Member Article

Donation makes for calmer waters for local charity

A local retailer has answered an SOS from a small, volunteer-run maritime charity in Sunderland.

But rather than ‘Save our Ship’, the message was ‘Save our Flooring’! Sunderland Maritime Heritage approached Flooring Superstore in nearby Birtley to ask whether it would be willing to donate flooring for its office area at its building in Church Street

The old flooring had become cracked and warped and was creating a lot of dust and the charity was concerned it was a trip & health hazard, especially with many of its volunteers being elderly.

When Flooring Superstore discovered what the flooring was needed for, it immediately donated enough laminate flooring to cover the entire area.

And the new flooring, which is valued at £250, has now been fitted in the office by one of the centre’s volunteers.

Linda Merritt, Trustee/Secretary at Sunderland Maritime Heritage, said: “We are a not-for-profit charity which has seen its fundraising activities severely restricted this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic limiting our ability to get out and about to raise donations.

“That means we are very much having to watch the pennies at the moment and although we have received some emergency grants, these just about cover our day to day running costs and funds for improvements and maintenance are limited so this kind donation from Flooring Superstore is very much appreciated.

“It means our office staff and other volunteers now have a nicer & safer space in which to work, and it has really made a difference.”

Flooring Superstore Regional Manager Greig Anderson said: “As a company with its head office in the North East, we’re always pleased to be able to support local charities and organisations.

“Sunderland Maritime Heritage is doing a fantastic job keeping the memory of shipbuilding alive in the area and we wish them every success in the future.”

Sunderland Maritime Heritage celebrates its 20th anniversary in December this year. Its objective is to preserve the artefacts, documents, pictures, and skills of the shipyard workers that contributed to shipbuilding in Sunderland from 1346 until 1988 when the last shipyard closed.

It is manned entirely by unpaid volunteers and offer local volunteers and people returning to the workplace the opportunity to contribute their time in a constructive way. Volunteers include those with learning difficulties and dementia, those on the autistic spectrum and the elderly and socially isolated. It also hosts visits by school children and provide work placement opportunities for college students.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Neil Shaefer .

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