31 October 2017

Thousands of students from Sunderland College have helped give the city centre a facelift, after taking part in a three-day clean-up initiative.

Around 3000 young people rolled up their sleeves as part of Project 100, devised by Sunderland’s Business Improvement District and backed by Sunderland City Council.

The scheme involved thousands of student volunteers who took part in one of 100 different jobs to improve different areas of the city centre, with the  main focus of the project in and around Park Lane Market, Stockton Road, High Street West and Sunniside areas.

Around four tonnes of rubbish was collected from the market, as the students cleared out more than 30 units to get the space ready for the Christmas market which will open next month. (Nov)

They then painted interiors and shutters of dozens of units, with four of the shutters embellished with artist impressions of iconic Wearside monuments.

Outside the market, more shop shutters were given a lick of paint and the area was generally cleared up with weeding and litter collecting.

“The initiative has been a big success, and the students who took part really achieved something special over the three days,” said Sharon Appleby, Head of Business Operations at Sunderland BID.

“In partnership with Sunderland City Council and Sunderland College, everyone was able to work together to make a really big impact on the city centre, and improve it for everyone who visits.

“The students worked very hard, and really demonstrated how much can be achieved with hard work and effort. It shows the pride our young people have in our city.”

The project was supported from a number of local and national organisations, including Greggs, which provided food to keep the students going throughout the event.

Sunderland College Principal and Chief Executive, Ellen Thinnesen, said: “The college is not just based in the city, we are part of it – our students and employees contribute towards making Sunderland the vibrant place it is, attending events, driving the economy and generally creating a feel-good buzz.”

Among the young people taking part was Jessica Hackett, 18, who is studying a BTEC in Science at Sunderland College.

“It was great to work as part of a team and we were really glad to take part,” she said. “It made us think more about what’s around us, and how we need to make sure the city centre looks good enough for everyone to enjoy.”

The clean sweep event was the start of Project 100, an on-going initiative which aims to improve the look and feel of the city centre.

“We appreciate there is still work to do and we will be identifying a range of other projects going forward which we hope will see us bring even more partners on board,” said Sharon.