THOUSANDS of pounds are being ploughed into deserving causes in Sunderland and East Durham.
The Coalfields Regeneration Trust (CRT) has given three projects a much-needed cash injection.
More than £177,000 has been handed over to schemes in communities facing challenges after the coal mining industry came to an end.
Southwick Health and Community Forum has been gifted nearly £75,000 to help with its work improving residents’ health, as well as education and employment opportunities.
The grant will pay for management, staffing and running costs and so the forum can expand its services.
Also in line for a funding boost is a scheme which provides low-cost furniture and white goods to households across Easington.
The trust has handed over £100,000 to social enterprise the Community Reuse and Training Enterprise (Crate) so it can recruit two new members of staff.
One will run an apprenticeship and employability programme for 14 to 16-year-olds and an odd jobs project called Helping Hands.
Elderly bowlers will also be cutting a dash thanks to a grant from CRT.
Thompson Park Bowling Club in Grasmere Crescent, Sunderland, has been given £2,250 to buy uniforms.
The award will be used to kit members out in club colour polo shirts and waterproof jackets.
It is hoped the uniform will help instil a sense of identity to the club, which plays in St Peter’s, Southwick and Fulwell.
The CRT was established in 1999 and has awarded grants of more than £210million to projects that have improved the quality of life in the UK’s coalfields regions.
It also provides advice and support to community and voluntary groups to help them seek funding.
For more information, visit website www.coalfields-regen.org.uk