Sunderland’s Grace House set to open festival-themed garden for teens

Dr Karen Parry, left, and Rebecca Ball, project director of the Cultural Spring.
Dr Karen Parry, left, and Rebecca Ball, project director of the Cultural Spring.
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Youngsters at a Sunderland respite centre will soon be able to rock out in a music festival-themed garden, thanks to a community grant.

Grace House has received £1,000 to develop the garden from the Cultural Spring, an Arts Council-funded project working in Sunderland and South Tyneside.

We’re really grateful to the Cultural Spring, with whom we’ve worked on a few projects now.

Dr Karen Parry, chief executive of Grace House

The money comes from the Spring’s Your Art scheme, which was launched to help local communities shape, lead and programme arts events.

Bosses at Grace House, in Southwick, plan to use the £1,000 to commission an artist or designer to come up with a Glastonbury-themed garden that teenagers would enjoy spending time in.

Dr Karen Parry, chief executive of Grace House, said: “We’re really grateful to the Cultural Spring, with whom we’ve worked on a few projects now.

“The money will pay for a designer for the garden, and then we’re hoping volunteers from some of our corporate supporters will help make the design a reality.

“It will be a space for our teenage guests to relax and enjoy themselves. We hope to have the design finished in January or February and then get the garden built in the spring time.

“We’re also hoping to link in another project we have going – we’ve recently received a Community Foundation grant to run a community gardening programme to get local volunteers involved in developing and maintaining the garden.”

Grace House provides short break and respite care for children with complex disabilities, health needs and life-limiting conditions.

The money granted to the site is one of 12 awards handed out in the Spring’s latest round of Your Art grants.

The 10 Cultural Spring wards are Castletown, Red House, Southwick, Fulwell and Roker/St Peter’s in Sunderland, and Biddick Hall and All Saints, Boldon, Cleadon, Whitburn/Marsden and Whiteleas in South Tyneside. The Cultural Spring’s three partners are the University of Sunderland, the Customs House in South Shields and Sunderland’s Music, Arts and Culture (MAC) Trust.