North East Connected

Helping Hands at the Box

VOLUNTEERS at a city youth project have been thanked for helping a ‘vulnerable youngster’ furnish his new home.

The Box Youth Project in Doxford has nearly 30 volunteers who help with community projects across Sunderland’s East Area in Doxford, Hendon, Millfield, St Michael’s and Ryhope.

With backing from the City Council, it has started its own upcycling project that is breathing new life into household items.

After furniture donations from a property in Hendon, and with some restoration work, the group were able to help a relative of one of their volunteers.

Lisa Wilson Riddell, Manager of the Box Youth project, said: “One of the volunteers helping us mentioned that a relative was moving into independent accommodation and was in need of assistance because he has some learning difficulties.

“We confirmed the family situation with social services and our colleagues in the voluntary sector, who had also been working with the young man for a number of years.

“We organised a visit to the new accommodation and met with his relatives to see how we might help.

“The project was able to provide him with bedding, wardrobes, a chest of drawers, a TV stand, and other general furniture from donations we had received in the previous month.

“The family were very grateful and we have had a thanks from them as they had limited funding to help him with his move towards more independence.”

The project, which is based at The Box Youth Project on Hall Farm Road in Sunderland has been collecting and upcycling furniture and household donations for the past six months and has now helped several families and voluntary groups.

The project welcomes donations of furniture and household goods that are suitable for re-use to help families and individuals in need.

Upcycling is about saving items and seeing if they can be granted a second life and a new home.

Councillor Ellen Ball, the Chair of the City Council’s East Area Committee that works closely with the city’s voluntary sector, said: “There are many, many selfless volunteers in our community who give a lot of their time to help others. If we can’t always help with our time, then donations to groups such as the Box Youth Project can always help. A big thanks here to the Box Youth Project for their continuing good works.

“This is one of many community groups that have been supported by our committee. Upcycling work is helping some of our more vulnerable residents and helping the environment with its recycling – two very worthy aims.”

• To find out more about the Box Youth Project go to its Facebook page –

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