Thousands of students clean up in Sunderland with special project

Two of the students who took part in the project.
Two of the students who took part in the project.
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Students have been hailed after helping to give Sunderland a facelift as part of a clean-up project.

About 3,000 Sunderland College pupils took part in a three-day initiative as different areas of the city centre were spruced up.

It was part of Project 100, which was devised by Sunderland’s Business Improvement District and backed by Sunderland City Council.

The student volunteers took part in one of 100 different jobs, with the main focus around Park Lane Market, Stockton Road, High Street West and Sunniside.

They collected about four tonnes of rubbish from the market, with more than 30 units cleared out to prepare the space for the Christmas market, which opens next month.

They continued work on the market by painting the interiors and shutters of dozens of units.

Four of the shutters had artist impressions of iconic Wearside monuments added to them, while outside the market, the area was cleared up with weeding and litter collecting.

Sharon Appleby, head of business operations at Sunderland BID, said: “The initiative has been a big success, and the students who took part really achieved something special over the three days.

“In partnership with Sunderland City Council and Sunderland College, everyone was able to work together to make a really big impact on the city centre, and improve it for everyone who visits.

“The students worked very hard, and really demonstrated how much can be achieved with hard work and effort. It shows the pride our young people have in our city.

“We appreciate there is still work to do and we will be identifying a range of other projects going forward which we hope will see us bring even more partners on board."

Project 100 is an ongoing initiative which is aiming to improve the look and feel of the city centre.

Sunderland College principal and chief executive Ellen Thinnesen said: “The college is not just based in the city, we are part of it – our students and employees contribute towards making Sunderland the vibrant place it is, attending events, driving the economy and generally creating a feel-good buzz.”

A number of organisations, including Greggs, supported the project.

Greggs provided food to keep the students energised during the event.

Jessica Hackett, 18, who is studying a BTEC in science at Sunderland College, said: "It was great to work as part of a team and we were really glad to take part.

“It made us think more about what’s around us, and how we need to make sure the city centre looks good enough for everyone to enjoy.”