Sunderland club’s mission is a real success

Staff at Mission 12-17 Young People's club, from left, David Richardson, Diane Richardson, and Amy Donkin.

Staff at Mission 12-17 Young People's club, from left, David Richardson, Diane Richardson, and Amy Donkin.

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A YOUTH project set up in a former Sunderland nightclub is proving a real hit.

Mission 12-17, is celebrating its first anniversary, after being launched in what used to be Ku Club, in High Street West, to offer teenagers a safe social environment.

The club also planned to help teach social skills, self-esteem and self-confidence.

Diane Richardson, who leads the project, said: “We’ve experienced ups and downs through the year, but we’re really pleased we’ve made it this far.

“At our busiest times we have more than 300 kids through the doors.

“This is great as they could well be on the streets instead.

“We’ve built up really good relationships with the young people and this means sometimes they come to us for advice and help.

“I think the kids see the difference between us and other places in town as we remember their names and make a real effort to get to know them.”

To mark its first birthday, the club has an evening planned with some local comedians to help raise money for the project.

Diane said: “It should be a really fun night. Every penny raised will go towards our work as we are totally non-profit.”

Looking forward to the next year, Diane was keen to emphasise the need for more volunteers and how the club hopes its bids for funding will be successful.

She said: “On top of the fund-raising evening, we really hope that we receive more money this year as we are planning on starting a new project for people with learning difficulties.

“We also have events where parents can come with their kids during the day and fun evenings like foam parties for young people.

“The guys that come love those nights, but they can cost up to £300, which is why we need more support.”

The comedy night is happening on November 27 and tickets will cost £7 each.

Twitter: @sunderlandecho