City Fans Mu­seum set to hit the road

Sunderland Echo - - News - By David Al­li­son david.al­li­son@jpress.co.uk Twit­ter: @dal­li­son88

Mem­bers of the pop­u­lar Fans Mu­seum project will be able to get about and show off the ex­hi­bi­tion’s ex­ten­sive col­lec­tion thanks to a car deal­er­ship’s do­na­tion of a minibus.

The com­mu­nity group, which is based at the for­mer Monkwear­mouth Sta­tion Mu­seum in Sun­der­land, has match-worn kits, pro­grammes and other mem­o­ra­bilia among its hun­dreds of items.

As well as be­ing open for foot­ball sup­port­ers to visit, the group of­ten goes out and about to give as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble the chance to get in­volved.

And now they will be able to go fur­ther, af­ter Jen­nings kindly do­nated a new minibus for mem­bers to use.

Mu­seum founder Michael Gan­ley told of his de­light at the gen­eros­ity of the firm af­ter he agreed a deal with the com­pany’s James Chorl­ton.

“This means we can now go out to iso­lated ar­eas where peo­ple have strug­gled to get back into the city from, in­clud­ing the Coal­field are­our as and County Durham,” said Michael.

“It en­ables us to go fur­ther afield with our road­show but also have a fa­cil­ity to pick up peo­ple from care homes and places like that, and bring them back to the mu­seum to have an af­ter­noon or morn­ing ses­sion.

“It en­cour­ages a lot more con­nec­tiv­ity and will bring a lot more peo­ple into hub.

“It’s bring­ing down so­cial iso­la­tion, which is a mas­sive prob­lem through­out the coun­try, par­tic­u­larly among men of a cer­tain age.

“We’re not go­ing to take no for an answer.

“We’re go­ing to get out, pick up the peo­ple and bring them here so they feel like they are part of some­thing.”

Michael ex­plained how the part­ner­ship with Jen­nings came about.

“We met in the early part of the year,” he said.

“They have a fledg­ling com­pany and they wanted some aware­ness and at­trac­tion.

“They knew what we were do­ing and how we were do­ing it.

“We got talk­ing through James and they of­fered their ser­vices in re­la­tion to a minibus.

“A cou­ple of weeks ago, we re­ceived a phonecall to say they were go­ing to pop by, and they came with a ni­ne­seater minibus.

“We’re al­ready had graphics put on it from Wrap Mon­key.”

Michael Gan­ley re­ceives the keys to the new minibus from James Chorl­ton of Jen­nings.

Michael Gan­ley told of his de­light at Jen­nings’ gen­eros­ity.

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