Sunderland community centre appeals for trades people and volunteers to help with DIY Day

A community centre which had to close during the Covid pandemic and is now in need of repair is appealing for local volunteers, businesses and trades people to take part in a DIY Day.

Thursday, 2nd September 2021, 7:02 pm

The event, which will take place on Saturday September 11, will see the site cleaned, repaired and painted and decorated before a planned reopening for people to use in October.

However in order to make this happen centre needs the support of the local community.

The cause is being championed by ward councillor, Michael Dixon, who is appealing for people to take part.

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St Michael's Community Centre is hosting a DIY Day on Saturday September 11. The centre's new committee (left to right) Cllr Michael Dixon, Liz McEvoy, Dennis Crompton, Susan Ferguson and Cllr Peter Wood.

He said: “Prior to re-opening we are holding a DIY Day on Saturday September 11 from 10am until into the afternoon. Anyone who lives nearby and feels they can make some contribution to the general tidying and maintenance work required at the centre, please do come along.

“We are very excited about the future of what will now be known as St Michael’s Community Centre and soon look forward to extending a warm welcome to any group or individual, young and older, who wishes to hire our premises.”

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The former Grangetown Community Centre had been a vital support facility for local residents, providing a meeting point and social activities such as slimming and exercise classes, tea dances, bowls clubs and craft workshops. The facility also provided IT classes for people of all ages to become more confident in their use of technology.

St Michael's Community Centre renovation plans. From left Cllr Michael Dixon, centre's committee Liz McEvoy, treasure Dennis Crompton and secretary Susan Ferguson with Cllr Peter Wood.

The centre was also home to the Blue Watch Youth Centre which offered youth work provision, mental health support through their Good Vibes initiative, and a range of activities for the ward’s young people.

Blue Watch senior youth worker Sue Ferguson, 55, said: “It’s absolutely vital to get the centre up and running again as it was previously used by people of all ages and is such an important resource for the community.

"The centre will also provide an important facility from which to run our youth work.”

Sue is hopeful people will show their support.

She added: “It’s a chance for people in the local community to do something which will also benefit them. We welcome all volunteers and would particularly like support from any painters, decorators and joiners who can help.

"We also need a sign to display our new name of St Michael’s, which shows it’s a facility for the whole ward and not just Grangetown, and so it would be great to get any help with that.”

Cllr Dixon added: “The planned re-opening of the centre is very welcome for us all and I would like to say a sincere thank you to Jean Hepple and John Patterson, who have retired after years of devoted service to the countless groups who hired the rooms.

"Blue Watch Youth Centre, who have worked tirelessly with the young people of St Michael’s ward for many years, will now be playing a leading role in the administration, supported by myself and ward colleagues, plus other members of the new management committee.”

Anyone who can help is urged to contact the centre on [email protected]

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