The Sunderland groups saved by Big Lottery Fund

Celebrating Big Lottery Award Ruth Oxley (left) and Lesley Lawson of Southwick & Monkwearmouth Community Transport group, Southwick Road, Sunderland.
Celebrating Big Lottery Award Ruth Oxley (left) and Lesley Lawson of Southwick & Monkwearmouth Community Transport group, Southwick Road, Sunderland.
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GOOD causes celebrating a cash boost from the Big Lottery Fund are urging people to continue supporting the organisation.

Numerous groups across the city have been given handouts from the Big Lotto over the years, and many say they would not be able to keep running without them.

Just this year, Sunderland Mind, The Art Studio, Sans Street Youth and Community Centre and the Friends of Roker Park, have scooped hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Now, the groups are asking people to keep buying lottery tickets and help support the Big Lotto’s generosity.

Last month, Sunderland Mind, based in Mary Street, accepted £209,674 from the Big Lottery Reaching Communities Fund.

Dorothy Gardiner, project manager at the mental health organisation, said more needs to be done to highlight where the money from tickets goes.

“People don’t think that when they buy lottery tickets, they are helping to keep important services going,” she said.

“If it was highlighted, it might encourage them to dig a bit deeper.”

Dorothy said the money it received in September was already making a difference to its work. She added: “The money we’ve received is invaluable. The number of people using our service is increasing, so it will help us meet the need.” Voluntary group Friends of Roker Park received £6,038 in August.

The money is being used to fund live performances in Roker Park and activities for the public.

Group chairman Edmond Foster said: “Basically, if we hadn’t had the money, we couldn’t what we are doing. It’s as simple as that.

“Community Environmental Educational Development – Ceed – are also using our funding to educate people about the natural history of the park, so it has two uses.

“We are getting people into the park and making more use of it, which is always the aim.

“The funding has been really important to what we wanted to do.

“I think we will apply for more money in the future.”