Grangetown and Ashbrooke - Down Your Way

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St John’s Church, Ashbrooke, will host a “messy church” after school from 3.30pm to 5.30pm on Wednesday, February 1. Contact Andrea on 07838136090 for information.

Blue Watch Youth Centre, thanks to generous funding from Virgin Money Foundation, was able to support 31 young people aged 16 to 25, of which 19 were successful in gaining employment during 2016. Blue Watch Youth Centre has once again received funding for a second year from Virgin Money Foundation to continue the Steps to Success programme, which is available to those who do not wish to undertake new or further long-term courses and just wish to gain employment or an apprenticeship. As part of the provision, Blue Watch also offers short courses including: Employability Skills, Food Safety and Nutrition, First Aid, in addition to work experience placements, tailored to the needs of the individual to assist them in gaining employment. Drop-in sessions are also available to do job search, complete paper or online application forms and construct CVs. The Employability Support Provision is available to anyone not currently in Education, Training or Employment aged 16 to 24 and resides in Sunderland. If you are claiming Social Security Benefits or working with Sunderland Connexions ask your adviser for further details to be referred to the provision or contact Denis Crompton, Senior Worker at Blue Watch Youth Centre, Burdon Lane, Ryhope, ring 0191 521 4060, or email: to find out what is on offer.

Ashmore Residents’ Association held its annual meeting last week at the British Legion Club in Grange Crescent. Liz Griffiths was re-elected chairwoman and John Tait treasurer. St Michael’s ward Councillors Robert Oliver and Peter Wood were also in attendance at the meeting which discussed crime in the area and the council’s recently introduced parking management scheme, which was regarded as a success. The work of the parking wardens was particularly commended. Other issues raised were street sweeping of leaves; fly-tipping; pavements in Belvedere Road and Stockton Road. The next meeting will be held at the same venue (7.30pm start) on Wednesday, March 8.

Members of the Rotary Club of Sunderland volunteered to assist with car parking at the recent North East Harrier League cross-country runs at Herrington Country Park. The event attracted runners and their families from Alnwick to Aycliffe and local organisers are interested in repeating the event next year. More than £800 was raised from car parking and this will be donated to local charities.

Northumbria Police will hold its next PACT meeting for St Michael’s Ward residents tonight at 6pm at Auckland Homes, Hill View Road.

The Friends of Backhouse Park and Barley Mow Park will meet on Tuesday, February 14, at 6.30pm at the Back on the Map building, (ex-Hendon library).

St Michaels’ Residents’ Association met last week for its first gathering of the new year. A good attendance of residents was joined by the local police officer, plus ward Councillors Michael Dixon, Robert Oliver and Peter Wood. A variety of issues was discussed including parking, the latest crime figures for the ward, plus litter and fly-tipping. The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 22, at 6.30pm at Auckland Homes, Hill View Road.