Community spirit builds better future

Monument View

03 October 2012

A training workshop designed to provide learning opportunities for young people living in residential care has today been declared ′officially open′.

MEDIA OPPORTUNITY: The official opening of the new training workshop at Monument View Children′s Home (The Stables, Station Road, Houghton, DH4 79Q) will take place at 10am on Wednesday, 3 October. Photograph and interview opportunities will be available. To confirm your attendance, call Lee Brown, Media Officer, Sunderland City Council, on 0191 561 1260, or email:

Young people living in Monument View Children′s Home in Sunderland are looking forward to a brighter future thanks to the trio of community spirited organisations behind the new workshop.

Sunderland City Council, Northumbrian Water and construction company Gowland and Dawson Ltd joined forces to donate time and funding to build the dedicated training workshop, which is on the site of the home in Station Road.

It will be used to provide an on-site work-based-placement for the young people to take part in vocational training and NVQs in mechanics and woodwork.

Strategic Initiatives Budget (SIB) funding of £25,000 to carry out the work was provided by Sunderland City Council′s Coalfield Area Committee. Northumbrian Water provided match funding in kind in the form of project management, while Mike Dawson donated his time and effort to carry out the build work at cost price.

Councillor Dennis Richardson, Chair of the City Council′s Coalfield Area Committee, said: "This was a really worthwhile project and I am proud that all three partners have teamed up to provide such a fantastic example of partnership working.

"The Coalfield Area Committee is delighted to have been able to provide funding to carry out the work, but this was only one part of the puzzle. Northumbrian Water and Mike Dawson each made significant contributions which made the whole project possible and the end product is a fantastic workshop which the young people will really benefit from."

Seven young people aged between 12 - 17 with challenging behaviours live in the home, under the guidance and care of 13 Sunderland City Council care workers. The home already includes an allotment which staff use to work with the young residents to teach them to grow their own flowers and vegetables, as well as care for ducks, chickens and geese, all up to NVQ standard.

Northumbrian Water′s Jane Dunn said: "The home provides such an essential and life changing service. It has been a privilege for Northumbrian Water to be involved and reflects our commitment to local communities. I would like to thank our employee Dave Spinks, who project managed the building of the workshop. The skills that young people will learn will help them to focus on what they want to do in the future and we wish them all the best of luck."

The new dedicated workshop will add to the learning culture inside the house, providing opportunities to learn how to service and maintain mountain bikes, go karts, jet-skis and quad bikes, under the guidance of a qualified motor mechanic, provisionally up to NVQ standard but with the potential to progress to Edexcel standard.

Mike Dawson, who donated a considerable amount of hours of work to build the workshop, said: "It was a wonderful experience to be involved with Northumbrian Water in such a worthwhile project. The workshop provides a facility for our younger generation to gain vital experience and training which could provide a foundation for future careers.

"A special mention to Steve Dawson, my co-director, who donated a great deal of his time managing the actual construction works on site."

Councillor Pat Smith, City Council Portfolio Holder for Children′s Services, added: "The extension work to build a dedicated training workshop is enabling us to widen the range and quality of the opportunities we offer our young people in a stable and friendly environment.

"The project will allow the young people to gain the necessary life and social skills as well as improving school attendance and behaviour."


Further information: Contact Lee Brown, Media Officer, Sunderland City Council, on (0191) 561 1260, or email:

We use cookies on our website. By continuing to browse our website, you are agreeing to use our cookies. Terms and Conditions