Home > News and Events > ‘Mackem Money’ programme sees 40 Sunderland groups share £137,000

‘Mackem Money’ programme sees 40 Sunderland groups share £137,000

Forty groups from across Sunderland have shared £137,000 of funding from The Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland through ‘Mackem Money!’ a programme designed and delivered by members of the local community. 

The ‘Mackem Money!’ programme was initiated by the Community Foundation as way for to support more and new groups in Sunderland. The foundation handed over the design and decision making to a group of local people who chose where the money went and what it could be spent on. It also provided support to the panel to learn about grant making and what they could do. Groups also received support from local support organisations Voluntary and Community Action Sunderland (VCAS) and the Sunderland Voluntary Sector Alliance.   

Nils Stronach, Head of Grant Practice and Programmes who oversaw the programme at the Community Foundation said: 

“This programme was a new approach for grant making for us. We have known for a while that we need to make more funding available in Sunderland but we weren’t getting the applications. Handing over this programme to local people meant that we not only handed over the power but as a result saw 30% of the grants go to organisations we had never supported before and now know about and can talk to about our other funding streams. Unfortunately we couldn’t fund every application but we’d encourage any of them or anyone else looking for funding to get in touch and we’ll talk to them about our other funding streams and if they might be eligible for them. We’d encourage them to look at our website www.communityfoundation.org.uk”.

Successful groups came together last week to celebrate, meet the panel and hear from The Right Worshipful the Mayor of Sunderland who said: 

“I was delighted to have the opportunity to meet so many of the people and community organisations doing fantastic work to help our residents right across Sunderland. I’d like to thank the Community Foundation for allocating nearly £140,000 to communities in Sunderland and for handing the decision-making power to local people and to the panel who gave their time and experience to getting the money where the community wanted it.  What a great idea!” 

“I want to congratulate them all, the Community Foundation who handed over the money and power, the Panel who made the fund a success and you, the community organisations who are always there for us, who are the backbone of our society and who make things happen! Well done to all.” 

One of the recipients of a grant was The Sensory Place. Set up by parents of children with disabilities and sensory needs, they offer support groups, sensory friendly activities, training courses and facilities for play in a safe, secure and non-judgemental environment. 

Helen Abernethy, trustee of The Sensory Place said: 

“We are incredibly grateful to the Sunderland Participatory Grant Making Fund as it has allowed us to provide a range of inclusive dance and art classes for children with special educational needs and disabilities. We have also been able to purchase specialist equipment for our SEND play sessions.   

“Being able to run these type of sessions means that children who are often excluded from these type of activities can come together to have fun, learn new skills and ultimately be themselves. It also gives their parents and siblings the opportunity to socialise with other like-minded people which in turn helps to reduce the social isolation that often comes hand in hand with raising a disabled child.”