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Source: City of Sunderland

Plans to bring festive cheer to communities across Sunderland this Christmas are being rolled out from this week.

The City Council and Area Committees allocated £75,000 through the council’s #communitychristmas programme to voluntary and community sector organisations (VCS) to deliver more than 40 community projects across the city in the run up to the big day.

These include everything from virtual Santa sessions for vulnerable families and Christmas dinners delivered to doorsteps to angel messages left around the community to delight young and old alike. 

There’ll be fun for all ages, with activities, online events, hampers with goodies and links with local traders to access meat vouchers, to help some of the city’s most vulnerable enjoy a bit more than a basic Christmas Day lunch.

To find out what Festive Fun events are happening in their neighbourhood, people just need to click on Christmas in Sunderland.

There’s also lots of useful information on getting help with food and fuel, including how to register for free school meal vouchers during the Christmas school holidays and how to access emergency food parcels and fuel vouchers.

Information on what’s on in each area of the city, including the opening times for local food banks is also available on the area Facebook pages:

@CoalfieldSunderlandCommunity
@eastunderlandcommunity
@northsunderlandcommunity
@Westsunderlandcommunity
@washingtonsunderlandcommunity

Cabinet Member for Vibrant City, Councillor Linda Williams, said: “We know this has been a really tough year for everyone in Sunderland and many families are going to struggle to provide even the basics this Christmas.

“This is about bringing a bit of festive cheer to some of the most vulnerable in our communities but also letting them know where they can go for help if they need it during the festive period.

“It builds on the work we have been doing throughout the pandemic to support our most vulnerable residents in a whole variety of ways.”

“This has included everything from volunteers collecting shopping and prescriptions, to weekly keep in touch calls, virtual coffee mornings and families taking part in virtual fitness sessions from the safety of their own homes.

“We hope that these projects will help bring a fun-filled community Christmas to families old and young, vulnerable and isolated residents, people living on their own and older people by providing activities, online events and hampers full of goodies.

“We know from calls we’ve been making to our more vulnerable residents to check that they’re ok during the pandemic that loneliness and isolation has been a real issue for some.

“That’s something we also asked VCS to focus on and we’re hoping that the fabulous range of projects they have come up with will really help make a difference to communities across Sunderland this Christmas.” 

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