Volunteers at a Sunderland youth project have used their ‘upcycling’ skills to help a young person with learning difficulties furnish his new home.

Nearly 30 people volunteer at the Box Youth Project in Doxford. The volunteers help with community projects all across Sunderland’s East Area, in Doxford, Hendon, Millfield, St Michael’s and Ryhope.

With support from the city council, the ‘Box’ has also started an upcycling project, which breathes new life into old household items.

Upcycling involves saving used furnishings and household articles, refurbishing them and giving them a new home.

Following a donation of furniture from a house in Hendon, the members of the Box Youth Project were able to help a relative of one of the volunteers.

Lisa Wilson Riddell, the Box Youth Project’s manager, said, “One of the volunteers helping us mentioned that a relative was moving into independent accommodation and was in need of assistance because he has some learning difficulties.”

“We confirmed the family situation with social services and our colleagues in the voluntary sector, who had also been working with the young man for a number of years.”

“We organised a visit to the new accommodation and met with his relatives to see how we might help.”

“The project was able to provide him with bedding, wardrobes, a chest of drawers, a TV stand, and other general furniture from donations we had received in the previous month.”

“The family were very grateful as they had limited funding to help him with his move towards more independence.”

The project, based at the Box Youth Project on Sunderland’s Hall Farm Road, has been collecting and upcycling furniture and donations for the last six months.

The project, which has already helped a number of families and voluntary groups, welcomes donations of any furniture or household articles that may be suitable for reuse.

The chair of Sunderland City Council’s East Area Committee, Cllr Ellen Ball, said, “There are many, many selfless volunteers in our community who give a lot of their time to help others.”

“If we can’t always help with our time then donations to groups such as the Box Youth Project can always help. A big thanks here to the Box Youth Project for their continuing good works.”

“This is one of many community groups that have been supported by our committee. Upcycling work is helping some of our more vulnerable residents and helping the environment with its recycling – two very worthy aims.”

To find out more about the Box Youth Project, please go to theboxyouthandcommunityproject.co.uk/

(The featured image shows Cllr Ball with volunteers (l-r) Derek Barnfather, Matthew Turner and Dylan Sloanes.)   

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  1. An excellent program ,the benefit of this is that young people like Dylan can develop skills which would give him confidence to face anything he faces in the future ,we need more places like this.a lot of these youngsters if given the chance would turn out to be first class citizens


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