Sunderland Echo

Community praised for helping those in need

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A community has been praised for its goodwill over the festive period after providing thousands of food packages, a Christmas parade, hundreds of toys and even Playstatio­n game consoles for families in need.

The donations to help Sandhill Community Group CIC – a newly launched charity covering Grindon, Hastings Hill, Springwell and Thorney Close – carry out its work included £2,000 from Portico North and The Barbour Foundation to purchase toys.

There were also hundreds of Christmas Eve boxes from Sunderland Area Parent Support, a Christmas parade organised by Thorney Close FC, two giant community nutcracker statues from Big Bear Beds and food packages from scores of local residents and organisati­ons such as Gentoo and Sweeney Miller.

Sandhill Community Group CIC was born out of the work of the Thorney Close Food Bank, a community-run food bank launched last year by local Labour councillor Debra Waller and business owner Michael Pattison, and hundreds of families have benefited from its support during the pandemic. Their fellow directors at the CIC are Kris Johnson and Paul Lloyd.

Cllr Waller said: “It’s during the most testing times that we often see the true strength of community spirit shine through and to see so many people pull together to support one-another during the crisis has been so heartening. From Christmas parades to food parcels, toy donations and cream tea deliveries to the elderly, I can’t thank Michael, Paul, Kris and all of the organisati­ons who have supported us over the recent months enough for stepping up and delivering for our community.”

 ??  ?? Kris Johnson, Michael Pattison and Cllr Debra Waller.
Kris Johnson, Michael Pattison and Cllr Debra Waller.

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