Sunderland charity will expand its services thanks to £10,000 Big Lottery boost

Staff at the Social Inclusion and Dyslexia Project , from left,  coordinator Joanne Youngson, volunteer Colin Fishwick, James Youngson, volunteer Sandra Kennedy and James Youngson.
Staff at the Social Inclusion and Dyslexia Project , from left, coordinator Joanne Youngson, volunteer Colin Fishwick, James Youngson, volunteer Sandra Kennedy and James Youngson.

A Sunderland charity is setting up a specialist art class and job club thanks to a £10,000 Big Lottery grant.

The Social Inclusion Dyslexia Project (SID Project) is using the grant to form additional services to help those with the condition.

Project coordinator Joanne Youngson is delighted at the Big Lottery grant.

Project coordinator Joanne Youngson is delighted at the Big Lottery grant.

Housed in Pallion Action Group, in East Road, the charity was set up in 2014, and has been running for the last three years to support adults with dyslexia and other hidden disabilities.

Joanne Youngson, project coordinator, said the grant was great news.

She said: “We have just won a £10,000 Big Lottery grant to set up an assistive technology job club for people with hidden disabilities and an art class for people with dyslexia.

“It is a big thing for us and will help break down barriers around dyslexia.”

Project coordinator Joanne Youngson, front, with, from left, volunteer John Hensey, James Youngson, and volunteers Colin Fishwick and Sandra Kennedy.

Project coordinator Joanne Youngson, front, with, from left, volunteer John Hensey, James Youngson, and volunteers Colin Fishwick and Sandra Kennedy.

The job club will be a 10-week programme that explores how using assistive technology can break the barriers experienced by people with dyslexia and literacy issues.

Joanne added: “This then empowers our members by increasing their skills and confidence in using technology such as text to speech; speech to text; grammar and spell check on everyday tasks such as job searches.

“Some of the topics we cover are disability awareness, using assistive technology, building confidence and self-esteem, creating CV’s, job searching and interview skills.

“Members will also have one-to-one support using our computer suite, which is fully equipped with assistive technology.”

The Social Inclusion and Dyslexia Project helps break down the barriers surrounding dyslexia.

The Social Inclusion and Dyslexia Project helps break down the barriers surrounding dyslexia.

The grant will also fund a weekly art class led by local artist James Youngson, known under the name Papion, who is also dyslexic.

The group will run on Tuesdays and will encourage participants to use their strong visual and practical skills to their advantage.

Joanne added: “The project aims to use the class in a way to not concentrate on the barriers of dyslexia, but to celebrate the strengths of dyslexia.

“As a dyslexic you are likely to have a greater appreciation for colour, tone, and texture.

“A dyslexic’s imagination will allow you to go beyond the norm and create new and innovative expression.”

The art class will be run each Thursday from 12pm to 2pm at the centre at 5 East Road, Pallion.

Anyone interested in coming along can contact Joanne on 07971166190 or visit www.sidproject.org

Alternatively, search for SIDProject on Facebook.