KATIE BULMER-COOKE: Get behind Sunderland’s bid to be City of Culture 2021

Launch of Sunderland's City of Culture Bid 2021 at Ryhope Engine Museum.
Launch of Sunderland's City of Culture Bid 2021 at Ryhope Engine Museum.
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This last week saw Sunderland’s bid to become City of Culture 2021 build more momentum with a visit to Parliament.

We all know how great our city is, but now it’s time to let everyone else know.

There can often be a perception that things like the City of Culture bid are just for those ‘at the top’.

But this campaign really is for everyone in Sunderland, and in order to be successful it needs everyone to get involved.

It can’t be one of those ‘oh someone else will sort that out’ scenarios.

Whether you have a local business, are a volunteer, a member of local government or someone who is quite simply passionate about Sunderland, you can and absolutely should get involved, because this isn’t just about ‘fluffy stuff’.

Winning the bid would see huge investment and development in the city and that means jobs, opportunities and, of course, growing our city into something we can be extremely proud of.

So, if you want to get involved there are a few different ways and levels of commitment.

At a basic level you can download Twibbon from www.sunderland2021.com and use it on your social media.

For the none techies, that means putting a Sunderland 2021 branded frame around your profile picture on Facebook or Twitter to let people know you’re backing the bid ... and for the technophobes, you can always wear a pin badge to show your support old school style.

Then if you want to up your City of Culture bid game, you could offer your services as a volunteer and get involved with events and much more in the city, or you could simply email in the reasons why you think we should win and the reasons you love Sunderland (and of course there are many to choose from) to info@sunderland2021.com

Or, if you want to jump in with two feet and give it your all, then why not organise your own event – there is loads of good information on the website.

This bid has the ability to benefit everyone in the city, but it has to be a whole-city effort, and we must focus on all of the positive elements of the city.

Of course, we aren’t perfect and there are things in the city that need to change and improve.

But it doesn’t matter which city you visit in the UK or beyond ... nowhere is perfect.

I remember going to Sydney in Australia years ago and thinking it would be the most perfect city in the world, but it wasn’t, it had it’s ‘not so good things’ just like any city.

So let’s not have a little whinge about things (we are not a city of charity shops and pasty outlets like I read some people posting online), and instead let’s focus on all of the wonderful things Sunderland has to offer, let’s get behind the bid in whichever way we can and let’s win this!