They're helping so many people at this Sunderland project - but could it soon be an award winner?

A project which has been a haven for Sunderland youths for more than 30 years is in the running for a Best of Wearside Award.

Tuesday, 15th January 2019, 5:00 am
Pennywell Youth Project members have been helping clean up the Sunderland Fans Musuem grounds.

Whether it’s help towards a job, support over debt issues, or backing for people who want to get more qualifications, the Pennywell Youth Project is proving to be a godsend.

It does so much more besides such as offering;

* A twice-a-week community cafe offering free food and drink for the unemployed.

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* A learning programme in partnership with Sunderland College.

* A junior scheme for 8 to 10-year-olds.

* A senior scheme for 10 to 19-year-olds.

* Peer support for people suffering social isolation.

* A scheme where, five days a week, the project takes unsold produce from Greggs and distributes it to members of the public who need it the most.

* Help with CV writing, and workshops on interview techniques, food hygiene, finance, and debt and welfare advice.

PYP also works in partnership with Northumbria College and Learning Curve.

Project manager Cassandra O’Neil said: “Hopefully, more rounded local residents create happier children and young people.”

After hearing the project had been nominated for an award, Cassandra added: “That is fantastic. It is wonderful to get that accreditation for all the hard work and commitment shown by everyone, by staff, local residents and we do have a lot of volunteers who contribute.

“This project is a lifeline to many of our volunteers so to get this acknowledgement is great.”

The group featured in the Echo earlier this year when they cleaned up the area around Monkwearmouth Station Museum and filled 32 bags of rubbish which is where the Fans Museum was due to have its permanent home.

Project members did the work to say thank you to museum founder Michael Ganley for his help with donations towards a Youth Project bid to visit Gambia.

Now there’s more good news for the group with the awards nomination.

We’ve got off to a great start with nominations for this year’s awards but we want plenty more and here are lots more details on the 2019 competition.

This year’s competition has backing from headline sponsor BGL Group, partner sponsor Gentoo and category sponsors Stagecoach and Calsonic Kansei.

We thank them all for getting on board and now comes your turn to get involved.

Send your name, address and telephone number, as well as your email address, if applicable. Remember to include the category you are putting your nominated cause into.

Also send the name of the person you wish to nominate, along with their address, telephone number and email (if known). Send all of that to Lynn Wild by no later than mid-February.

You can nominate in any one of three ways.

l Email those entries to [email protected]

l Send them to Lynn Wild, Alexander House, Second Floor, Rainton Bridge Business Park, Houghton-le-Spring, Sunderland. DH4 5RA.

l Visit the website at

The categories

Local Hero.

Green Champion.

Student of the Year.

Fundraiser of the Year.

Volunteer of the Year.

Sporting Achievement.

Community Group.

Community Champion.

Child of Achievement.

Child of Courage.

Once we pass the competition deadline, the panel of judges will meet days later to draw up this year’s shortlist of contenders.

Those who are still in the running will learn their fate at the glittering grand finale on Thursday, March 28. Watch out for more details on that coming soon.

After the event, we’ll bring you a colour supplement with photographs and interviews from the night.

But for now, the main thing is to get those entries in!