Apr 08 2015

118 Volunteers transform Sunderland community projects

To mark Good Deeds Day, 118 volunteers helped make a difference to local communities in Sunderland on Thursday 12 March.

Organised by Gentoo, the project involved 75 Gentoo staff plus community volunteers and employees from EDF Energy, Barclays and Berghaus. An incredible 10 community projects benefited in one day – making it one of the largest coordinated projects aimed at supporting local communities. From painting, gardening, sharing skills and planting vegetables volunteers all worked hard to make a difference to people’s lives – giving over 600 volunteering hours in one day.

One of the projects that benefited was St Mary’s Primary School, where over 30 volunteers grabbed their garden tools, helping to clear the garden and surrounding forest in the school grounds, before replanting trees, hedges and wild flowers

Siobhan Carton, Deputy Head Teacher, St Mary’s Primary School said: “Thank you so much for all of the hard work, we are delighted with the outcome. The forest school is a wonderful resource for our children and we look forward to seeing the trees and flowers blooming and blossoming in the spring.”

Lynn Hutchinson, who works for EDF Energy, volunteered at the St Mary’s Primary School project alongside her colleagues, she said: “It is great to be involved in a project which is supported and encouraged by our employers. By coming together, we can have a really positive impact on local community organisations who need volunteers to help them. The team and I had a great day helping to transform the gardens of the school, and we know that the students and staff will all enjoy using the newly refurbished space more than ever.”

Over in Amble Tower, residents were invited to drop in to polish their digital skills in digital inclusion sessions ran by volunteers. Residents commented on how helpful the sessions were and how much they enjoyed learning to use PowerPoint and social media platforms.


Other volunteering projects included Blue Watch in Ryhope, Tansy Centre in South Hylton, Jubilee Centre in Farringdon, Holy Trinity Church in Washington, St Bede’s Community Hall in Town End Farm, Kiddywinks Nursery in Silksworth, Houghton Community Nursery School and St Bede’s RC Primary School in Washington.

Michelle Meldrum, Managing Director, Gentoo Group said: “It’s amazing to see so many passionate people volunteering their time and efforts to make a difference. Good Deeds Day has been a great opportunity for Gentoo to join forces with communities and corporate partners, and give back to the communities we are proud to be part of.  We hope we can inspire people to continue to support others – as even the smallest gesture can make a huge difference.”

Christine Allenson, Site President, Barclays said: “Barclays staff at Sunderland Contact Centre are pleased to continue their working relationship with Gentoo and to support their volunteering projects. Good Deeds Day is a great opportunity for us all to make a difference to our local community.”

Richard Leedham, Brand President, Berghaus said:  “We are delighted to be involved in this local initiative. With our global headquarters being in Sunderland it has been great to work with Gentoo on Good Deeds Day supporting projects that make a significant difference to people in and around the city.”

Good Deeds Day is an annual and global celebration of doing good deeds. It was based on the simple idea that every single person can do something good, be it large or small, to improve the lives of others and positively change the world.

To find out more about Good Deeds Day visit


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