Charities in Sunderland are celebrating after receiving a share of almost £32,700 raised by the Mayor’s Office with the support of the community.
One of the roles of every Mayor of Sunderland is to nominate charities to receive their support during their twelve-month term of office, which they can fundraise for at civic events.
The Leader of Sunderland City Council, Councillor Graeme Miller said: “Over the years the Mayoral Office has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for charities, helped raise the profile of the city on the regional, national and international stage, and represented the people of Sunderland with honour and distinction.”
This year the Mayor and Mayoress of Sunderland, Councillor David Snowdon, and Councillor Dianne Snowdon, have chosen Veterans in Crisis and Washington MIND as their Mayoral Charities.
Last year’s incumbent of the Mayoral Office, Councillor Lynda Scanlan, recently invited her chosen charities into the civic centre to receive their share of the tens of thousands of pounds raised thanks to the generosity of the community.
Councillor Scanlan said: ‘It was an amazing year and I couldn’t have wished for more, I had no idea that people would help me as Mayor and Micky Horswill as my Mayoral Consort to raise almost £32,700.
“The charities themselves were fantastic providing a lot of help at all the fundraising events, with the Hopespring Choir singing over Christmas particularly popular.”
Young people’s welfare charity Hopespring, the Sunderland and County Durham Royal Society for the Blind, and NSPCC Childline Service (Sunderland) each received £10,000.
CEO of Hopespring, Lois Gott said: “This is an incredible donation, the money will help us buy equipment for a school we’re opening in Sunderland to help secondary age children with complex needs.
“The effectiveness of the combination of therapy and teaching that we can provide, was recognised at the annual conference of the British Psychological Society as an effective way of supporting some of the most vulnerable young people in our community.”
Chief Executive of Sunderland and County Durham Royal Society for the Blind, Richard Wood said: “We are one of the oldest charities in the UK, working with 3000 blind and visually impaired people and obviously delighted to receive this money.
“It will be spent on helping to provide a range of education, social and ‘healthy living’ activities for those living in Sunderland and nearby.”
Chair of NSPCC Sunderland Business Group, Umesh Patel, added: “Councillor Scanlan was a pillar of support for our charity over her year in office as Mayor, and still remains so today.
“People in the city helped her raise one of the highest donations we’ve received over the last twelve months, and all the money received will be spent in Sunderland.”
The remainder of the money raised by the public was equally divided between the Stella Maris Seafarers Centre, Sunderland Maritime Heritage, Sunderland Symphony Orchestra and Trinity House with the remainder being left aside to help support the East End Carnival
A special guest at the civic cheque presentation was Mr Tony Wortman from Seaburn Rotary Club.
Earlier this year Councillor Scanlan was invited to present one of the highest honours the Rotarians can bestow, the Paul Harris Fellowship, to Pat Emmerson and Elizabeth Wortman for their outstanding contributions to their local branch of the international charity.
Past President Elizabeth Wortman received her award for helping set up a Memory Café for Dementia patients, while fellow Past President Pat Emmerson was recognised for her work on an international project planting 400 trees in isolated villages across Ghana
During the presentation, members of Seaburn Rotary Club sprang a surprise on Cllr Scanlan and awarded her the Paul Harris Fellowship too.
Tony Wortman said: “After the shock and surprise of receiving one of our organisation’s highest awards in such an unexpected way, Lynda said she was honoured to receive it.
“We wanted to present it in recognition of the all the money she helped raise for the Mayoral charities during her year of office.”