Grangetown and Ashbrooke - Down Your Way

Have your say

Blue Watch Youth Centre has completed another year supporting young people. aged 16 to 18. in gaining further qualifications and works experience in order to equip them with confidence, employment and social skills to be able to progress into further education, training or employment.

This year’s Study Programme (European Social Funded), in partnership with Springboard Trust, started earlier this month. The programme consists of completion of the AQA Personal Social Education Certificate, and the British Heart Foundation Heart Start Certificate. In addition for anyone who does not currently have a GCSE Grade C in English or Mathematics, tutors will provide sessions aimed at helping you to achieve functional English and mathematics qualifications up to level 2. Elements of the Personal Social Education are aimed at developing employability skills, confidence, teamwork, social interaction and academic ability, in addition to gaining work experience and support in progressing into further education, training or employment. Subject to eligibility, daily meal vouchers and bursary payments are available during the period of the programme, which runs each week from Monday to Thursday, 10am-3pm. In addition to the Study Programme, Blue Watch is able to run a short programme of 40 guided learning hours, which covers the AQA Level 1 Employability Skills and offers support, aided by Sunderland Connexions Service, to progress into further education, training or employment. This programme is for anyone aged 16 to 18, who does not have a GCSE A-C grade in English or mathematics, or is currently in care or registered with Youth Offending. To find out more, contact Denis Crompton, Senior Worker at Blue Watch Youth Centre, Burdon Lane, Ryhope or ring 0191 5214060 or email

Volunteers from the Rotary Club of Sunderland operate the car parking at the City Campus of Sunderland University every Saturday, (except university open days). The car park is open from 8.45 am and costs £2 all day. Shoppers, football fans and Sunderland Empire matinee customers can make use of the car park, which has CCTV coverage. Proceeds are shared between the University Development Trust and a range of local and Rotary charities. The car park is also available for two hours before every Sunderland first team home game.

Due to work taking place to clear asbestos from properties in Auckland Homes, Hill View, the recent meeting of the St Michael’s Residents’ Association was held at the nearby community association premises in Stannington Grove.  Bryan Tuddenham was in the chair, with representatives from the neighbourhood police team and St Michael’s ward Councillor Peter Wood in attendance. Special guest was Mary Todner, secretary of the Friends of Backhouse and Barley Mow Parks, who talked about the history of the parks and the work the Friends were doing with the help of volunteers, the City Council and ward councillors. Reference was made to the observatory and the importance of developing the wildlife (both animal and plant) within the parks. A number of successful events had taken place to bring families especially into “their” park to make more use of it, the most recent being a teddy bears’ picnic. Mary described the parks as “a living thing that has to change all the time” and a lively discussion followed. More grass cutting, it was agreed, would be welcome. The meeting also discussed the crime statistics and ward council issues, in particular Strawberry Bank pedestrian crossing facilities and road repairs. The next meeting is expected to be back at Auckland Homes on Wednesda,y September 16, at 6.30pm.

The Friends of Backhouse Park and Barley Mow Park would like to thank everyone who came to the teddy bears’ picnic on Sunday, August 9, at Barley Mow Park and helped make it such a fun afternoon.

Thornholme Residents’ Association holds its next meeting on Monday, September 21, at Ashbrooke Sports Club, commencing 6pm.

Saint Michael’s ward councillors, Michael Dixon, Margaret Forbes and Peter Wood hold their next surgery on Wednesday, September 16, at the Lower Hall, St John’s Church, Ashbrooke, from 10am-11am.

Friends of Backhouse Park and Barley Mow Park met at the Back on the Map Building, chaired by Claire Wayman. Residents were joined by Ian Coburn and Michael Fascia, from Sunderland Council, Daniel Krzyszczak, ISOS, plus St Michael’s ward councillors Michael Dixon and Peter Wood. Various issues were discussed, including the recent Britain in Bloom when Barley Mow Park was visited by the judges, the recent teddy bears’ picnic, general clean-ups in Backhouse Park, including the removal of Himalayan Balsam with much help from ISOS. The next meeting is to be held on Tuesday, September 8, same venue commencing at 7pm

Northumbria Police held its PACT meeting covering St Michael’s ward at Auckland Homes. In addition to local police officers, in attendance were Sue Abrahams, Gentoo Enforcement Officer, Kash Dagg, Ashbrooke Residents’ Association, plus ward Councillors Michael Dixon and Peter Wood. The next meeting will be Tuesday, September 22, same venue, at 6pm.