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Sunderland hostel gets the colour treatment as part of project to banish the grim and grey

YMCA key worker Natalie Brand and service user Chelsea Heskett pictured putting the finnishing touches some new paintwork at the YMCA on Toward Road.

YMCA key worker Natalie Brand and service user Chelsea Heskett pictured putting the finnishing touches some new paintwork at the YMCA on Toward Road.

YOUNG people and a homeless charity have been painting the town red.

Sunderland’s YMCA has been given a makeover, thanks to a project to transform grey community spaces.

When visitors to the 16-year-old hostel in Toward Road, Hendon, complained its entrance was looking drab, paint company Dulux stepped in with a solution.

Dulux Decorator Centre, in Sunderland, donated pots of vibrant red paint as part of the company’s Let’s Colour mission, which is donating more than 60,000 litres of paint across the UK – enough to fill 300 bath tubs.

Leesa Lee, development and training manager at Sunderland YMCA, put in the successful bid to win a splash of colour.

She said: “The whole point of our service is to have a positive impact on the lives of local homeless people, and we knew that our entrance hall was not the most welcoming of spaces.

“We didn’t want this to put potential visitors off – as we know that asking for help can be daunting – so the revamp came at the right time.

“We’re really grateful for the paint donation, which has made such a difference to our hall. We hope our new look will encourage even more local people to come forward and ask for help at a very tricky time in their lives.”

Marcus Degnan, store manager of the paint centre in Wessington Way, added: “The staff at Sunderland YMCA work really hard to keep the facilities up to scratch and support anyone in the local community who needs it.

“The volunteers have done a brilliant job with the donated paint and the space looks so inviting now.”

YMCA Sunderland is home to 24 people aged 16-25 and works with 80 young people.

As well as a bed for the night, it offers an education package to help residents find employment and rejoin the community.

It also provides drop-in access to computers, showers, washing machines and hot food for people living on the streets.

To find out more, or to apply, visit www.letscolour.co.uk.

 

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