Group wins £10,000 to make Sunderland greener

Representatives and supporters of the Sunderland Black and Minority Ethnic Network, from left; Vicky Sixsmith, Dean T. Huggins, Perry Vincent, Julie Marshall and James Garland celebrate a cash injection of �10,000 to put together ideas on how to make the community greener

Representatives and supporters of the Sunderland Black and Minority Ethnic Network, from left; Vicky Sixsmith, Dean T. Huggins, Perry Vincent, Julie Marshall and James Garland celebrate a cash injection of �10,000 to put together ideas on how to make the community greener

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SUNDERLAND is going green – a £10,000 cash boost aims to help make parts of the city more environmentally friendly.

The Sunderland Black and Minority Ethnic Network has been awarded the money by the Big Lottery Fund to work on a green initiative.

The project is focusing on the Southwick, Millfield, Pallion and Hendon areas and will work with partners including Sunderland City Council, Gentoo and Sunderland University to develop ideas.

Tackling fuel poverty, raising awareness of low-carbon opportunities, recycling and using allotments to grow food locally, reducing private transport journeys and using appliances more efficiently are top of the list for the plan to make the community greener.

Dean Huggins, 57, is development officer for the network.

He said: “It gives us a chance to leave a major project in Sunderland that will last for four to five years.

“The most important thing is awareness. People need to see that the impact they have here can have an effect on the countries that they could come from.

“If people are using high levels of energy here that can result in rising sea levels and then that can lead to floods in Pakistan.”

In June, 10 of the groups will be chosen to receive up to £1million to put their ideas into practice and Dean is confident that the project will be able to secure the money to deliver their ideas.

Dean said: “I’m really pleased that we are one of the 30 projects chosen from around the country.

“I think we have an interesting mix of partners which I think gives us a good chance.”

Sunderland Black and Minority Ethnic Network’s chairman Perry Vincent said: “The grant award is a sign of confidence in the ability of Sunderland’s different communities to work together to make their city more sustainable. Sunderland City Council’s support has been crucial in getting to this stage.

“We will all work as hard as we can to be one of the 10 areas that go forward to develop projects. We’re working together to improve people’s lives.”

Twitter: @sunechohannah