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Sunderland homeless rise to baking challenge

(L to R) Nicola Wrightson, Sonia Ritchie-Park and Jacqueline Harkess as the Salvation Army's Swan Lodge in High Street busy making cakes.

(L to R) Nicola Wrightson, Sonia Ritchie-Park and Jacqueline Harkess as the Salvation Army's Swan Lodge in High Street busy making cakes.

A LIFELINE for homeless people helped a school celebrate its 40th anniversary.

Residents of Swan Lodge, in Sunderland, baked cupcakes for the 40th anniversary of the city’s St Mary’s School.

The Meadowside school, built in 1974, serves the catholic population and community in the parishes of St Cecilia’s and St Mary’s, and has 420 pupils and a 26-strong nursery.

Swan Lodge manager Christine Ritchie, from High Barnes, Sunderland, was delighted with how the event turned out.

She said: “The event was really good.

“We baked about 120 to 150 cupcakes and we had a great variety of them for the 40th anniversary, including lemon and lime.

“The school choir was singing and it was just great.”

Christine said the bake sale was a chance for Swan Lodge residents to develop teamwork skills and work together.

She said: “We were looking to bring people together to work for the children.

“The aim is move our residents from where they are now, and allow them to have as independent a life as possible.” Christine, who has worked at Swan Lodge for seven years, has overseen the Salvation Army-owned initiative as it has picked up a host of awards, including the Sunderland Business Portfolio Awards in October 2013, the Open College Network Awards and Adult Learner Awards.

She said: “We have had a success rate which has gone through the roof. The success rate is 97 per cent. We still have individuals who come back to us, but nowhere near as many as we used to.”

 

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