Sunderland Lotto winners celebrate

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PROJECTS across Sunderland are looking forward to a brighter new year thanks to some bumper grants.

The Big Lottery Fund has delivered some early Christmas cheer from its Awards for All programme.

At a city project, young people will be encouraged to get moving and eat healthily in 2011, thanks to a £9,872 grant for 1st 4 Kidz CIC, which is based in Shiney Row.

The group’s Healthy Lifestyle Programme begins in January, with group workers going out into schools, youth clubs and family groups to educate children and young people about the benefits of leading a healthy lifestyle.

Daryl Smith, Sports Coach Director, 1st 4 Kidz CIC, said: “We’re very excited about receiving this funding from the Big Lottery Fund for our Healthy Lifestyle Programme. We’ll now be able to educate children and young people about the benefits of exercise and healthy eating, ensuring that they make better choices.

“With obesity and overweight levels rising, 1st 4 Kidz CIC has identified the need to educate children and young people to start to make choices about their lifestyles. The programme will be offered in Sunderland and surrounding areas, meaning that many youngsters will see the benefit of what we’re planning.”

Groups benefiting include the Sunderland Bangladeshi Community Centre which was awarded £10,000; the 2nd Houghton Guides given £2,905 and Gay Advice Sunderland awarded £9,683.

A flood of funding is also heading the way of The Ark Project, based in Houghton. Its grant of £9,555 will act as a welcome catalyst for The Ark Project – Accept, Respect and Knowledge, set up as a community support service for residents of Queensway and the surrounding areas.

A community building on the Racecourse Estate will be the base for a programme of initiatives aimed at reducing antisocial behaviour and bringing local people together to learn new skills and share advice.

Sandra Duggan, on behalf of The Ark Project, said: “We’re an organisation trying to provide a meeting place for the whole community. We hope to provide a source of training, further education, advice and activities, with the aim of raising awareness and tackling the ever increasing problems of antisocial behaviour on the estate.

“We also hope to help with raising confidence and self-esteem, and helping people back into employment.

“We want to provide a youth group where kids can meet and learn to put back into their community through helping others and respecting each other, and to provide a community cafe for all to enjoy.

“The Big Lottery Fund has awarded our project a very generous grant which will go towards helping to make our aims a reality, and help to bring this community together.”

Forty-three groups are sharing in a total of more than £339,000 in grants.