£900,000 lifeline for Wearside kids

Sunderland DS Devils from the SAFC Foundation coaching sessions having a kick about on the pitch, just one of the groups supported by the Foundation.

Sunderland DS Devils from the SAFC Foundation coaching sessions having a kick about on the pitch, just one of the groups supported by the Foundation.

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HUNDREDS of children are set to benefit from a £890,000 cash injection to support vulnerable families.

The cash is expected to have a “significant impact” on the lives of Wearside’s young people, including those living in some of the city’s most deprived areas.

The Big Lottery Fund has given the money to Wearside’s Neighbourhood Alliance, led by the SAFC Foundation.

Ken Teears, strategic development director at the Foundation, said: “We are delighted to be awarded a £900,000 grant from the Big Lottery Fund Improving Futures programme.

“The grant will support the Neighbourhood Alliance programme which, run in partnership with the local authority and key agencies, will make a significant impact on the lives of children and families in need across the city of Sunderland, including those living in some of the most deprived wards in the country.”

Among others, the cash will help support families suffering from financial problems and other serious issues.

The project, based out of the Stadium of Light, uses football to engage children and families in positive learning activities.

It was one of two North East initiatives to share almost £1.8million from the Big Lottery Grant.

The cash will fund a new project to support about 160 families in disadvantaged neighbourhoods, who may be experiencing issues such as domestic violence, lack of education, behavioural difficulties, budgeting issues and isolation from other sources of support.

The family will identify a “neighbourhood friend” – who may be a family member – who will receive training and supervision to support and assist the family through an action plan.

A spokesman for the SAFC Foundation said the programme is to work over four years, across the five areas of the city, targeting key neighbourhoods using schools as hubs to drive the neighbourhood model forward.

A launch for the new project is expected in the spring.

The other North East scheme to win lottery cash was The Tyne Gateway project, led by Church of England Children’s Society, which received £900,000 to expand work tackling child poverty across North and South Tyneside.

It will engage 270 families to raise children’s behavioural and educational abilities.

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