards 2018


Tomorrow, Friday 22nd December marks the close of voting for nominations in next year’s UK Blog Awards.

Rewind 12 months ago and after entering my Kynren blog I was hopeful but not expectant.

In actual fact it came as a real surprise and shock that on the 2nd January 2017 I received an email to say it had been shortlisted in the ‘Events and Weddings’ category and I was invited to attend the ceremony at Westminster, London.

This year the blog up against thousands upon thousands of other hopeful bloggers and writers is this one.

Sitting under my self titled name, Andrew Corry Blog which is mainly written about the Bishop Auckland community; being businesses, charities and community projects.

A blog which has a focus point of writing on behalf of each, with a long term personal commitment to help the town and community I live amongst.

Many months ago I had this idea, it transpired after I attended this year’s awards ceremony in April.

The Kynren Blog started out to record my personal journey, something I could look back on without ever having to try and remember.

It was a record in detailed form, associated around words and pictures showing my experience on the project, one of which I’ll now treasure forever.

Originally writing it for myself, it gathered momentum on each and every post.

From fellow volunteers relating to the same emotions of the project to worldwide readers watching from close by or miles away, many on distant shores too.

Following the progress of a brand new project that the world was watching.

And not spoken about from a marketing perspective, on why you should go, but on an emotional perspective of how it feels to be there, how a project of this magnitude has and continues to keep changing my life.

Spoken from a volunteers perspective, just one of many thousands of volunteer voices.

How volunteering with likeminded people introduces you to a different world, a whole different mindset.

I feel richer for having and continuing to be involved.

So from April, and the many months prior, I had developed a readers following, I had momentum and people were interested to hear what I had to say and looking to find out more about the project.

Through the awards I was helping to bring exposure to both the Kynren project and Bishop Auckland as a town, and I wanted that to continue.

Continue to gain exposure, and to continue to write in a way that gained a personal connection with each and every reader.

But my Kynren journey paused earlier this year and I found myself at a crossroads.

How could I keep the momentum that I had helped to generate on Bishop Auckland if I had no subject matter to write about through Kynren.

So, I decided to write more about the town of Bishop Auckland instead.

I wanted to remind the residents of what we have.

I wanted to continue to encourage new visitors to our area too.

What I actually did was open my eyes and really appreciate everything we have actually got in this town myself.

Hands down it’s the most passionate I’ve ever lived in.

A town that I am proud to live in, because of the passion people who live here have.

In the last 6 months I have met many people, people who I would never have met otherwise, had I not walked into a shop and said hello instead of constantly just walking by and looking in.

To the many walks and green spaces and outstandingly beautiful scenery that we have from every corner of our town.

The opportunity to listen and learn about many different community developments and charity work that sometimes goes uncaptured when you aren’t aware of all the hard work and effort that is made.

This is my town, just like it is your town, and I wanted to give back, just like I gave back to Kynren, just like I’ll continue to give time to Kynren.

I want to help to stabilise it, I want to help it grow, I want future generations to have possibilities for progression and growth, I want to see it thrive.

I want to write.

I want to write and showcase our town, from residents in Bishop Auckland to surrounding communities and towns, to County Durham to the UK and abroad too.

I want to continue to keep giving back, keep giving my time to help and support those around me that need it, whether that is the community, the businesses, charities or the people.

I want to keep playing my small part in raising the profile of Bishop Auckland.

Whether I make the shortlist next year for the awards or not it doesn’t change anything, I am looking to go on and continue to achieve and play my part in making a difference.

The ‘Bishop Celebrating Together’ event will be celebrated again within the community in September 2018.

I will continue to write free articles to promote Bishop Auckland as I can fit in.

I’ll continue to keep volunteering in many different areas and projects, whether that’s through writing, or community radio, to Kynren or maybe even a project that I’m unaware of yet.

I want to keep collaborating with many different people and projects to develop myself as much as enhancing the town and community.

Bishop Auckland is the place that holds a big piece of my heart and will always hold it.

2018 will bring everything it’s meant too.

If you would like to vote, please click here:

For more information or to read more of my articles please visit: 


Why Hire Me?


When you find yourself unemployed, looking for work is often the easy part, finding a job in a business, company or organisation often proves to be harder, especially when competition for each role available is so high.

From a personal statement for anyone reading this who doesn’t know me, I’m Andrew, I live in Bishop Auckland, and I have developed a passion for writing and the community I live in.

I have been out of work since January of this year, since being diagnosed with depression in November 2016; I left my position with my employer to concentrate on my recovery, which thankfully I am now better.

I wanted to write this article to showcase what I am capable of, to show any potential employers of what I have done and try my best to stand out from the crowd.

All I would like you to do is spend a few minutes reading it, and if you think I show potential to your business or someone you may know, please ask them to contact me directly to discuss any opportunities further, thank you for your time.


What am I looking for?

Plain and simple, an opportunity, from my CV which is available on request, for the majority of my career I have worked in Purchasing and Supply Chain, working on some prestigious projects like Terminal 5 Heathrow, London, alongside also being self-employed for around 5 years too.

However, the ideal role I am looking for is centred on Marketing, Media, Communications and Writing/Blogging which is what I excel in.



I’ve recently been looking into apprenticeship schemes as a way of getting back into employment, and have taken advice and information from various apprenticeship providers in the region.

An apprenticeship scheme wouldn’t necessarily be my first choice due to the wage structure offered, but I’m prepared to go through this process if it helps me to get back into employment and in an area of work that I not only enjoy but will deliver in.

Whilst having the added incentive of working and studying towards a certified qualification.

I found out that if a business employed a 16-18 year old apprentice that they would receive a £1,000 incentive and the course is government funded, however, the wage is paid by the employer from a minimum of £3.50 per hour.

As opposed to a business if they employed an apprentice 19 years plus, they would lose the £1,000 incentive, and the business would have to pay 10% of the course fees.

The course in this case for a Level 3 Digital Marketing Apprenticeship would cost £1,200.

From being self-employed previously, when thinking about taking on new staff, there is always a cost implication attached, making apprenticeship schemes a good viable option. But another drawback with apprentices is the time you may have to dedicate to them in order to train them up.

I’m looking for a business or organisation, ideally local to Bishop Auckland, Newton Aycliffe or Darlington who either looking for staff or are considering bringing in staff to their business in a marketing capacity.

If you are willing to take a £1,200 investment on me for experience, expertise and proven track record, and are willing to pay an apprenticeship wage of £3.50 per hour plus for the duration of the course, I hope you will consider me.

The overall cost of the course works out at £0.67 per hour added to a minimum wage of £3.50 per hour, works out at £4.17 per hour paid, based on a 37 1/2 hour working week.

Based on these figures, you could hire an experienced person who wouldn’t require day to day training, who would become a valuable member of staff for a minimum of one year for great value for money.

Marketing, Brand, Promotion, Exposure, Networking


From my time being self-employed I have worked with a number of clients. And this year volunteering with a number of organisations, I have helped them with marketing support.

My approach is to work with the business or organisation first hand, to understand their business, and brand and look to engage with their customer base to provide new opportunities in which they can connect and develop their business.

Online I use a lot of keyword searches through social media to identify the customer of businesses requirements, generally finding a lot of potential enquiries that lead onto new work, products or connections, alongside implementing email marketing campaigns for promotion.

Offline I look to network on behalf of the business, whether that is attending networking events, or using my personable skills to develop and build key relationships to aid the business or organisation.

Media and Communications


I am equally adept with working within media and communications after arranging my own media day earlier in the year to promote my Kynren Blog – My Experience which was shortlisted as a national finalist at the UK Blog Awards.

The media day consisted of being interviewed live by BBC Radio Tees and Bishop FM on radio and a pre-recorded interview with Sky television company Made in Tyne and Wear.

Alongside this I have written press releases and been the feature of press releases in local newspapers that include The Northern Echo.

Additionally, I have written and had featured articles published by a local tourism website and a London music publication.

Leading onto being approached to present on radio station Bishop FM, where I now volunteer as a presenter of their Indie Show which also requires presenting and producing the show, with a main focus of helping to give local and North East musicians a voice and a chance to be heard live on air to gain further exposure.



Overall I write three different blogs in total, these are;

Kynren Blog – My Experience

Writing and recording what it is like to volunteer in the project ‘Kynren’ where this blog has been read worldwide.

I have written a featured article for ‘This is Durham’ in July 2016 and in April 2017 was an individual finalist at The UK Blog Awards held In Westminster, London.

Shortlisted in the ‘Weddings and Events’ category, my blog was the only event shortlisted in the final and the only individual representation from County Durham.

Black Behind My Eyes

Records my journey and recovery with depression, I have written for a Mental Health project that was promoted UK wide earlier this year and thankfully through my recovery I champion Mental Health and look to support any projects through my own experience.

Andrew Corry Blog

This blog is my most current whereby I write a range of articles based mainly around promoting my hometown of Bishop Auckland, working alongside businesses, charities and community projects to help to showcase what they do to a wider audience.

An article I wrote within this blog went viral earlier this year.

Event Management


Bishop Celebrating Together

Was an event I thought up, pitched to both Durham Markets and Bishop Auckland Town Team, who joined as partners on the project, creating a community event in September which included street food markets, live entertainment; including musicians and dance schools, amongst other attractions.

The 2 day event was well attended within the market square of Bishop Auckland, whereby local businesses also commented on how good their sales had been due to the organisation of the event.

‘Bishop Celebrating Together’ will now be an annual event in Bishop Auckland’s social calendar and will be back in September 2018.


* Kynren

* Bishop FM

* Bishop Celebrating Together Event

* Bishop Auckland Town Team

* Bishop Auckland Town Ambassadors

* Long term personal and voluntary commitment to write a blog article for every Bishop Auckland business, charity and community group to showcase and promote them to a wider audience to help and encourage more business and visitors to the town.

My Future Community Projects

I’m currently working towards a wide range of community themed projects voluntarily, as I’ve recently delivered from the Bishop Celebrating Together project, ranging from charity drives, to further organised events, both business and community related including food, music and enjoyment.

Looking to continue to be as active as I can be to help and support various charities and community projects within the region.



Bishop FM Project


I’ve now completed my 4th show with Bishop FM, but what is this project all about and how did it start.

Not through choice, not my own anyway, radio has always captured me, especially as I have a love of music like most people do, but more so in the last 12 months and maybe longer, the idea of media and marketing as a whole.

As Bishop FM is a community radio station it really wasn’t an opportunity I was going to turn down when I was first approached several months ago, although it probably wouldn’t have been something I would have persued either.

After completing my 4th show and having known what I now know, that would have been a big mistake on a personal level and who knows on a future professional level too as I have gained so much enjoyment and learnt so much from doing it.


But I wasn’t approached through chance either, in all the months prior to this conversation, I’ve been noticed because of the articles I have written and how active I am within our community, all through choice, because ultimately I want to do it, and be as involved as much as I can be to keep giving back.

Equally, as much as the articles I have written so far with a musical influence, which also brought the attention of a new London based music publication that I now write for and promote North East musicians and venues.

Hand in hand they all fit together to make this project very rewarding on a voluntarily basis for myself and for other parties too.

So earlier this year in July, after working in association with Bishop FM at the successful Smile4Claire charity event, I had a conversation that transpired into the start of what we are both collaborating to bring and achieve today.

Initially, our conversation was around presenting a new-look Indie Show on Tuesday evenings between 7pm and 9pm, and whilst doing so was focused on helping to give the North East undiscovered music scene a voice.


To encourage local musicians and bands that write and record their own music, in knowing they will always have an outlet to be heard away from playing their gigs through their local community radio station Bishop FM.

The longer term plan for this project is to support local musicians as much as the station and community can do, and provide them with a platform that could help them progress to their next level by creating further exposure for each band or musician.

By doing so each band or musician doesn’t just have the opportunity for their songs to be heard live, but lead them onto receiving a podcast through Mixcloud, so each of them can promote their songs to their followers and fans acknowledging that they have had air play on Bishop FM.

Leading onto future live on air performances and guest interviews, along with articles written about each of them too, bundled all together providing a very powerful multimedia package to promote local music within the North East, and wider locations too.


Looking back I am delighted to have been approached and given an opportunity to help the station, I want to play my part in helping the station grow by volunteering my time, learning new skills and to give back in a way I know I can make a difference.

Bishop FM is run by volunteers and has been operational since 2009, located on 105.9FM and transmits across the airwaves from South Church Industrial Estate.

The shows cover a wide range of music, news, local sport, programmes, local news, features and an opportunity to hear from a wide range of guests from our local community.

For more information regarding Bishop FM from opportunities to volunteer, advertise or to listen live please visit their website here:

For more information or to read more of my articles please visit: 


Bishop Celebrating Together


This Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd September sees the community event ‘Bishop Celebrating Together’ happen, but what’s it all about?

Rewind 6 weeks ago and all of this was just an idea.

An idea that I had originally came up with, I wanted to see a Bishop Auckland celebration day within our town, where the full community came together and enjoyed themselves, celebrating the passion that the people have for this town, and support the local community with it too.

I’ve spoken many times before about collaborations, ever since April it’s been a foreword in a lot of things that I do.

Collaborations are about working together towards a common goal, and this event is no different.

6 weeks ago I pitched this idea to Colin Wilkes of Bishop Auckland Market, Durham Markets and Durham Street Food Project.

I approached him because I wanted to see the now popular ‘Full Moon’ Street Food Market return for one more time, to give our community, residents and visitors something to look forward too.

From here I spoke and pitched this celebration day to Lee Brownson of Bishop Auckland Town Team and Lee liked the idea too.

Fast forward 6 weeks and we as a community of people have really come together to provide an event we can all support and be proud of.


In 6 weeks we have worked immensely hard behind the scenes, whilst working with and supported by local businesses, and the community, over the next two days sees this event come together on what we hope will be the first of many ‘Bishop Celebrating Together’ events in the years to come.

This event is all about Bishop Auckland, the community, the people, collaborations and just enjoyment.

With the start of the celebration weekend now just hours away, what I personal like about this project is how our community and businesses have got behind it from the outset.

Many businesses creating special offers and wanting to be a part of this weekend, to offer many different choices and options to what we hope will bring many visitors into Bishop Auckland over the 2 day event.

Tonight sees the return of the popular ‘Full Moon’ Street Food Market.

For anyone that has been before they’ll tell you it’s an event to look forward too, with a varied selection of food stalls, craft beers, and live musical entertainment, it’s an opening event to share with family and friends in our iconic market place.


To read more about the ‘Full Moon’ Markets, see here:

Along with the above article, further parking is now available in the Bondgate car park, as per the below photos.


Stall holders tonight are:

Earth & Fire

The Asian Project

La French Pop Up

Hatch 76

Auckland Cupcake Co

HI Food

Barista Sisters

Caps Off

Harvey’s Sausages

Good Grazing

Los Churro and Waffle

Ice Cream Van

Animal Kingdom

Children’s Roundabout and Candyfloss

Children’s Facepainting


Saturday sees a full day of community themed entertainment starting at 10.00am from live music, to dancers, to entertainers, stilt walkers, Bishop the Boar, birds of prey, the police and the fire brigade too.

Also, many different events can be seen and visited within Bishop Auckland Town Hall, No.42 and St Anne’s Church over the course of the day too.

Alongside the entertainment sees over 20 market traders take part in Bishop Auckland’s Saturday Market, hopefully giving some impetus for future week’s too.

Saturday’s Market Traders can be found here:

With performances from local musicians and dance schools:

Cara Pearson

Joe Hyam

Ami Leigh Boorman

Anthony Fish

Aldworth Williams Experience

Xtreme Dance Fusion

Sandra Welsh School of Dance 


Tonight is the start of the ‘Bishop Celebrating Together’ and we hope the community comes out in support of both tonight’s and tomorrow’s events.

Bishop Auckland is a town like no other, it’s a town full of passionate people, a town that everyone wants to see it return to its once former glories.

And together we can all help it happen.

To hear more about the ‘Bishop Celebrating Together’ events please listen here:

For more information or to read more of my articles please visit:










The Driving Academy


Another business that is excelling in our community of Bishop Auckland is The Driving Academy, not just a stereotypical driving school, The Driving Academy are innovators in Bishop Auckland and County Durham.

A business that was first established in December 2015 by business partners Andy McDonald and Darran Shaw who each had their own successful businesses in Bishop Auckland, but took the opportunity to merge with one another to form The Driving Academy.

Since then their business has gone from strength to strength and now are a team of three within The Driving Academy brand, resulting in offering students more opportunities to learn to drive within their business, with ambitious plans for future growth.

The Driving Academy although based in Bishop Auckland can offer driving lessons to their students and potential students in a wide range of locations within the County Durham region, often using test centres for their students at Durham, Hartlepool and Darlington.


Alongside regular driving lessons for students, The Driving Academy are the only Bishop Auckland driving school and one of only a few in the County Durham region who can offer introductory driving lessons to 14-16 year olds as part of their Under 17 Driving Academy which are held at Bishop Auckland College.

The Driving Academy first launched the Under 17 Academy in December of last year and has proven to be extremely popular amongst young students and parents looking to give their children an early start.

During these events The Driving Academy have enlisted the help of a further two instructors, allowing five students to benefit in each session held over five time slots throughout the day.

Since their first event they have gone on to have five highly successful Under 17’s events, the next event is Saturday 4th November, but these events often sell out very quickly if you are interested for your child.

For more information on these events or to book this course please see here:

Another service The Driving Academy can offer their customers are B&E Car & Trailer lessons, which have also proven to be quite popular with many drivers looking for additional qualifications.


The Driving Academy is often the driving school of choice from both their customers and students, and also organisations such as Durham County Council and Dale Valley Homes.

Having ran classroom sessions for both organisations with their own “Theory Test Made Easy” courses in the last 18 months, with future plans to offer these courses to the public next year.




The Driving Academy are growing a high class reputation not only in Bishop Auckland and the surrounding communities, but within the County Durham region too, with many students giving positive feedback on how well each of them have been taught, and how highly they would recommend them too.

The common denominator from their customers is how patient all of The Driving Academy instructors are, who each immediately put their students at ease from the very first moment, through their professional, yet friendly nature.

And through their experience and support have gone on to help hundreds of new drivers pass their driving and trailer tests.

Among the many hundreds of students that choose The Driving Academy to teach them to drive, The Driving Academy can also lay claim to teaching an Olympian, when local resident Amy Tinkler learnt and successfully passed with zero driver faults earlier this year.




The Driving Academy’s philosophy for their business is to bring together some of the best local instructors who offer driving lessons in Bishop Auckland and the surrounding areas.

The Driving Academy offers a fresh style of teaching using iPads, dash cams, and an interactive theory website and in car training that they believe is of a very high quality as part of their teaching tools to make your lessons fun and interesting.

All of their instructors are fully qualified and have a real enthusiasm and passion for the job, and want each of their customers to feel valued, and to provide a fun environment so the pupils feel relaxed and enjoy their learning experience.

The Driving Academy firmly believes that they can offer great driver training delivered at a competitive price.



What I personally like about The Driving Academy is not only do they offer a highly experienced and professional service within our community, but they provide an exceptional business that truly benefits the residents of Bishop Auckland.

The services they provide not only with teaching students to drive is beneficial, but the uniqueness of the Under 17 Academy shows they are a forward thinking business who are switched on to opportunities to further their business, whilst offering further appeal to more students and the community.

Amongst this The Driving Academy are more than just a driving school, they regularly keep their customers and followers to their business updated either by their newsletter or updates through social media on any changes to the DVLA (Driving & Vehicle Licensing Agency) alongside showing off the personality of their business by celebrating the successes of their students.

The Driving Academy will be interviewed on Bishop FM on Monday 11th September to talk about their business, theory courses, the Under 17 Academy and driving lessons.

To hear more listen here: 

For more information or to book driving lessons please visit The Driving Academy’s website and Facebook page:

For more information or to read more of my articles please visit:

Auckland Castle Walk


Everyone has that special place that they go to when they want to relax, or go for a walk, to search for clarity or inspiration.

One of my places that I always seem to be drawn towards is Auckland Castle.

The Castle itself may well be closed, currently going through a transitional period, with a full restoration taking place which is anticipated to reopen in May of next year.

But Auckland Castle has so much more to offer and enjoy than just the castle itself.

Once you approach and enter the Robinson Arch you know your arriving somewhere special, parts of the grounds may well be currently under construction, but the warm feeling you have when you arrive will never be extinguished.


The grounds of Auckland Castle are simply beautiful, tranquility away from all the hustle and bustle of your life, a place that you can visit just too completely switch off and unwind.

A park which is popular with dog walkers and family trips out.


Heading left you can venture into the castle grounds where you’ll be met and amazed by the iconic Auckland Castle itself, a place where you can choose to walk the grounds, sit and rest awhile on one of the many benches or perhaps bring a picnic with you to enjoy.


Or you can carry on straight into the park, where you’ll be met by many of the different trails for you to explore.


For me, Auckland Castle has it all, the history and heritage, the sounds and the sight of the flowing river, the lush green parkland, the woodland and the rolling countryside in the distance.

The photography opportunities are outstanding with so much beauty on show in one place.

Below are two of my favourite photos I’ve taken within Auckland Castle’s parkland.

Both photographs capture Auckland Castle’s true beauty and everything that makes it great.

The wonderful castle in the distance on a Summer’s day, and the transition of the colours within the woodland during the Winter months too.

Auckland Castle is a place I go to gather my thoughts, surrounded by nature, to enjoy the peacefulness of the place, to find clarity, to discover inspiration.

It’s a special place for me, as I know it is for many, and it will be for you too.

To learn more about Auckland Castle and their projects please click the below link for more information:

For more information or to read more of my articles please visit:

Bishop Auckland and Shildon Business Network Event


Last month I attended the Business Durham networking event for Bishop Auckland and Shildon businesses, in order to gain an insight into what this event was all about.

From my previous experience of being self-employed I was already very aware of what these type of events involved, but I was keen to go along for myself to see what benefits this event had for the local business communities.

The venue of this event was held at The Park Head Hotel at a starting time of 8.15am, usually attending breakfast networking meetings of this type you can often expect to receive a bacon sandwich and a cup of tea or coffee.

But not at The Park Head Hotel, a fantastic cooked breakfast, with a wide selection of fruit and pastries made attending all the more worthwhile.

The structure of this event can be seen below;


Giving all attendees a good 40 minutes to get a warm drink, some breakfast, and do some networking in the room that consisted of over 30 businesses.

For me it was nice to see some familiar faces with Auckland Castle, Durham County Council and Caps Off in attendance.

A short welcome and introductions were made by both Business Durham and South Durham Enterprise Agency, before handing over to the main speaker from Auckland Castle Trust to carry out their presentation based on this occasion, regarding the development plans from Auckland Castle Trust and also taking time to highlight the ‘Kynren’ project delivered by Eleven Arches.

Once the informative presentation was complete, there was around 20 to 30 minutes at the end to do some further networking within the room, chatting to new people and making business connections.

Business Durham’s objectives for these events are each meeting is to include breakfast, networking, business support and discussions, guest speakers and more.

What I like about this event is it’s very relaxed, friendly, you have the opportunity to meet local business people all in one room, and they alternate the event venues.

This event was their second event, the first one being held at Bishop Auckland Football Club in June, enabling many businesses in both towns the opportunity to experience first-hand the many different venues and businesses for themselves.

Tomorrow sees the next Bishop Auckland and Shildon Business Network event held at The Manor House Hotel, West Auckland, Bishop Auckland, at 8.15am – 10.30am (Thursday 17th August).

With presentations taking place from Malcolm Potter of the Business Energy Efficiency Programme (BEEP) informing you how you could receive a FREE Energy Audit potentially leading to practical improvements supported by Grant Funding.

Followed by John Atkinson, about the current Business Support options, for County Durham businesses available from NBSL.

If you have your own business or the business you work in is operating in the catchment area of either Bishop Auckland or Shildon, you may wish to go along to one of their free to attend events.

To register for tomorrow’s event please click on the attached link: 

Otherwise you may wish to make a note of the September date of Thursday 28th September that will be held at Bishop Auckland Golf Club.


For more information or to read more of my articles please visit: