Local Heroes Sunderland: A City of Stars

If this strange time has taught us anything, it’s that we have a city of local heroes! We’re celebrating the fine folk and pivoting businesses who have been opening their hearts and pockets to those in need recently. Shoutout to the local heroes of Sunderland!


Lisa Kirkbride & For The Love Of The North
























You’ve seen our sensational front cover… it’s a beauty, right? There’s a heart-warming story behind this stunning piece of artwork.

The incredibly talented Lisa Kirkbride teamed up with For The Love of The North to produce a striking piece of art that not only celebrates community spirt, but also raises funds for the Northumbria NHS Trust’s Bright Charity.

Inspired by hope, solidarity and Wearside’s beautiful city-scape, Lisa and co. have now raised over £5,000 and that number continues to rise.

Fancy owning your very own Sunderland Vibe front cover? Head over to fortheloveofthenorth.co.uk, bag a limited edition and support local charities.

For more of Lisa’s designs, head to lisakirkbride.com


Jill Scott

Our very own Lioness, Jill Scott, launched an online fundraiser to help hospital staff working in the city during the pandemic.

The England star recently donated her match shirts and raised a staggering £13,662 for the Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust.

It’s no secret that representing your country is one of the greatest honours for a sportsperson, but Jill has gone above and beyond
as a role model to give something back to the wonderful folk at Sunderland Royal Hospital.



Laura Surtees

Local Heroes Sunderland














While we’d love to shout about every key worker, we’re giving special thanks to Laura Surtees for her outstanding achievement during the crisis.

Laura, a healthcare worker at Sunderland Royal Hospital, was awarded the highly prestigious Cavell Star Award for her exceptional care towards patients, families and colleagues.

Laura collected donations to help put together care packages for patients to help brighten up their time in hospital.

From toiletries to crosswords and special pamper packs for her colleagues, it’s fair to say Laura is one of Sunderland’s many shining stars.



The Fans Museum

Local Heroes Sunderland















Our friends over at the Fans Museum continue to educate and inspire! As the country plunged into crisis, the team assembled and took the opportunity to give something back to the community.

They delivered hot food to primary school children and those fighting against social isolation, boosting morale amongst our city’s most vulnerable.

With 5,000 meals delivered, over 13,000 miles clocked and a special appearance from Manchester United under-23s goalkeeper, Paul Woolston, we can’t help but stand and applaud some of our city’s finest lockdown heroes. Amazing work team!

Thompson Waste Centre

Anne Ganley from Thompson Waste Centre has pledged to donate £10,000 to local charities hit by the coronavirus outbreak.

While many of us have been cracking on with DIY around the house, Anne’s team have recycled a staggering 10,000 tonnes of waste during lockdown; repurposing everything from timber doors to glass window panes.

As soon as Thompson’s hit the 10,000 ton mark, news broke about Anne’s incredible gesture – we’re so pleased to see people looking after people.

A huge thank you to Anne and those involved in this fantastic initiative!


Aly Dixon

Local Heroes Sunderland














Wearside’s record-breaking runner, Aly Dixon, has been encouraging Mackems across the city to lace up their trainers and run the equivalent distance of the Great North Run to help St Benedict’s Hospice.

Aly has created a free-to-enter event in which every successful finisher will receive a special award.

Check it out here and get those legs moving!


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