These dedicated community projects are reviving Sunderland, they deserve credit

The true strength of Sunderland lies in the hearts of its people. We are a city which has endured tremendous struggles and hardships, and have often been on the wrong side of government policies which have inflicted pain and decline on our area. Because of this, the responsibility of reviving our city and helping our community has often fell to the efforts of local people themselves, and as a result many inspiring community organisations and charities in Sunderland have sprung up in recent decades to spur revival to areas and aspects of the city in their own way.

Here on this SGM article, we detail just five of these organisations, and while not an exhaustive list by any means, we believe they desire true credit for what they do.

Southwick Village Green Preservation Society

The Southwick Village Green Society is dedicated to preserving and promoting the heritage of Southwick on Wear. Headed by Peter Gibson, the society has received grants and invested enormously in projects such as Blue Heritage Plaques, information boards, flower beds and so on. Its goal is to make people be proud of Southwick and think differently about it.

Back on the Map

Back on the Map is a Hendon based community project, who’s work focuses on “enhancing the quality of life of people living and visiting Hendon and the East End of Sunderland.” The company has been successful in winning funding for many projects in the Hendon area, and “has grown a reputation as one of the most successful and sustainable social enterprises in the North East”. Even if it is through simple things such as installing a Christmas tree on Villette Road, the group’s commitment to Hendon is commendable.

Fans Museum

The Sunderland fans museum is a community project which based itself in the former Bishopwearmouth Station building after its railway museum closed. The fans museum has dedicated itself to collecting football memorabilia from around the world, including shirts signed by some of the games most legendary and famous players. This has made the project a great addition to the city.

Sunderland Maritime Heritage

Based in the East End of Sunderland on Church Street, the Maritime Heritage organisation as its name suggests, is dedicated to promoting and preserving the city’s shipbuilding past, serving an important educational purpose. Completely voluntary, the group also seeks to bring historical boats back to the River Wear.


The former Holy Trinity Church building in the East End received a multimillion pound restoration which transformed into it a new community hub and events venue. Describing itself as “a beautiful
space where ideas flourish, stories inspire and history unravels. From new friends to new hobbies, your morning cup of coffee to motivating moments, this is a space for potential and participation, for relaxation, for meeting new people and trying new things”. The renewed use of this historic church is a big win for the East End.