'You are his last chance' - Young dad praises work of Sunderland community project as its awarded £182k in National Lottery funding
A project dedicated to supporting young and vulnerable people in Sunderland will be continuing its good work thanks to a huge boost from the National Lottery.
Pallion Action Group has been awarded more than £182,000 in funding, which will go towards helping young people break down barriers and transform their lives.
Those using the service are supported through a range of issues including criminal records, alcohol or substance misuse, homelessness and benefit and debt problems.
And as supporters toast the good news, revealed on Tuesday, September 3, one worker has told the touching story of how the group helped him get to where he is today.
Jordan Laws, 21, now works part-time as a support worker with Pallion Action Group after spending a year volunteering with the team.
But earlier in life, Jordan was one of those who relied on the group’s services, seeking help, structure and support after finding out his partner was pregnant.
He was sent to Pallion Action Group after years of living in care, and previous struggles with education and training.
Jordan said: “My support worker contacted Karen at Pallion Action Group and told her: you are his last chance.
“After being told that there was a chance I wouldn’t get to see my kids, I turned up on the first day and told her that she was my only option.”
“What clicked in my mind is that I had someone who gave me attention and a structure in my life. She’s like my second mam, she gave me those guidelines to get my life back on track.”
During his team with the group, he realised he had a talent for computers. With the support of the IT department, he went on to volunteer and train, before becoming a part-time employee.
Pallion Action Group is just one of 18 fantastic causes on Wearside receiving a share of £336,000 in National Lottery funding for the quarter.
The projects range from educational early cancer detection workshops for beauty therapists to stress management sessions for socially-isolated men.
Karen Wood, Centre Manager at Pallion Action Group, has welcomed the investment in the H.Y.P.E. Project, which will help her organisation expand its work for the future.
She said: “Thanks to National Lottery Players, Pallion Action Group are overjoyed to receive three years’ funding to help support the most vulnerable people in our communities.
“We are excited and ready to start delivering the project, which will see those most in need receiving intense, bespoke support across the city of Sunderland.”
The North East and Cumbria as a whole is receiving £3.5million in funding from the National Lottery Community Fund. This money will be shared across 161 community projects and organisations.