Community to benefit from Sunderland £250,000 National Lottery windfall

Two community organisations are celebrating after receiving a quarter of a million pounds of National Lottery funding to provide even more free activities for the public.

Tuesday, 17th December 2019, 4:45 pm
Elaine Buck enjoys taking part in one of the courses.

Media Savvy and MBC Arts Wellbeing, both based in Norfolk Street, Sunderland, will use the windfall to reach more Wearsiders of all ages.

From animation and illustration to batik screen printing and blacksmithing, the two community interest companies are encouraging people to get out of the house, learn new skills and meet new friends.

Mark Burns Cassell, 31, of MBC Arts Wellbeing, said his courses were both fun and educational, adding: “This lottery grant will help us to welcome even more people to try out our courses free of charge.

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“And they will be community led. Whatever the people of Sunderland tell us they would like to try out, we will be happy to provide for them if at all possible.”

One MBC regular, Elaine Buck, 54, from Silksworth, has taken part in courses in batik screen printing, glass making and ceramics.

She explained: “I have been coming here for around a year now. I really enjoy it because the people are so friendly and encouraging.

“It is an opportunity for me to get out of the house for a few hours a couple of times a week because I am a carer for my elderly father. I have met new friends here and really look forward to the sessions.”

Mark said details of courses on offer – from soap making to ceramics, batik to blacksmithing, yoga to meditation to candle making and many others – would be advertised on social media and he stressed: “This is a non-profit making community led enterprise and we want to hear from people on what sort of courses they would like us to provide.”

Dan Makaveli, founder and managing director of Media Savvy, just a few doors away, said: “ The funding application was actually almost two years in the making and it grew and evolved into this new, symbiotic partnership with MBC.

“Now in our tenth year of trading, this new funding could be the most meaningful yet, particularly because it will represent the first time we can be totally flexible in responding to the needs and enable us to reach more people, and also deliver a wider and more diverse range of sessions based on what people are requesting from us."

Further details about the courses are available by ringing Mark on (0191) 5145545.