BEST OF WEARSIDE: Sunderland youth club nominated after a century of work

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A GROUP which has helped the youth of Wearside for more than 100 years has been nominated for an award.

The Lambton Street Youth Centre, from Ford Estate, Sunderland, is in the running for a Best of Wearside title and project manager Kevin Howard said: “It is fantastic that someone has put us forward.”

Kevin has been at the centre for 23 years and oversees a membership of 1,000 youngsters aged from eight to 19. He has a staff of 16, including 12 part-time youth workers, to help him.

The children and teenagers get to enjoy a vast range of facilities and activities which include judo. karate, basketball, volleyball, dance, fitness and badminton, as well as a strong boxing section.

Youth clubs for disabled members are also held and Kevin said: “I have been here for more than 20 years and my satisfaction comes from knowing that the young people that came here before have turned into good adults, and they are bringing their own children.

“We always welcome more people and we always help people to try and reach their potential. That gives me the greatest satisfaction.”

The centre is one of the oldest youth centres in Europe, and was established in 1901.

It was formerly known as the Sunderland Waifs and Strays Rescue Agency and was based in Lambton Street for more than 100 years before its move to its current base, which is in Falkland Road in Sunderland.

Anyone who would like to find out more about the youth centre should call 0191 5675227.

The awards, which are held in association with Gentoo, will culminate in a grand finale at the Stadium of Light on Wednesday, November 19.

For now, though, we want you to get in touch with your very own heroes before the closing date for nominations early next month.

Whatever the story, we know there are heroes galore out there who are worthy of awards. Tell us all about them.

•Enter your nominations here