Sunderland charity devastated by thieves is hoping its luck has changed

A Wearside charity left devastated when thieves stole its transport is hoping residents will get behind it to win a huge cash boost.

By Sue Kirby
Tuesday, 02 April, 2019, 15:50
The Box Project's Lisa Wilson-Riddell.

The Box Youth Project in Sunderland is in the running for a grant of up to to £50,000 after being chosen as a finalist in the People's Lottery Project.

Voting is now open and organisers at the charity, which does fantastic work with young people and the community, are hoping Wearsiders will vote for them.

Apprentices at Liebherr raised money for the Box Youth Project youngsters.

Last year the Hall Farm charity was dealt a bitter blow when thieves cut through two sets of padlocked gates with an angle grinder to take the new van, which had just been bought for £8,500.

The van was being used by young adults, many with special needs, to carry out work, such as gardening, in the community to raise cash for the charity’s activities.

Now, Lisa Wilson-Riddell, the charity’s youth and community worker, is hoping people will now back them in a bid to win the cash.

She said: "We are delighted that we have made it to the final of The People's Lottery 2019 with our Doxford Community Connectors Project.

Lisa Wilson-Riddell and youngsters from the Box Project who were left devastated when they van was stolen.

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"We are one of five projects in the North East, and the only project for Sunderland that could win up to £50,000.

"Winning this amount of money would make a huge difference to The Box Youth and Community Project and it would help us to expand and further develop the range of services we currently provide for adults with learning disabilities and elderly residents."

If they win the money would be used to train volunteers and develop a Good Neighbour Project alongside a Lend a Hand Service to reduce loneliness and provide practical support to elderly and disabled residents across the area.

Lisa said: "This funding would also enable us to continue to deliver existing programmes of work aimed at improving the lives of adults with learning disabilities."

To scoop the cash the charity needs to generate around 7,000 votes and is urging people to get behind them.

Voting is open until April 15 and residents are urged to vote for the Box Project's Doxford Community Connectors Project by visiting https://www.thepeoplesprojects.org.uk/projects/view/doxford-community-connectors and to make sure they verify their vote for it to be counted.

The Box Youth Project was set up 16 years ago and provides scores of activities and educational events for young people.

Throughout the summer it runs extensive programmes of fun and low cost events and trips to support families.