A HARDWORKING mum is being honoured for her efforts to bring a community closer together.
Paula Hunt came up with the idea to start Ryhope Carnival as part of the Sunderland 2012 activities, surrounding the visit of the Olympic torch.
The mum-of-two worked alongside a committee of representatives from voluntary sector organisations, to bring together charities and volunteer groups for a day of free activities.
After the success of the first year, which had more than 1,000 visitors, Paula, the event manager, was overwhelmed by people’s response. Another Ryhope Carnival was held last year, which attracted nearly 3,000 visitors.
Now she is being recognised for her hard work, having been entered for an Excellence Award, in the Community Event of the Year category.
“I feel overwhelmed,” said Paula, 42, of Ryhope. “I never wanted any thanks for doing it. I just love everybody enjoying the day.”
Paula, who gives up hours of her spare time outside of work at Ryhope Community Association – which supports the event – to organise the carnival, said: “We never had one bad response to the day. All the organisations came together to celebrate what’s good about the area, the community, and bring families together.”
The carnival, set to take place again on August 9, gives various organisations the chance to show off their skills, and gain members.
“They give up their time for free,” said Paula.
“I can’t stress enough that without everybody else it wouldn’t go ahead.
“It’s about the volunteers on the day. It’s all about them.”