Volunteer teams spruce up community centres

Doing their good deed for the day are students from Sunderland University at Sans Street Youth Centre.
Doing their good deed for the day are students from Sunderland University at Sans Street Youth Centre.
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MORE than 100 volunteers pitched in to give seven Wearside community centres a much-needed spruce up.

Gentoo, Barclays Bank and students from Sunderland University teamed up on Good Deed Day on Monday – one of the largest co-ordinated volunteering projects aimed at supporting communities in the city.

Good Deed Day is a national student campaign and kicks off the start of Student Volunteering Week which aims to integrate students with their local communities while making a positive difference and ultimately inspiring students to develop a long term passion for volunteering.

Amanda Ladner, operations manager at Gentoo said: “Good Deed Day has given us the opportunity to highlight that every single person can contribute something, whether it large or small, to improve the lives of others. This has been a fantastic opportunity for Gentoo, Barclays and Sunderland University to unite and give support where it is needed most.”

The projects that benefited from the day included; Sans Street Youth Centre in Hendon, Rickleton Church in Washington, High Downs and Princess Gardens Older Person Schemes in Hetton, Town End Farm Residents Association, Silksworth Youth/Community Centre and Grindon Young People’s Centre.

Nicola Simpson, customer solutions manager at Barclays said: “The staff at Barclays in Doxford Park are always keen to support local initiatives and we were delighted to be invited to get involved in the Good Deed Day with Gentoo.”

This was the first time that Sunderland University took part in the event and Laura Hope, opportunities adviser at the University of Sunderland said: “We were inspired by Gentoo’s previous community team challenges and we decided to work in partnership and invite students to spend Good Deed Day renovating community venues across the city. A group of students that volunteered are studying the Youth and Community work course at the University so this was a perfect opportunity for them to work alongside experienced volunteers.”

The students based themselves in the Sans Street Youth Centre which was broken into just before Christmas.

Owen Roberts, studies Youth and Community work, said: “When we heard about the project we felt obligated to get involved as it goes hand in hand with our course. Also when we heard that there had been a break in at this centre it made us more determined to help them out and give something back to the community.”