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KATIE BULMER-COOKE: Sunniside is full of cool businesses

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Bicycles.
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This week I was at a meeting in The Sunderland Software Centre and as lunchtime approached I decided to stretch my legs and be the designated lunch runner.

So I headed out, on foot, to pick up some dinner for everyone in the meeting.

As I headed through the city centre, or as I usually say ‘the town’, it really opened by eyes.

I am so guilty of always driving from one place to another (terrible I know, given that I work in fitness), and just sticking to the same routes and not taking notice of what is going on around me.

As I walked from The Sunderland Software Centre across to the cinema end of the town, I passed through Sunniside, a part of the town I haven’t been in for ages, and what a fantastic area it is.

Not only does it look great with the landscaping in the centre but there are some really cool businesses in this part of town too.

There’s the super trendy salon, Frances Marshall, and the very cool Sam’s Bar, to name but two of a range of trend-setting, original businesses. It’s certainly an area of the town I’ll be heading to more often.

My little outing across the city centre has in fact given momentum to the thoughts I’ve been having recently about getting a bike and cycling a lot more rather than being a lazy lump and driving everywhere.

Regular readers of my column know that I’m a big fan of the city centre, but being on foot, and out of the car, truly does open your eyes to even more of the mint things that are going on.

As a side note, while on this little foot-based outing, I managed to trip over, almost land flat on my face and take two people down with me.

Of course being on my own meant I had no one to laugh it off with (I’m so clumsy), so let’s hope I’ll be better on two wheels than I am on two feet! #totallyembarrassed!

Last week my little girl turned six-years-old ... when did I turn 30 and have a 6 year old? I still feel like I’m 19.

To celebrate her birthday she had some friends round to ours for a little party ... a little party with a BIG surprise.

I booked Make My Day Events to send two of their fabulous princesses along to do some princess training and play party games with Heidi and her little mates.

I’ve seen the Make My Day cast members perform before ,but WOW Rapunzel and Ariel were amazing.

I felt like Disneyland had arrived in Sunderland, and the best part, of course, Heidi’s little face when she saw them, totally priceless.

Make My Day Events don’t just do parties and events, they’ve also given their time on a voluntary basis to visit poorly children at the RVI and the heart unit at the Freeman hospital.

Whenever one of the children is going through a particularly tough time the hospital simply pick up the phone and Make My Day Events turn up to brighten up the day for both the child and their family.

I can’t put into words how touching this is and the joy it must bring children and their families during such hard times.

Make My Day Events are certainly a business that Sunderland should be extremely proud of and I totally take my hat off to them ... they are yet another reason to be proud to be a Mackem!