Sunderland Vibe - Spring 2021

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SUNDERLAN D The city, coast & beyond... S PRI N G 2 0 2 1




Line dancing and lemon chicken: the secret of her wellbeing by Washington’s Brenda Brenda Naisby, 80, is a grandmother from Washington and one of the faces of the #BeatCovidNE campaign. Here she shares her tips for keeping fit and well, physically and mentally, during lockdown. It is so important to look after your wellbeing as you become older. I live alone so I have to make more of an effort in looking after myself, especially during lockdown. When I was little, my grandma used to |say to me; ‘still hands make work for the devil’.

dancing but because I can’t currently attend my usual classes, I have been doing some online that I found on YouTube. I really enjoy doing it and it keeps me active. •

Don’t sit down for long periods of time. Given it’s winter, I don’t always leave the house each day but I make sure I’m never sitting down for too long. I’m always pottering around, keeping busy. It’s the best way.

Walk everywhere. I always walk from A to B whenever I can, weather permitting. A 20-minute walk to the shop and back can work wonders for your physical health, keeping you mobile too.

If I ever find myself at a loose end or become bored in the house because I can’t go out and about as I used to, I remember these words and make sure I keep myself busy. When it comes to exercise, my top three tips are: •

Remember that exercise doesn’t have to be a chore or something you do at a fancy gym. I absolutely love line

When it comes to looking after your mental wellbeing, my advice is: •

Indulge in something you enjoy or take up a new hobby. This lockdown I have taken up

technology has been a lifeline through lockdown.

quilting. I made an iPad cover a couple of weeks ago and I am currently making a quilted shopping bag. It takes a lot of time and concentration, but I really benefit from it mentally as it takes my mind off everything else that’s going on. •

Use video technology. I’m a big fan of Zoom. It’s super easy to use and free. I call everyone now through Zoom and me and my girlfriends enjoy weekly virtual catch ups. Video

Keep communicating. When unable to see many people in person it’s so easy to stop talking completely but talking more than ever right now is vital. I’ve been enjoying telling my grandchildren all about my youth and how I was 12 before sweets were no longer rationed after World War Two and how there was no NHS until I was eight.

Brenda’s lemon chicken stir fry Ingredients 1tbsp honey Juice 1 lemon 250ml chicken stock 1tbsp soy sauce 4 chicken breasts, cut into chunks 1tbsp cornflour 1tsp vegetable oil 2 carrots, finely sliced

1 red pepper, cut into chunks 140g sugar snap peas (or frozen peas will do!) Method Step 1: Mix together the honey, lemon, stock and soy, then set it aside. Toss the chicken with the cornflour so it’s completely coated. Heat the oil in a nonstick frying pan, then fry the chicken until it

changes colour and starts to become crisp around the edges. Step 2: Add the carrots and red pepper, then fry for 1 min more. Pour the stock into the pan, bring to a simmer, then add the sugar snap peas and cook everything together for 5 mins until the chicken is cooked and the veg are tender, on a low heat. Step 3: Serve with noodles. Enjoy!

Make a change for the better in 2021 Lots of us are thinking about the little changes we can make to improve our health in 2021. If there’s something you’d like to change in your life right now, there’s lots of tips and support to help. See

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This new issue arrives with a renewed sense of optimism and we are here to showcase that. While it seems we’ve spent months cooped up indoors, clocking miles on our daily walks and awaiting the resumption of city life, the theme for this latest issue is all about celebrating the vibrancy and diversity of Sunderland’s people. You! Inside, you’ll find another raft of Magical Mackems, there’s tons of brilliant businesses pivoting to meet the demands of 2021 and we've got feel-good stories that celebrate new beginnings and a positive mindset. All of that, plus an incredibly powerful feature celebrating the heroines of Sunderland for International Women’s Day, our friends at the University of Sunderland tell us all about their new degree course in collaboration with The Futureheads and our Vibe Easter Egg competition makes a welcome return too. We look forward to seeing smiling faces roaming the streets again soon, but until then, look after yourselves and stay positive. You've got this!

4 Vibe online

Our city through your lens

6 Spotlight on Sunderland Welcoming Roker's new gin bar

7 Mother's Day dining

Say 'I love you' with Sunderland treats

20 Magical Mackems Inspiring people and places

14 Spring into action

City-inspired fun for the whole family

Remember Media Ltd, Enterprise House, Kingsway, Team Valley Trading Estate, Gateshead, NE11 0SR Publisher Christopher March Editorial Matthew Thomas Advertising Rebecca Jackson Design All contents copyright ©2021 RememberMedia Ltd. All rights reserved. While every effort is made to ensure accuracy, no responsibility can be accepted for inaccuracies, howsoever caused. No liability can be accepted for illustrations, photographs, artwork or advertising materials while in transmission or with the publisher or their agents. All content marked 'profile feature' is paid for advertising. All information is correct at time of going to print, February 2021. ISSN 2633-4518

24 International Women's Day

Heroines of Sunderland past and present

15 Tomorrow's talent

28 Future investment

Getting to know Genu Prima

The value in an apprentice

16 WIN with Vibe

30 Plan ahead

An exciting Easter competition

2021 diaries at the ready...

18 Cultural cause

A new course from Sunderland Uni



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Our city through your eyes! Here’s what some of our people and businesses have been upto in and around the city since we last checked in...

@hotpodyogasunderland COMMUNITY CLASS.

@thesweetpetites Decisions decisions... A closer look at some of the items in our counter today. Which sweet treat would you like to munch first...?

@fansmuseum We just had to capture this earlier, you know what they say don't you... @sunderlandafcofficial

@kevinshell2015 Today's walk in Sunderland taking in Roker Beach and The Stadium of Light.


Keep us up to date with your Sunderland @colekitchenroker New to the menu. Bacon, egg & creamy avocado guacamole spiked with chilli, lime & coriander. Great for anyone who doesn't do cheese! 4

shenanigans using the hashtag


@littleshopsun It's Fri-YAY and the pastries have arrived! They won't stick about so get down early and get your brekkie. Any coffee and pastry for a fiver!




Redundant to running my own business We’ve done it – so can you Unsure about the security of your job? Could becoming your own boss be the answer? We talk to two entrepreneurs who turned redundancy into opportunity and say the pandemic could be the perfect time to make the move to self-employment.

Andrew Calvert

Co-Founder, Triotec, Washington

Jennifer Dawson

Owner, Flowers by Jennifer, Blandford Street in Sunderland I was made redundant from my job as a florist at the start of lockdown in March 2020. So, my husband and I decided to look into opening up our own shop. We were going to delay the launch because of the pandemic, but faced with the prospect of having no fixed income and the uncertainty of not knowing how long the crisis would last, we decided to just go for it and we haven’t looked back since. I was scared but also looking forward to being my own boss. If this takes off, I know I will reap the rewards, knowing I have made it happen. I would advise anyone to start up on their own, if it's what you love, you will put your heart and soul into it to make it work.

I was made redundant in 2018 when the factory where I worked closed down. The news came out of the blue and the whole workforce was in shock. We went to the pub and me and a colleague shared our idea to start up our own engineering business. We asked if anyone wanted to get involved and a third decided to join us. Starting up was tough but was so worth it. We now have three factories and some great orders on the books. We employ everyone from the original factory and we’re looking to start training new talent. When you’re an employee in an industry like ours you always have one eye on the pipeline of orders coming in. We no longer live with that uncertainty because we are in control of our own future. I have no regrets – other than to think I should have done this years ago.

How we did it

Jennifer and Andrew worked with the Start-up Team at the North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC) in Sunderland to prepare their businesses for launch. They received support through the Government’s New Enterprise Allowance Programme which is designed to help those unemployed transition to becoming their own boss with mentoring whilst still in receipt of benefits. Once trading there is a small allowance paid too. Shirley Hermiston, Business Support Manager at the BIC, said: “If I could get one message to anyone considering self-employment right now it would be to get some advice from those you can trust as soon as you can. This will give

you the best possible chance of success. If you’re facing redundancy, don’t wait for it to happen before making plans, testing out ideas or dipping your toe in the water. “We provide free, independent advice. We help people assess if they’re suited to self-employment, identify any skills gaps and check that their business idea is viable.”

Want to know more about becoming your own boss? Contact the BIC team on 0191 516 6111 or check out


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Spotlight on Sunderland: Say hello to Roker’s new gin bar…

The Roker Riveria is welcoming a new gindependent and restaurant to the coast, and it's the good news we've all been waiting for... City life as we know it may be a little different right now, but rest assured exciting developments and brand new venture continue to spring up across the city as creative people get their heads together behind-the-scenes. When we heard news that a brand new gin bar and restaurant was headed to the coast, our excitement for the return of Sunderland’s lively city life went into overdrive. Most of you will have heard about Tin of Sardines in Durham, right? Well, if you haven't, nestled over on Elvet Bridge in the Medieval city, Tin of Sardines claims to be the world’s smallest gin bar and we’ve recently learned that the brains behind it, the Davis family, are bringing their successful gin emporium to 6

Sunderland's seafront. So here’s what’s going down this summer... they’ve agreed a 10-year lease with Sunderland City Council for the former Roker Toilet Block on Pier View – adjacent to the Bungalow Café. Tin of Sardines will bring a vibrant new lifestyle and we can hardly wait until we're enjoying it for ourselves! More than £60,000 has been invested into the refurbishment of the site, and the new hangout will create ten new jobs too - perfect for any budding mixologists! The plans for the redevelopment – which hopes to be open by summer 2021 – include a lovely open kitchen, a hanging garden terrace overlooking the stunning coastline, and a vibrant menu boasting an array of delicious cuisines and concoctions. So, whether it's a bite to eat with your bubble, a couple of tipples when the good times return, or you're just passing by with the pooch on your daily walk, you can expect everything from breakfasts and coffee mornings, to locally sourced

seafood specials and steak night suppers as night falls. This new venue will also offer some of the city’s finest views while serving up some of the finest seasonal produce and some of the world’s most sought-after gins. Sounds ideal, right? It’s a great bit of news to lift spirits (literally!) during these tough times. With our chums at Sunderland City Council investing more than £10m on the seafront regeneration and improvements over recent years, with award-winning environmental and streetscene enhancements helping attract developments such as at Seaburn STACK, the Seaburn Inn and a host of new businesses to Marine Walk, it’s safe to say that things are certainly looking up as we put the last 12 months behind us. Keep your eyes peeled on our social media channels and website as we’re expecting more information and images to drop into our inboxes over the coming weeks. Until then, keep your gin up, good times are on the horizon…




Mother’s Day dining in the city...

There's no need to miss out on Mother's Day celebrations! Many of our city’s brilliant restaurants are saving the day by offering home-cooking kits and takeaway treats. Here’s our way to saying a big Sunderland style 'I love you' this Mothering Sunday

Home cooking essentials...

Blacks Corner From decadent hampers to breakfast in bed, Blacks Corner has got something special to elevate any setting with their outstanding hamper kits. Renowned for using the very best British farm produce, these experts have been helping us crack home cooking for months now and their beautiful hampers are a certified win-win this March. Perfect for the maternal figure in your life or one for the al fresco dining season ahead, you can find the likes of wild mushroom and truffle salami paired with sea water brewed beer in their Classic Savoury Hamper, or if you’re really wanting to push the boat out this season, let mam, nanna or auntie know how special she is with an opulent Champagne & Wine Hamper - trust us, it’ll blow even the fussiest of foodies away. All you have to

Fat Unicorn Kitchen & Stores Who said you can’t celebrate in a pandemic? Thanks to the new arrival of Fat Unicorn over by Mackie’s Corner, Mother’s Day is now in the bag! These guys have got you covered when you’re cooking up those feel-good food moments at-home this spring. Treat mam to a sensational selection of charcuterie and cheeses, tons of different pasta options, local craft beers, cocktails aplenty, and even the likes of organic Tarocco blood oranges. Delicious! They’re a brilliant new addition to the city and they're a sure bet when it comes to shopping local and supporting independents. Thank us later! FAC EBO OK.COM / FAT U NI CORNK I TC HE N

Spring forward and bounce back Bringing new life to your social media strategy A social media programme created with you in mind, our Spring Forward courses have been designed to help your business bounce back from COVID-19 with the social support you need. So,whether you are looking for a way to make posting on social media easy, or the skills to design your very own digital menu, our training team is here to help you spring ahead of your competition with these exclusive new courses.

Courses available from £75 +vat For more information get in touch by calling us on +44 (0) 191 500 7863 or email us at

DATES Curating Social Content Monday 22 March Tactical selling on social Friday 26 March Design like a pro with Canva Monday 29 March Making social work for you Thursday 1 April

Each virtual course will last for 3 hours and everyone taking part will be provided with a copy of the session recording.

Accredited providers



do is head online, arrange a click and collect slot, or select products that are available for delivery to send a parcel of joy to someone who deserves a treat that says 'I love you' this March. B L ACK SCO RNER.C O.UK

Jacky Whites Market

The inspiring bunch behind our iconic market in the city have been non-stop throughout the lockdown period, so we think they deserve a bit of love for our spring issue. It’s a place born to put smiles on faces, and is a go-to essential when it comes to mastering a marvellous Mother's Day meal in the house. Whether it's a deliciously fresh fruit and veg box from Thoburns, artisanal produce from our chums at Ibbitsons, or exquisite gin flavoured gifts with personalised messaging from Ginka, this independent hub really has everything you need to make lasting memories this Mother’s Day. Pop in during your lunch break or preorder as you plan ahead for the big day. Remember the drill; mask on, 2m apart and tons of smiles as you go. FAC EBO OK.COM / WH I T ESM ARKETS UNDE RLAND

Takeaway treats...

The Forge At Home Our foodie friends at The Forge are one again here to save the day - helping to make this Mother’s Day one to remember for all the right reasons, thanks to their Forge at Home menu. They’re hosting a fabulous set menu to feast on at home this Mothering Sunday, and there’s something for all the family to enjoy. Treat that special lady in your life to everything from red onion pickles, Steve’s special sourdough venison and smoked bacon scotch egg, juicy topside of beef plus all the trimmings, before finishing with the likes of whipped dark chocolate 8

and orange. With tons of offers to be had, as well as multiple delivery and collection options, The Forge is one of our top picks for Mother’s Day this year. It's the perfect excuse to treat mam to a day of well-deserved, delicious dining. THE FORGEFOOD.COM

Alishaan By The Sea The team at Alishaan have kept us going through Lockdown with their tasty takeaway service in recent weeks, and it's a must when it comes to feasting with the whole family this Mother’s Day. This is your go-to if you're big on all things fire and spice! Alishaan is nearly everybody’s favourite Bangladeshi restaurant and it’s not hard to see why; perhaps it’s their mouth-watering Facebook pics that whet the appetite – or the incredibly friendly service sure to put smiles on faces? Either way, the food is insane, the drink options are heavenly and trust us, it’s a total treat for the special lady in your life! FAC EBOOK.COM/ ALISHAANBY THES EA

Six At Pierpoint Looking for something special to blow the usual Sunday feast out of the water? Look no further than the team at SIX. They’re a luxury charcuterie and wine bar on the Roker Riviera and they’ve been creating some pretty delightful bites during the last few weeks. From home-baked nibbles to signature SIX cheeseboards and the limited edition seafood platters, this place has got sitting-room supper sorted, and it's sure to make your mam feel special this spring! SIX sure is a clear winner when it comes to dining in style. Head over to their Instagram page for inspiration and booking details. Trust us, you won't regret this decision! INSTAG RAM.COM/S IX_PIERPOINT

808 Bar & Kitchen 808 has always been a fan favourite when it comes to feasting in Sunderland. Time spent away from the city was made a little easier thanks to 808’s brand new foodie venture ‘Tapas Takeout’! A great option that caters to all tastes and preferences, 808 are offering Mackem mothers and their families any four tapas dishes for £16; or if you’re feeling adventurous and have a few ravenous mouths to feed, 12 dishes for just £42! We’re talking sumptuous Thai satay pork belly, cod goujons, tandoori chicken pizzas and much, much more. Wash them down with a house white or your favourite beer for a fab Mother’s Day at home special! FACEBOOK. COM/80 8BARANDKITCHEN

Nudo Sushi Box Take the taste of opulent oriental cuisine back to your abode this spring. We've got some great news for sushi-lovers... our chums at Nudo Sushi Box in the Bridges are still open for takeaway! With deliciously colourful sushi boxes brimming with exotic delicacies and an extensive range of hot food dishes too, it’s no surprise that Nudo Sushi Box have been dubbed ‘The RollsRice of Japanese Food’ by foodies across the North East! Check it out this Mother's Day, for something a little different! NUDOS US HIBOX.COM


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Is my business eligible for ShopAppy?

Backing local business Indie supporters and high-street shoppers can now find new ways to give a little love back to local businesses, thanks to the new trailblazing scheme taking the city by storm… was launched to help the high-street engage with customers in a new way that would make it more convenient for them to shop, and has now become a huge asset to towns and cities across the country. As part of an on-going commitment to helping the local economy, Sunderland BID and Sunderland City Council have enrolled the city in the ShopAppy scheme to give smaller retailers a new shop window to display and sell their goods. On, stores can display a range of goods, allowing the customer to buy from a number of outlets while collecting all of their purchases from one place. It means that sellers without an online presence of their own can have one and any retailer with an existing website can have this as an additional way to promote their products and services. was recently featured on ITV’s The Tonight Show, highlighting its value in helping to revive the high-street given the current circumstances. The website has already been highly successful in towns and cities across the country, mainly down to the convenience it gives shoppers, while doing their bit to support the local community. The platform has been widely praised for its role in helping to revive high-streets, and now the hope is more Sunderland 10

businesses will get on board. Initially, the scheme was launched to complement in-person shopping, but has come into its own because of the restrictions caused by COVID-19. Sunderland businesses are being invited to join, which promises to give any business - with or without a website of their own - the chance to have a digital presence on a trusted, safe and nationally-recognised outlet.

As this is a joint initiative between Sunderland BID and Sunderland City Council, all independent businesses across Sunderland are able to be part of the ShopAppy initiative. Pretty much every business venture you can think of is covered by ShopAppy, making it the perfect platform to shout about everything that’s great and wonderful about your business! ShopAppy is happy to welcoming businesses from all walks of life, including the below: • Food & drink • Fashion & home • Beauty & healthcare • Lifestyle & social • Professional services • Gifts, toys & celebrations • Events & sxperiences • Restaurants, bars & cafes • Property & finance • Domestic & trade • Holidays & travel This includes businesses located within: SR1, SR2, SR3, SR4, SR5, SR6, NE37, NE38, DH4 and DH5

Why should I join ShopAppy?

Now this is the big one folks. We know, there are a lot of different schemes and incentives out there for the business community, and given the uncertainty at the moment you’d be forgiven to let this fly over your head, but listen up ShopAppy is completely different to your usual high-street incentive. Not only is your business put in front of thousands of potential customers, the ShopAppy community also provides you with a marketing reach to the wider world and for those who are yet to own a website, you get the benefit of your own online shop for the fraction of the cost. The fun doesn’t stop there! As well as being incredibly simple to use, ShopAppy enables customers to book items, services, appointments, classes and more via the 'things to book' and 'what's on' sections.

How do I join ShopAppy? It's easy to claim your space on ShopAppy, just email Shiv at support@ and let her know you want to join the Sunderland community. Alternatively, you can register via the link below. Just make sure you click the 'COVID-19 Free Use' button under 'membership options'! S HOPAPPY.COM/SUNDERLAND/ UMICROSITE/VENDOR/ REGISTER




Afternoon Tea at Crumb On In Afternoon Tea is always a treat and this year she can have it delivered to her very own door. To make it more of an occasion, order one for yourself too and enjoy it together over a video call.


It may not be as easy as popping to the shops this year, but plenty of businesses in Sunderland are still open for click and collect or online orders and shopping local means you’re supporting the high street at the same time. We’ve teamed up with the guys Sunderland BID to bring you the ultimate guide on perfecting your Mother’s Day gifting and all the while, share a little love to our beautiful businesses across the city…

Lush treats from Lush! The last year has been stressful for everyone, so a night of pampering is a perfect gift for the special lady in your life. Help her unwind with a selection of her favourite products or surprise her with Lush’s new Happy Mother’s Day gift set, which includes bath bombs, shower gels, soap, a bubble bar, body lotion and a beautiful, reusable knot wrap.


Vintage bouquet from Ashbrooke Florists Flowers are always a lovely surprise to show someone you’re thinking of them and Ashbrooke Florists are on hand to help you find the perfect bunch. Pastel shades are a great choice for Mother’s Day and their Vintage Bouquet pairs stunning roses with some lovely seasonal blooms. ASHBROOKEFLORISTSANDGIFTWARE. CO.UK

2 Church Lane She shouldn’t have to cook on her special day, so help her put her feet up by ordering her lunch. 2 Church Lane is open for takeaways throughout the lockdown and she’s sure to love their indulgent burgers piled high with delicious toppings. FACEBOOK.COM/2CHURCHLANE

Surprise her with the Sunderland Gift Card! For the mum who has everything, the Sunderland Gift Card might be the solution to all your gifting woes. With more than 100 businesses signed up, there’s plenty for her to choose from, whether she wants to shop for some new clothes, delicious food or save it for a beauty treatment when lockdown lifts. SUNDERLANDGIFTCARD.COM


The perfect card at Park Lane Cards & Gifts We might be in lockdown this year, but that doesn’t give you the excuse to not send a card to your mother! Whether she likes funny designs or heartfelt messages, there’s a huge variety to choose from at Park Lane Cards & Gifts. You could even throw in a balloon too for extra brownie points! FACEBOOK.COM/PARLANECARDSANDGIFTS

Gorgeous gifting at Nominations A Nominations bracelet is the gift that keeps on giving as it’s one you can build on with each future special occasion. With links covering everything from animals to spirituality, there are lots of ways she can customise it so it really suits her. SUNDERLANDCHARM.COM

Opulent scents from Boots We may be stuck inside but surprising her with a bottle of her favourite perfume is sure to lift her spirits come the big day. BOOTS.COM

TO A DV ERTI SE CALL 0 1 91 5 0 0 78 67 OR E MAIL R EB EC CA @ R EM EM B ER M EDI A . C O.UK



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The Bridges is on a mission to bring independent businesses to the forefront of the high street… There’s big news emanating out of the Bridges recently, and it’s exactly the kind of news that will be music to ears of both small business owners and those who love to shop around independent stores. Here’s how the Bridges are backing local in the city centre…

Home to many of the UK’s leading brands, along with a range of well-established independents, we’ve recently learned that the team at the Bridges are hoping 12

to create a retail enterprise hub; giving small businesses the opportunity to have a high street presence in the city centre.

seeking out new age independents, those with a special idea and businesses ready to take that next step into the retail world.

The premise is simple yet brilliantly effective; by dividing units into sections, the Bridges are pushing forward to give local businesses which may previously have traded online or at specialist events, the opportunity to sell to a wider audience at an affordable rate.

Take a look at the wealth of benefits available to businesses and how it will benefit the city with this mega initiative…

The pandemic has allowed us to consider how we want to live and work with a greater focus on self-fulfillment. A fabulous idea that has arrived just in the nick of time for the high street, this new initiative is

What are the Bridges proposing? The team over at the Bridges are looking to create a shared space, created as a business incubator, for local people across Wearside and surrounding areas to develop and test their business idea. The idea is simple; local people would have the opportunity to take a licence on a shared space inside the Bridges, alongside similar





Is my business/idea suitable for the Bridges? Whether it’s an independent bookstore selling a range of blockbuster releases or pre-loved books, a wine store stocking fabulous vinos and craft delicacies from North East breweries - the possibilities are endless. Perhaps it’s an artisan delicatessen stocking Northern produce or maybe a local artist showcasing a wide range of city-inspired gifts. This initiative is available to any business concept out there and the Bridges want to hear from you.

How can this benefit my business? The idea of moving into a fast-paced, leading shopping centre can seem daunting at first, but there’s a wealth of support available for those interested. Whether it’s a flexible term on a licence agreement for up to 12 months to help your business get off the ground or the

chance to benefit from a prime shopping location in the North East and enjoy significant footfall on a daily basis, the team at the Bridges are there to enable your idea to grow and flourish. There’s also scope to offer start-ups a way to build a really strong retail presence at a price that is not only affordable, but manageable and hugely competitive compared to anywhere in the North East. With local mentoring, support and online marketing tips from industry experts, the Bridges will be showcasing your products, your story and your unique offering to the wider world. With this new initiative, there really is a tangible opportunity to grow your customer base and make a true difference to the footprint of our city.

How will this benefit the city? The proposed idea will see local people, with local ideas join into the Bridges’ retail community, and give those a chance to be part of a business incubator in a vibrant shared space, supported by other complimentary start-up businesses and growing business together. We’re

all incredibly aware of Sunderland's rich heritage and culture, so this new idea from the Bridges that celebrates uniqueness, creativity and personality, will feed into the city’s growing kaleidoscope of vibrant independents. Local independent businesses are key to bringing in entrepreneurial vibrancy and something different to the city. We’re all well aware of how much Sunderland loves to support local, and the idea of local people spending hard-earned money with local business gives off a beautiful sense of connection to the community. To know that our money is supporting the local economy and supporting small business owners is a beautiful way to promote our city.

Who do I contact to get started? If you have a business plan and a business concept you have tested, contact for an informal discussion around how you could access prime retail space to grow your business. 13

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set amongst their weird and wonderful collections! A joint project that will take your little one on a musical adventure and spark creativity with a selection of favourite children's books. SUNDERLANDMUSEUM.ORG.UK

Spring into action!

Sunderland-inspired fun for the whole family as the sunny days return to the city, the coast and beyond...

Spring Bingo FAMILY GAME Get out and about and explore nature on your doorstep with Sunderland Museum’s Spring Bingo clue-sheets. Can you find all the all the spring themed plants, animals, birds and objects? SUNDERLANDMUSEUM.ORG.UK

Dinosaurs and Fossils FAMILY ACTIVITY PACK Sunderland Culture’s free family takeaway pack will be dinosaur themed this Easter – full of fun facts and activities to try at home including a dinosaur egg hunt, dino dioramas and salt dough fossil prints! DOWNLOAD THE PACK AT SUNDERLANDMUSEUM.ORG.UK


Get fit for FoL We're making 2021 the year of fitness and wellbeing, and our friends at the Foundation of Light have a storming challenge for all members of the family to dive into this spring! Listen up... the warmer weather is returning and the brighter nights are just around the corner, so what better time to get the legs pumping and raise some cash for one of our city’s hugely inspiring charities - the Foundation of Light? How do I get my clan involved? Well... kids, parents, aunties and uncles - you name it - are invited to run, walk or cycle 20 miles and donate £20 to help the inspiring folk at FoL to continue giving local children access to sport and football across the city. It’s a win, win for fitness enthusiasts, those wanting to shake the lockdown pounds and great fun for all the family. To get involved, head over to the FIT for FoL Facebook group and then make any donations via JustGiving. FOUNDATIONOFLIGHT.CO.UK

Lady Kitt: Art Confined DIGITAL EXHIBITION Norfolk Street Gallery have made the most of lockdown by shifting a powerful exhibition by Lady Kitt online for families across Wearside to enjoy from home. 'Art Confined, Norfolk Street; social art with social distance' is a vibrant exhibition that captures the trials, tribulations and unexpected joys we’ve all experienced during the pandemic. Featuring giant paper sculptures of bright pink and purple recycled paper, 14

this exhibition comes complete with descriptions from co-authors, spoken and musical elements as well as 3D digital scans. A perfect virtual pastime for when rainy days strike! NORFOLKSTREETARTS.COM

Story Explorers ONLINE STORYTIME & SINGALONG Perfect for children aged 6 and under, join Sunderland Music Hub, Sunderland Libraries and Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens for a storytelling singalong

Shout out to any budding young musicians, writers, poets or performers from Sunderland! Sunderland Culture have teamed up with Mercury Award nominated band Field Music and poet Paul Summers on the hunt for young people aged 13 – 19 years interested in developing their own music and lyrics for a performance at Arts Centre Washington in the Spring. All levels of experience are welcome for this free opportunity so sign up now! ARTSCENTREWASHINGTON.CO.UK




Talking to tomorrow's talent We’re showcasing the rising stars and talented youngsters who are changing our city’s future for the better…

businesses, with my first example being a website for my local park, which I published when I was just 9-years-old.

What is the inspiration behind Genu Prima? During lockdown, my feed across social media was flooded with people buying from cheap fast-fashion suppliers, sometimes spending large amounts per order. This made me research why these brands were so cheap, and I was alarmed to find that many brands use questionable, even illegal, work practices, and contribute massively to the fashion industry’s terrible environmental footprint.

Why did you launch Genu Prima? We launched Genu Prima as an affordable alternative to the immoral, fast-fashion industry, which thrives off of poor quality materials and exploitation of both people and our planet.

How is Genu Prima different to other clothing brands? Name: Alexander Robinson-Wood

Title: Owner and founder of Genu Prima

My connection to Sunderland is... I have lived here since I was 2-years-old. My family has a deep-rooted connection with the area, spanning generations. I still attend school in the area, where I’m in my final year.

How has the city shaped your business? Being a Sunderland resident and having a passion for spotting rising trends in the local area, I have noticed an upsurge particularly amongst students and young people - on the need for a fresh new take on casual-wear, with other brands simply not being able to adapt to the market.

How did you get to where you are now? I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit. Since I was young I have been creating

Genu Prima is different to other clothing brands in three ways. These three ‘principles’ have been defined since we launched: SUSTAINABILITY - all materials, packaging and logistics are entirely carbon neutral. We use organic cotton, and recycled polyester across our ranges. All transport is also offset using an algorithm that calculates our carbon emissions, and then offsets them using data from the Verified Carbon Standard. SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY - we believe that a 21st century brand should be socially conscious. This means enforcing strict rules around hate, whichever form it may take. We have also worked with charities such as The Trussell Trust, launching a collection in aid of them. GENDER-NEUTRALITY - all of our products across every range are designed to fit all. We believe that gender shouldn’t be a dividing factor in clothing, or in any industry, and this is why no Genu Prima product will ever be gender-specific.

was creating my not-for-profit,, and most recently, Genu Prima, which I was proud to create during a difficult time for everyone.

What is your five year plan? In five years time, we hope to have made a lasting impact on the industry, and forcing it to change how it operates. In addition, we hope to have made our products more mainstream and less of a niche, as we believe sustainable fashion shouldn’t be exclusive to only those who can currently afford it.

What advice would you give to other young entrepreneurs in the city? My advice to other entrepreneurs would simply be to find your passion, follow it and never be told otherwise.

Tell us one rule you live by? A rule I live by is to continually learn from my experiences, including my mistakes.

Shout out to another local business doing great things in Sunderland? Thunderbolt Design, another Sunderlandbased business, has helped us massively with the designs, graphics and website for Genu Prima. They were great at using our ideas and making them a reality, with an unrivalled response time. GENUPRIMA.CO

What is your proudest achievement to date? My proudest achievement to date 15



Sunderland Vibe

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To celebrate the Easter holidays we’re helping kids get crafty in the home by giving Vibe readers and their little ones the chance to WIN £100 Sunderland Gift Card and FEATURE IN OUR MAGAZINE for the best decorated egg! Egg decorating competitions take place in schools across Sunderland, the North East and beyond every Easter. We were so blown away by entries last year, so we’re stepping things up a notch with the return of our very own Sunderland Vibe Egg Decorating Competition. The theme for this year? We want to see egg decorations inspired by Roker Pier!

Want to get your creation in the headlines and win £100 Sunderland Gift Card? All you have to do is simply create your own egg-cellent masterpiece, like our Facebook page, tag @SunderlandVibe in your post and use the hashtag #VibeEasterEgg. Simple! Our Sunderland Vibe Egg Decorating champion will be announced via Facebook on Easter Monday, 5 April 2021. T&Cs: Participants must like Sunderland Vibe Facebook page. Images must be shared via our Sunderland Vibe Facebook page tagging @SunderlandVibe and using the hashtag #VibeEasterEgg. Only one winner will be announced. Other terms and conditions are available on request from: Closing date: Sunday 4th April 2021. 16




Whether it be our roaring coastline, enchanting woodlands or one of our many peaceful parks, we've explored the great outdoors in many forms over the last year or so. Here, we're looking back at the construction of one of Sunderland's most iconic landscapes...


Credit: Tyne & Wear Archives & Mus

Who: River Wear Commission What: Roker Pier begins to take shape Where: River Wear, Roker Sunderland When: 1885 - 1903 Why: To help absorb the treacherous, powerful waves from the North Sea and allow visiting ships a safe passage into the city as trade and commerce flourished in the city.

Progress at Roker Pier... Our new longing for localised discovery is a great pathway into learning more about our history and heritage. We’re all firmly aware of our industrial and coal mining links from bygone eras, but whether it be the Washington Viaduct from 1838, or the remnants of Ryhope East Station, these urban artefacts have a different story to tell about our past. One of Sunderland’s more popular walking destinations is undoubtedly Roker Pier. We all know and love the businesses that currently reside there now, but do you ever stop and think; ‘how did they even build this?’. Well, this is where we introduce the breathtaking images of the construction

of Roker Pier from 1889. This set of images are taken from a scrapbook kept by Henry Hay Wake, chief engineer to the River Wear Commission. Henry Wake designed Roker Pier and managed the construction phase from beginning to end. The Pier's foundation stone was first laid in September 1885 and it was 18 year laters that the Pier was formally opened on 23 September 1903. The Pier is 2,800 feet long and was built with Aberdeen granite and concrete cement at a total cost of £290,000 around £38m in today's economy! Many of our ancestors would have worked on this gigantic project back then. So,

when you’re out and about, sipping on a flat white from one of our lovely coffee shops and meandering towards the lighthouse, take a minute to think about how one of Sunderland’s most iconic landmarks came to life all those years ago!



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University teams up with music stars for pioneering cultural course… A pioneering music programme which will nurture, develop, and produce the music artists of the future is set to launch at the University of Sunderland. The Modern Music Industries course will be led by some of the North East’s most prolific musicians. Set to begin in September, the course will be led by musicians, for musicians - and it aims to fully equip students for life in an industry that has undergone a radical transformation during the past 20 years. The programme will be run by the University in partnership with the Northern Academy of Music Education (NAME) – made up of Barry Hyde, from the Futureheads, and business partner Dan Donnelly, who has performed with Celtic Social Club, The Wonder Stuff, and The Levellers. The first cohort of around 30 students will be based in music studios in the cultural heart of the city, and will offer unique opportunities for a fresh wave of artists looking to break through. The programme further cements not only the city’s reputation as a hotbed of cultural resurgence but shows the ‘professions18


facing’ direction taken by the University to ensure graduates are work-ready. Barry said: “You used to have to go to a recording studio and would have to pay thousands of pounds to hire for the hour, day or week. “Today, we live in a time where music technology dictates, and people have direct access to that technology. You can make an album in your bedroom – the ability is there; in many ways now is a great time to be a music artist.” The programme will be led by Barry and Dan. The pair took over the lease of

Sunderland’s The Peacock pub, in Keel Square, in 2019. It is hoped that students will be partly based in Birdland Studios, located in renovated rooms above The Peacock, while the academic side will take place in rooms at the nearby Fire Station venue. Barry said: “There is huge respect between ourselves and the University and we are inspired by the vibrancy there is in the Higher Education sector here in Sunderland.” So what can students expect from their three years of study?


“It’s exciting,” says Barry. “They will be working directly with music professionals who have a vast knowledge of the industry dating back to the mid-90s. “We are professional artists who are still making and releasing music on an international level. This is a programme designed for the 21st Century music business. “It’s no longer enough to be just a musician; you have to be a businessperson, an entrepreneur, an A&R specialist, a social media expert. “And although you will learn all of these things, we haven’t forgotten the most important factor of all – making great music. “The aim is to make a creative explosion and we will be here to mentor and guide these self-motivated musical artists.” In an industry that is notoriously fickle, does Barry believe a University programme can help artists – often here one day, gone the next – achieve greater career longevity? “There is undoubtedly a lot of luck involved in this industry,” he adds. “But you can make yourself more lucky. And this programme will equip you with that very ability." Despite the current pandemic taking a



heavy toll on the arts and creative industries, Barry believes now is the time for a programme of this type. He said: “I don’t believe, and will never accept, that art is a secondary career. The music business alone generates billions of pounds every year.” Professor Arabella Plouviez, Dean of Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries, said: “Sunderland as a city, has a strong tradition in music and, like all the creative industries, it becomes even more important as part of how we move forward from the current challenges. “This new programme that NAME is launching in collaboration with our faculty is a really exciting opportunity for musicians to learn about the contemporary music industry, develop their own creative voice within that, and draw upon the vibrant scene locally, regionally nationally and internationally.”


Millions in value added to region’s businesses thanks to University project A multimillion-pound University of Sunderland project is having a critical impact on North East businesses, a new report has found. At a time when many of the region’s manufacturing SMEs are having to re-think and readjust their practices, a University support project is proving a much-needed lifeline by adding millions in value to participating businesses. The Sustainable Advanced Manufacturing Project (SAM) - one of the North East’s largest investment programmes - aims to help businesses become more productive and sustainable. Phase One of the project, which ended in December 2020, has proved a huge success, providing £800,000 in matched funding as well as practical and research support to over 200 SMEs across the region. Now, an Interim Summative Assessment of the scheme has revealed the extent to which the project is reaping rewards for

those businesses involved. SAM participants surveyed reported: • An overall £47.1million gross value added to businesses who engaged with SAM in Phase one. • Growth in employment of 25.1 per cent and sales growth of 30.1 per cent between the baseline position and the business position following programme support. • The vast majority (89.5 per cent) of businesses felt that the support they received was either of high quality or very high quality. • 82.8 per cent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that the SAM project team understood the needs of their business. • 82.6 per cent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that the grant application process was easy. Ken Teears, SAM Project Manager, said: “I’m absolutely delighted about the findings of the Interim Summative Assessment.” 19

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Magical Mackems is a page dedicated to bigging up the people and places that make us incredibly proud to be from Wearside. Take a look at those who have been lighting up our city in recent weeks…

Mackems honoured by Her Majesty… We’re delighted to learn that Ellen Thinnesen and Rob Lawson have both been awarded OBEs in the Queen’s New Year 2021 Honours List. Both major players in our city’s education and culture offering, Ellen and Rob were honoured for their outstanding contribution to education for their work with Education Partnership North East (EPNE), a fabulous partnership that incorporates the likes of Sunderland College, Northumberland College and Hartlepool Sixth Form. Ellen was appointed Chief Executive and Principal at Sunderland College in 2016 and after both mergers became Chief 20

Executive for EPNE in 2019. Rob is a current trustee at Sunderland Music, Arts and Culture (MAC) Trust. He was a former Editor of The Shields Gazette and currently works in public relations across the city. The fantastic news regarding Mackems mentioned in the New Year’s Honours List doesn’t stop there! We’re reserving special mention for Tom and Carla Cuthbertson - a local couple who were awarded MBEs for their poignant charity work honouring son Nathan's memory. This inspiring couple devoted themselves to raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity and raising the profile of those who have served in the military since their 19-year-old Nathan died in 2008. The brains and sheer determination behind the likes of ‘Cuthy’s Big Bike Ride' and the Memorial Wall, Tom and Carla are now working on developing the National Veterans’ Walk; a pathway in Mowbray Park that features the names of hundreds who have served their country. EDUCATIONPARTNERSHIPNE.AC.UK | NATIONALVETERANSWALK.CO.UK

Sunderland Nursing Team honoured in NHS Parliamentary Awards! Words can’t describe how proud we are of our NHS staff who are working tirelessly day and night to keep our city safe, so to see that they’ve been specifically honoured by MPs and NHS leaders in the 2020 Parliamentary Awards, we feel, is justly deserved. In case you didn’t know, our wonderful team of community nurses were handpicked as regional winners across

the whole of the North East and Yorkshire in the ‘Future NHS’ category for their unbelievable efforts during the pandemic. The team were nominated for providing outstanding advice and psychological support to care home staff, helping vulnerable people to undertake COVID-19 swabs as well as offering virtual and faceto-face consultations for all residents discharged recently from hospital. Our NHS heroes deserve all the plaudits they can get and more, so it’s truly heartwarming to see their exemplary work recognised nationally! STSFT.NHS.UK

Jack Berry flies high for charity… Now this is a heart-warming story! We’re shouting high and low for Jack Berry this spring, as this generous Mackem and aviation enthusiast has illustrated a brilliant book in aid of military charities after taking up art as an outlet during the pandemic. Jack Berry, a Sunderland local, began drawing planes in his own time last summer. His creations were that great that Red Arrows squadron leader, Adam Collins, and Formula 1 ace, Lando Norris, have all supported his book! This cool new project features Jack’s very own drawings including the likes of Spitfires, Sea Harriers, Chinooks and the McLaren MCL35 - very impressive if you ask us! The SSAFA's Forces Additional Needs and Disability Forum, International Bomber Command Centre and Lincolnshire's Lancaster Association will all receive a percentage of sales too. Amazing work young man - well done!

Faye Fantarrow awarded the Alan Hull Songwriting Award! The world may seem a crazy place at the moment, but tons of talent from Wearside continues to shine bright and that’s no different with our very own Faye Fantarrow! We’ve recently learned that this melodic songstress has just claimed the prestigious Alan Hull Award 2021! Announced by The Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, this


highly-sought after achievement is made annually to an emerging singer/songwriter or composer based in the North East in memory of Alan Hull, the iconic songwriter and founding member of North East group Lindisfarne, who died in 1995. Faye has been setting our livestreams alight in recent weeks, and so it’s no surprise to see her bag this awesome award. Congrats Faye! FACEBOOK.COM/FAYEFANTARROWMUSIC | WEMAKECULTURE. CO.UK/YOUNG-MUSICIANS-PROJECT



the Foundation reinvests millions back into Sunderland, South Tyneside and County Durham communities each year through delivery of over 40 sport, employability, health and wellbeing and education programmes, tackling some of the regions’ biggest societal challenges such as obesity, poor mental health, unemployment and anti-social behaviour. To mark the very special year, the Foundation is aiming to raise £50,000 to support hundreds of people across Sunderland, South Tyneside and County Durham access life-changing employability and mental health projects. SHOW YOUR SUPPORT TO THIS INCREDIBLE FOUNDATION BY VISITING: JUSTGIVING.COM/CAMPAIGN/FOL20



Chanel Murrish and family light up Christmas for North East families…


You may have read our heart-warming story online about Chanel’s new bike for Christmas thanks to the guys at Red Sky Foundation. Well, as we were cosied up indoors during the festive period, we learned that Chanel and her family went a step further by presenting gifts to families who, unfortunately, were spending Christmas in hospital. Chanel and her clan have worked tirelessly to support others like them ever since her lifesaving operation, and they’ve been raising funds and collecting gifts so that they could present gifts to the Children’s Heart Ward at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle. Usually, Chanel is accompanied by a whole host of cartoon characters on her annual visit. Given the situation, Chanel and family instead hand delivered over 100 gifts to the nurses at the Freeman - helping to light up little lives and spread an untold amount of Christmas joy. REDSKYFOUNDATION.COM

HRH the Countess of Wessex shares her pride for ‘incredibly special’ foundation of light… HRH The Countess of Wessex GCVO has spoken about her pride for the “incredibly special” Foundation of Light in a video call to mark the start of the Foundation of Light’s 20th birthday celebrations. Hosted by Sky Sports presenter and Sunderland AFC board member, David Jones, The Countess was joined by the Foundation’s Chair of Trustees, Sir Bob Murray CBE, Chief Executive Lesley Spuhler OBE DL and Sunderland AFC Ladies Captain, Keira Ramshaw. Thanks to donors, corporate partners and community fundraising,



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Put a spring in your step… It’s no secret to any of us that taking a walk can have huge physical and mental wellbeing benefits, so take some time out and plan some amazing local walks that really will put a spring in your step. When something is on our doorstep, we often forget its charms, but with a beautiful coastline, historic parks and open countryside, not to forget a 10-mile stretch of the River Wear, when it comes to walking opportunities, Sunderland has it all. Here are five of the most popular walks with something for all age groups and levels of ability. Check out our recommendations, make plans for your next local walk and lookout on our website for our 'Ten best walks in Sunderland' guide!

Where in Wearside: High Wood Distance: 2 miles Starting point: Ferryboat Lane

The wonders of Wearside

Credit: Martin Burdon @martin870

It’s been a challenging year for everyone, and as COVID restrictions continue, we are all feeling the need to have something to look forward to. We joined forces with Sunderland City Council to bring you the wonders of Wearside, a city-wide guide to lift the spirits, help us look ahead to happier times and marvel in everything Sunderland has to offer during the springtime…

Enjoy our city from the comfort of your sofa Filmed during Autumn last year, check out the amazing drone footage on the See it do it Sunderland website, which shows how lucky we are in Sunderland to have such fantastic green spaces all around us. Taking you from the countryside surrounding Penshaw Monument and 22

along the banks of the River Wear it is a real hidden kingdom with a rich, fascinating history and brimming with wildlife. Sit down with a cuppa, and enjoy the glorious outside, inside! SEEITDOITSUNDERLAND.CO.UK

A stunning short walk taking in beautiful oak woodland, riverside vistas and what is quite possibly the best view in Sunderland! Be sure to take your camera and tag us in your snaps too!

Where in Wearside: Roker to Seaburn Distance: 2 miles Starting point: Bungalow Café A gentle walk from Roker to Seaburn and back again, set against the backdrop of the fabulous North Sea coast. A perfect stroll for all members of the household.

Where in Wearside: Penshaw Monument Distance: 0.5 miles Starting point: The foot of Penshaw Monument If you’re able to manage a steep ascent, this short walk is a must-do for any Wearside rambler. One of our city’s most iconic landmarks, Penshaw Monument is based on the Temple of Hephaestus in Athens, is to locals, their symbol of ‘home.’


Where in Wearside: Cox Green River Walk Distance: 7 miles Starting point: Cox Green This walk will let you explore the heavily wooded, picturesque setting of Cox Green and Fatfield, taking in the lovely open countryside near Offterton. A real escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.


What’s coming up around the city? Sunderland Libraries Services and Active Sunderland will be hosting a range of Easter activities throughout the school holidays, including online craft activities, Storytime and Time for Rhyme. Check their Facebook and Twitter pages for updates on their programme or go to for more information. 10-year anniversary of the Active Sunderland BIG Bike Ride 29 - 30 May

Where in Wearside: City Centre to Roker Marina Walk Distance: 2.5 miles Starting point: Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens This fascinating walk along the River Wear is accessibility-friendly and packed with culture and history both ancient and modern - ideal for those wanting to learn more about Sunderland’s rich heritage!


Huge news for the two wheel enthusiasts out there! Subject to the COVID regulations of the time, The BIG Bike Ride is zooming back into the city this May, meaning you and your bubble will be able to take part in the likes of the BIG Family Bike Ride and other exhilarating activities across the May weekend. They are all part of the BIG Bike Ride weekend, celebrating Sunderland City Council’s 10-year anniversary of this mega cycling extravaganza! SUNDERLAND.GOV.UK/ BIGBIKERIDE2021

of its famous bridges providing a stunning backdrop to all 4 distances, this sprint through the city is always a major date. No matter if you’re a firsttimer or an experienced runner, the course and atmosphere are conducive to fast times as well as a whole load of fun. See you on the start line COVID permitting! SUNDERLANDCITY10K.COM

Digital Library Services Sunderland City Council are continuing to offer a wide range of digital services for all ages, to reduce feelings of isolation and without having to leave the house. Accessible from computers, tablets, iPads and smartphones, the free offers range from e-books, e-audio books, e-magazines. There is something for everyone to enjoy, whatever your taste. SUNDERLAND.GOV.UK/LIBRARIES

Download the Step Up Sunderland app now! Step Up Sunderland is a great way to keep track of your activity levels and increase physical activity by adding friends, creating walking teams and collecting badges for your walking achievements – all of which can be done whilst maintaining social distance. You will also gain access to exclusive rewards and discounts just for taking part too! • It’s FREE! • It’s FUN! • Motivate yourself with daily BADGES and ACHIEVEMENTS • Be part of a TEAM • Get REWARDS and DISCOUNTS

Why not sign up today?

Books at Home Service

Sunderland Runs Weekend 19 & 20 June Having first hosted the Sunderland city 10km back in 2011, Sunderland City Runs is back again and they’re welcoming 5000 keen runners to the city streets in a celebration of fitness. So, whether it be the 10th anniversary 10k, the stunning Half-Marathon, the Northern Spire 5k or the Big 3k, there truly is something for everyone. One of the North's largest running events that races through the city and along the seafront, with two

Books at Home provides a free home delivery service for Sunderland residents. If you are unable to access a library due to age, ill-health, disability or mobility problems (whether these are long-term or short-term), you can apply for the service. The team at SCC are also welcoming residents to use their e-books, e-audiobooks and e-magazine service. SUNDERLAND.GOV.UK/LIBRARIES

Penshaw Bowl Goes Online!

Although the traditional family event can’t go ahead as planned this year, there’s still lots of Easter-themed fun to have online. Have a crack at their egg-decorating competition, get cooking some Easter family favourites and you can even meet the animals at Down on the Farm. SEEITDOITSUNDERLAND.CO.UK


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With International Women’s Day landing on 8th March, we’re taking a look at the women who shaped Sunderland’s past and the women shaping Sunderland’s future. Introducing the Rebel Women of Sunderland; a stunning project from Sunderland Culture that shines a light on the lives of Rebel Women from the city, with specially commissioned artworks and stories from Kathryn Robertson and Jessica Andrews...

International Women’s Day: Celebrating the Rebel Women of Sunderland Dr Marion Phillips First female MP for Sunderland Marion Phillips was Sunderland’s first female MP. She was elected as a Labour candidate in the first-ever election in which men and women had equal voting rights. She marched down to the shipyards in her round glasses, demanding free trade and paid holidays for the shipbuilders. A salty wind blew up from the Wear and whipped her face, but she wrapped her big coat tightly around her shoulders and stood her ground. The workers cheered and stamped their feet. She was a fierce feminist who wanted working-class people to enjoy their lives.

Heroines of the past… Florence Collard & the Shipyard Women During World War Two, when men joined the army, more than 700 women stepped into their big steel toe caps, pulled on their overalls and got to work. Sunderland was once known as ‘the largest shipbuilding town in the world’ and the ships built by women during the war were vital in carrying food and fuel supplies. America’s shipyards rusted and languished without men to run them, and people across the world looked to the fierce women mending, hammering and storming 24

Sunderland’s docks for inspiration. The women drove cranes, welded metal, fixed rivets and laboured in freezing conditions. They worked 12-hour days, then went home to peel potatoes, sweep hallways and read bedtime stories to their children. They tingled with fear as the threat of bombs loomed over them. They thought of their husbands and brothers, who might never come home. Florence worked as a welder at Bartram & Sons shipyard and she was the first woman ever to be granted membership to the Boilermakers’ Society union.


Kate Adie Journalist and Broadcaster Kate Adie was born by the sea in Whitley Bay and adopted by a family of pharmacists in Sunderland. She grew up among the clink of cough mixture bottles and the soft pop of chalky pills in foil packets. She went to Newcastle University and spent afternoons studying in Leazes Park, until she got her first job in journalism at BBC Radio Durham. In 1980, when the London Iranian Embassy came under siege, Kate sat in a car below the embassy for six days, as gunshots rattled the terraces. When the SAS team entered the building through the upstairs windows, it erupted into orange flames and dark walls of smoke choked the street. Kate made a live BBC broadcast crouched behind her car door, interrupting the quiet of the World Snooker Championship. She remained calm before one of the largest live news audiences ever recorded, and became a household name.

Ida & Louise Cook WWII Activists Ida and Louise Cook were born in a redbricked terraced house with bay windows in Millfield. They moved to London to work as typists for the Civil Service, where they visited the red velvet heart of the Royal Opera House. They fell in love with the gold-flecked ceiling and the lamps that blazed from the seats. They watched women in furs press painted nails to lipsticked mouths and peered through silver-rimmed binoculars. Ida and Louise saved 29 people from Nazi Germany.

To avoid suspicion, they stayed at a hotel where Nazi officials spent their lunchtimes drinking sharp whiskeys in their stiff military boots. One afternoon, a Jewish man telephoned the sisters and told them he would be driving past their hotel in a taxi. He asked if they would run out and jump into it, to help him escape. The sisters risked their lives in front of the soldiers, tosave people they had never even met.



Heroines shaping the future…

Hope Winch First Head of Pharmacy at University of Sunderland Hope Constance Monica Winch was strong-willed and full of big ideas. She arrived in Sunderland in her long white coat, mixing tinctures, stirring medicines and rustling folders crammed with plans to set up the finest pharmacy department in the North East. It was a daunting job, but Hope set about organising meetings and arranging classrooms at Sunderland Technical College, which later became Sunderland University. By 1930, Hope’s pharmacy department was a big success. All of the pharmacy teaching in the region was moved to her lab, and it became known as the best place to study. Students came from all over the country to look at the shifting surfaces of cells shimmering through microscopes and to understand the composition of compounds coursing through the human body. Hope’s legacy helped the university grow into the excellent pharmacy department that exists today, and students still flock from across the country and overseas to understand the substances that hold our world together.

Abbie Robinson Team GB Paraclimber Abbie is a British paraclimbing world champion. As the first blind woman ever to represent Britain in a climbing competition, she travelled to France and Austria to compete with paraclimbers from around the world. She came home with two gold medals hanging from her neck, glinting in the sun as it set over the Wear. In 2017, she joined the British paraclimbing team. She 25

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climbs with a guide wearing a headset who describes the size, shape and placement of each hold that Abbie encounters. Abbie puts her trust in her body and relies on her memory and spatial awareness to pull herself to great heights. She translates her guide’s descriptions into shapes in her imagination, which help her move her body through the world.

Emeli Sandé Musician and University of Sunderland Chancellor Emeli’s father travelled across the earth from Zambia to study at Sunderland Polytechnic, where he met Emeli’s mother. When Emeli was born, her parents played her Nina Simone records. The deep ache of the tuba spun gold from the speakers and the rich melancholy of Nina’s voice wound its way around Emeli’s body. She always knew she wanted to be a musician. She wrote her first song for a primary school talent show when she was 11. A strange silence settled over the school hall when she got up to sing. The words poured like water from her mouth and the teachers blinked in wonder at the complex melodic structure she pushed from her tongue. When she was 16, Emeli took the train to London, where she sang gospel in the shiny MTV Studios, stumbling down Camden High Street afterwards, dazzled by the bright lights and glittering promises. She was offered a record deal but turned it down because she wanted to study neuroscience at university, claiming that she needed a backup, in case her music career didn’t work out.

Steph Houghton & Jill Scott Footballers for England National Team Steph Houghton and Jill Scott perfected their technique at their local Sunderland football club, dribbling balls and running circuits around the Stadium of Light when they were teenagers. Steph played in the under-16 team at 9-years-old and Jill played for a boy’s team when she was 7-years-old, where she won the Man of the Match trophy. "They wanted to change the inscription to Girl of the Match," she said, "but I kicked up a fuss and didn’t let them change it – I didn’t want anyone to think I’d won because I was the only girl on the team." She got teased for playing football when she was young, but she tightened her boots and stormed onto the pitch. Both women went on to play for Manchester City, training through the days in their sky-blue shirts. Steph was a top goal-scorer in the 2012 Olympics, and played in the European Championship three times. They tackled their way to the top and played for England in the 2019 World Cup, defending their team through the musky French summer. Steph wrapped her captain armband tightly around her arm and led the Lionesses into the semi-final.

should be used to lift up others, and her first album, 'Love Your Dum and Mad', delved into the barbed world of male suicide and mental illness after two of her close friends took their own lives. She often speaks about the importance of talking and looking after each other, in her role as an ambassador for mental health charity CALM. The daughter of a Pakistani father, Shah draws on her own experiences of moving through the world as a Muslim woman to push back against the racism she sees strung through the core of society. She is honest about how it feels to be a woman in a male-dominated music industry, and speaks openly about gender pay gaps. She uses interviews to give space to urgent issues that feel bigger than her own.

Nadine Shah Musician and Activist Nadine grew up in Whitburn and carries the sea inside of her. She started out as a jazz singer, working on complex melodies, but her own dark and brooding music grew out of the violence she saw in the world around her. She believes that a platform


Credit: The project was originally commissioned by Sunderland Culture for Heritage Open Day in 2019, in partnership with Open Heritage and Sunderland Heritage Action Zone 26


Digital treats from Sunderland Culture… Virtual fun for all members of the family to enjoy from the comfort of your home this spring... Youth Arts Exhibition 2021: Bright Lights 13 March – 17 April Arts Centre Washington’s annual Youth Arts Exhibition showcases some of the most exciting artwork by young people in Washington and across Sunderland. The themes of this year’s exhibition have been inspired by the Paint the Town in Sound exhibition at Sunderland Museum Winter Gardens. The exhibition is curated by a group of young people called The Celebrate Different Collective and features work by young artists aged 11 – 19.

SongWriting Workshop 7 April Get a creative kickstart to provide you with easy to understand, practical songwriting and music production skills that allow you to go on and start writing and recording your own original music. Suitable for ages 11+

Youth Arts Exhibition 2021: Free Online Workshops During the Easter Holidays, be sure to join Arts Centre Washington as they celebrate their Youth Arts Exhibition with a series of fun online workshops:

Crafting a Character/Persona Workshop 31 March Join Bonnie and The Bonnettes' Hattie Eason for a session all about creating your very own persona. Be it drag queen, drag king, or a character you're currently writing. Hattie will be guiding you through some of the steps Bonnie and The Bonnettes take when developing new work, and creating new personas.

Lyrics/Poetry Writing Workshop 3rd April Kema Kay is a rapper/singer/songwriter as well as an actor. Do you have dreams of kickstarting a musical career? Are you the next literature superstar? Join Kema and explore the topic of ’Identity and Expression’, it’s bound to bring up a wealth of creative ideas. Who wouldn’t want to join a workshop with a fully-fledged entertainment star?



Shopping Sunderland Culture goodies! Take a look at the terrific trinkets, stunning studio glass and cool kit now available online… New spring range at National Glass Centre’s online shop! Jam-packed with locally crafted products including stunning studio glass and jewellery, National Glass Centre’s online shop is a great place to pick up a beautiful artist-made gifts for Easter, Mother’s Day or just to give someone that much needed boost! Their new spring range has just launched and features a striking selection of glass in meadow greens and fresh colours reminiscent of spring and summer. Guaranteed to light up any kitchen or living room! FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT: SHOP-NATIONALGLASSCENTRE.COM

Srijoni Exhibition 29th April An exhibition displaying the end results of a lockdown project which brought together a group of women from Sunderland’s Bangladeshi community to support each other through arts and crafts during this challenging time. Working with local visual artist Padma Rao and Islamic artist Roohia Syed-Ahmed, the women have explored the notion of culture, cultural entitlement, and identity through the art of Arabic calligraphy, drawing and text. This exhibition features work produced during their creative sessions alongside the work of three professional artists. ARTSCENTREWASHINGTON.CO.UK

For more info on all events visit

Sunderland Museum and Winter Garden’s new online shop has launched! You can now purchase that locally crafted necklace, greetings card featuring local scenes, or even a Roker seafront beach towel all from the comfort of your home! Perfect for picking up a thoughtful, handcrafted gift. SHOP-SUNDERLANDMUSEUM.ORG. UK



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Invest in the future and develop your workforce with apprenticeships... Sunderland College has helped hundreds of employers across Wearside invest in the future by transforming their workforces through apprenticeships. With constant changes across all industries, it is important businesses continue to develop their staff, whether they are seeking new talent or upskilling existing employees. We caught up with the team at Sunderland College to learn more about their apprenticeship schemes and the wealth of benefits they bring to the city… 28

Why should I employ an apprentice?

Apprenticeships bring together practical and technical learning with invaluable workplace experience with apprentices studying and working towards a nationally recognised qualification. They are a cost-effective way of attracting and developing new talent, giving employers the opportunity to tailor their training to



meet current and future needs. Adding value to businesses as soon as they start, apprentices bring energy and a desire to learn which can have a positive impact on existing staff. Apprentices also bring fresh new ideas as they will be up to date with the latest techniques and technology increasing competitiveness, innovation and productivity.

Upskilling your existing workforce…

Apprenticeships aren’t all just about recruitment! They are available to people of all ages as well as at a range of levels, meaning organisations can also motivate, develop and retain their existing employees which will further strengthen their workforce and help take the business forward.

How can Sunderland College help your business?

Our friends at the College help deliver high quality training and development opportunities to local and regional businesses across several industries and roles; from manufacturing, engineering and construction, to business management, HR and IT. Expanding the offer, Sunderland College - as part of Education Partnership North East - have also teamed up with New Results to launch a sales apprenticeship, allowing employers to enhance the skills of their sales teams. Programmes are shaped by business and industry leaders, and they’re delivered by sector experts that offer flexibility. It also means that these programmes can be tailored to individual needs and specific requirements. The College also works

with employers to recruit the best candidates for apprenticeship roles, offering ongoing support such as providing assessors to assist learners in completing their qualification and evaluate their competence in the workplace.

Engineering a brighter future…

Recently, global manufacturer Grundfos reached out to the College for support in hiring six apprentices. The roles were advertised externally and to engineering students, generating over 100 applications. The recruitment process involved interviews, theory assessment and practical assessments. The successful applicants, two of which were talented engineering students, are now training for a range of engineering roles including fitters, mechanical, electrical and quality.

Is there funding available for apprenticeships?

Businesses can benefit from various funding to assist with the employment and development of an apprentice - the amount available is determined by an apprenticeship levy, which applies to businesses with an annual wage bill over £3 million. For those under the threshold, the Government will fund up to 100% of apprenticeship course fees for all new starts, depending on the size of the company. A long-time advocate of apprenticeships, Grundfos, received funding to meet the training costs of three its apprentices courtesy of Sunderland City Council’s Apprenticeship Levy Transfer Scheme as it looks to ensure a steady flow of talent for years to come.



Graham Moore, Operations Controlling Partner at Grundfos, said: "Taking on an apprentice is a big investment and is often quite off putting for many businesses, especially SMEs. “Not only has the funding alleviated the financial commitment of taking on some of the apprentices, but it also means we’ll be in a better position to further extend our programme next year and bring more young talent into the business.” Last year, additional incentive payments were introduced which could see employers receive up to £2,000 for each new apprentice they hire before 31 March. Peter Robertson, Head of Business Development at Education Partnership North East, added: "We work with hundreds of employers helping them recruit apprentices into their businesses and I've seen, on many occasions, how fantastic those apprentices have been. "Apprentices offer a great way to grow a business: they offer enthusiasm and new skills, and support organisations through periods of transition with fresh thinking and ideas. "We can help take away some of the confusion about apprenticeships, offering advice and guidance from understanding the apprenticeship levy to explaining off the job training, as well as assist with recruitment and provide ongoing support throughout the programme.” So, if full-time study is not for you, an apprenticeship with Sunderland College can help you get started in your new career. HEAD OVER TO SUNDERLANDCOLLEGE.AC.UK FOR THE LATEST APPRENTICESHIP VACANCIES OR TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT HOW SUNDERLAND COLLEGE CAN HELP YOUR BUSINESS.


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more) are well catered for too, as the bill on Saturday features a raft of legends such as the Levellers, Stiff Little Fingers, New Model Army, Cast, Futureheads, The Selecter, Sleeper, The Farm, The Wedding Present, Wilko Johnson and Primitives. KUBIXFESTIVAL.COM

Lamplight Festival

Good times are on the horizon, and there’s plenty coming to the city in the coming months. Here are some key dates for the 2021 diary...

Don’t forget to buy your tickets for Lamplight festival in August for your chance to see Deacon Blue, Kaiser Chiefs, Frankie & the Heartstrings, and many more. TICKETS ARE ON SALE VIA THE LINK HERE - YOU’D BE A FOOL TO MISS OUT! LAMPLIGHTFESTIVAL.CO.UK/

Seaburn to welcome ‘The Shelter’! Summer 2021 There's a new food spot coming to Seaburn Tram Shelter! The masterminds behind Mexico 70 and Holmeside Coffee have confirmed that they will be opening a new food and drink spot. Mr Wall and Neil Bassett are finalising their plans to open a high-end seafood restaurant, The Shelter, right on our stunning Seaburn seafront! Stay tuned on our website and social channels for more information and announcement in the coming weeks and months.

Kubix Festival 2-3 July Live music will return to the city once again, and our friends at Kubix Festival have a mega weekend of world-class tunes ready and waiting for us this summer. Whistling into Herrington Country Park this July, the Friday lineup is a cool celebration of the finest names in dance pop, so expect to see the likes of the Vengaboys, 2 Unlimited, N-Trance, East 17 and Ultra Naté. Lovers of rock, indie, punk (and 30

The Natural World – an exhibition of stitched textiles 11 June - 10 July You may have become a pro artists and textile guru yourself during lockdown, but there’s nothing quite like roaming around a gallery and gazing at some outstanding pieces from some pretty talented folk! We’re pleased to learn that The North East Region of the Embroiderers’ Guild will be presenting ‘The Natural World’, an exhibition of stitched textiles at the Arts Centre Washington this summer. Using the theme of the ‘Natural World’, members from the 10 branches across the region have completed pieces of work that reflect their interpretation of the environment, and boy you’re all in for a treat! The work reflects both traditional and modern styles of embroidery inspired by diverse experiences of the ever-changing world (you can say that again!), and this dazzling exhibition promises to delight and inspire in equal measure. ARTSCENTREWASHINGTON.CO.UK

Antony Gormley: Field for the British Isles July - September 2021 A major installation by Sir Antony Gormley, one of the UK’s most celebrated artists, is heading to Sunderland! Field for the British Isles by Sir Antony Gormley, creator of the Angel of the North, will be on display at Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art (NGCA) at National Glass Centre from July until September this year. Winner of the 1994 Turner Prize, this stunning exhibition features over 40,000 clay figures, all of individual appearance and form. Antony Gormley is renowned for his distinctive representations of the human form and this captivating exhibition is widely considered one of his finest. This monumental installation was last seen in the region 25 years ago when it was on display at the former Greenesfield British Rail Works in Gateshead. More than 25,000 people flocked to the exhibition and it went down a treat across the North East back in 1996, so you don’t want to miss the chance to see this bobby dazzler when it returns to town! SUNDERLANDCULTURE.ORG.UK

HSBC UK Cyclo-Cross National Trophy Series 20 - 21 November Our chums at Sunderland City Council have confirmed that the city will again play host to elite level cycling in 2021. Subject to the COVID regulations at the time, Sunderland will welcome elite cyclists as they whistle around Herrington Country Park as the HSBC UK Cyclo-Cross National Trophy Series zooms into the city. What exactly is the HSBC UK Cyclo-Cross? Well, it’s a short, sharp, off-road race with skinny tyres, mud, hurdles, obstacles and intense action. Races take place in age group categories across the weekend, culminating in elite level races in both male and female categories. In essence; high-octane drama on two wheels! The finer details are all being ironed out as we speak, so keep your eyes peeled for more information as it comes…

IS GAMBLING GETTING IN THE WAY OF THE LIFE YOU WANT TO LIVE? If you are concerned about your gambling or you are a family member needing support, you can talk to us. We provide FREE support for gamblers as well as friends and family who are affected, and we can help each person in their own right.

Find help and support today; NECA in partnership with GamCare provides a range of short and longer term treatment options, either over the phone or face-to-face. Our services are free, flexible and confidential.


NECA Gambling Services

0191 562 3309 National Helpline Number

0808 8020 133 Charity Number: 516516

“Thank you Sunderland for staying at home” Brenda Naisby, Grandmother

Slowing the spread of Covid means I can see my family sooner. Help us get to the future we all want at