SIXTIES pop legend Sandie Shaw proved a big hit when she visited a new homeless centre on Wearside.
The 64-year-old singer, who was the first UK winner of Eurovision in 1967 with Puppet On A String, was given a tour of the £1million purpose-built facility in Monkwearmouth.
The visit came as she prepares for her role as ambassador for charity Centrepoint, which runs the service.
“It’s great to come here and meet the people who use the centre,” she said. “It’s a pretty amazing facility. They do a fantastic job here.”
When the charity moves from its run-down base in Mowbray Road to Dundas Street, it will have 18 units for 16 to 21-year-olds.
It will also give them the opportunity to learn skills to help them live independently.
Sandie, currently touring with Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, said: “I’ve been speaking to some of the people who used the old centre.
“Everyone says how this is completely different and what a massive improvement it is.
“It’s great to come here and see it up close.
“We’ve been performing in Newcastle, so it seemed like the ideal opportunity to come to Sunderland.”
Martin Gill, regional operations manager for the charity, said he looks forward to the centre officially opening in the New Year.
“It’s great to have Sandie here,” he said.
“She really wanted to come along and visit one of our services, to see what we’re all about, and we were all very excited to meet her.”
Centrepoint users also gave the new centre the thumbs up.
One homeless 18-year-old, from Red House, said: “I’ve used Centrepoint on and off for the past three years, so I’ve been to the old centre in Mowbray Road.
“The new one just doesn’t compare.
“It’s brilliant, everything is perfect.”