Lottery cash to improve Sunderland park will be used in memory of the woman who won it

Sylvia Thompson, of Seaburn Dean and some of her Brownie memorabilia.
Sylvia Thompson, of Seaburn Dean and some of her Brownie memorabilia.
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A CASH boost for a community group will be used to remember one of its most active members.

Sylvia Thompson was one of the founders of Friends of Roker Park, established in 2001.

Michael Ewing, treasurer, and Edmund Foster, right, Chairman of the Friends of Roker Park, which has received a Big Lotto grant to help put on events in the park such as the steel band playing in the bandstand behind them.

Michael Ewing, treasurer, and Edmund Foster, right, Chairman of the Friends of Roker Park, which has received a Big Lotto grant to help put on events in the park such as the steel band playing in the bandstand behind them.

The group, which is linked to Roker Park Model Boat Club, organises live performances on the bandstand and activities for the public.

Sadly, Sylvia, 76, of Seaburn Dene, who applied to the Big Lotto Fund for money to continue the work, died on July 8, just before it was announced that £6,038 had been secured.

Now, members say the cash is already being used to continue her legacy, and will be put to use to honour her memory.

“We are hoping to do something in memory of her,” said group member Edmund Foster, 66. “We are going to leave it for a little while and discuss it with her family before we decide exactly what to do, and tell people.”

He added: “Sylvia was very much the leading light of the group.

“We are really going to miss her.”

Edmund, of Seaburn, who joined Friends of Roker Park in 2004, added: “We are continuing to introduce more live music, and various events linked to the park and its natural history.

“That is being run by the group Community Environmental Educational Development, or Ceed.

“And we have a programme of events half-planned already.”

The programme began on July 21, when the band Irish Pipe Dream played on the bandstand, and activities continued on Sunday with a performance by South Tyneside Steel Band.

Sylvia’s husband Max, 79, said the grandmother-of-two would have been pleased the grant was being used to carry on the work she started.

“She would be delighted that they have the money,” he said.

“And that they are using is as she intended.”

The performances at Roker Park will also include a live session from the Salvation Army Band on Sunday, September 8.