£15,000 Children in Need cash goes to Sunderland groups

Receiving funding from Children In Need - Julie Foster and Ruth Oxley, from Southwick Neighbourhood Youth Project.

Receiving funding from Children In Need - Julie Foster and Ruth Oxley, from Southwick Neighbourhood Youth Project.

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SUNDERLAND projects are getting a helping hand from Children in Need.

Southwick Neighbourhood Youth Project (SNYP) and North East Dance Community Interest Company have received more than £15,000 from the national charity.

The money will be spent on educational programmes for disadvantaged children, and those with special needs.

Ruth Oxley, project coordinator at SNYP, said the money is a fantastic boost: “It’s just amazing. It’s nice when someone recognises the value of the work.”

SNYP has been awarded £9,989 which will be used to create a number of groups to help write the centre’s magazine Young Hacks, which is run by youth link worker Julie Foster.

It is designed, written and edited by young people, and SNYP wants to create more groups to encourage around another 60 to get involved.

“It gets a lot of interest from young people,” said Ruth. “We want to get as many involved as possible.

“It gives them a platform to get their voices heard, and every story is about an issue which is important to them.

“They learn a variety of skills and it is so worth it when you see the benefits it has for the young people.

“We get around 1,000 copies printed and find that cost is what gets us down, so this money will really help.”

North East Dance Community Company received £5,270. The group is run by directors of Platinum Dance Studio, Church Street North, Dolly Martin and Chris Pearman.

Dolly said the money will be used to implement a 16 week school programme, delivered by dance and fitness instructors Clare Thompson, Leah Muller, and Emma McRoy.

Secondary and primary school pupils at Barbara Priestman Academy, Southwick Primary School and Hewith Grange School, Gateshead, will spend 12 weeks designing their own dance and fitness programmes, and four weeks teaching them to other pupils in their schools.

“We are really pleased with the money,” said Dolly.

“We are trying to do the best work we can possibly do, and funding helps to be able to give back a little bit.

“We will be working with some children with challenging behaviour and some with disabilities. They do really well when we work with them, and it will give them the chance to develop new skills and learn new techniques.”