Sport England grant helping Sunderland East End bounce back from fire devastation
January 9, 2021 | by Matt Halfpenny
Sunderland East End ABC are celebrating the New Year with a substantial Community Asset Fund (CAF) award from Sport England.
The club suffered a large arson attack (pictured bottom) at the start of the lockdown in March 2020 which gutted their premises.
With the help of a Go Fund Me page, and coaches and parents doing the labour, they managed to get the club somewhere back to normal.
But the vision of the club was always to have an adequate space to serve and invest in the whole community, which is in an area of high deprivation.
East End really want to make a difference and make the club into hub where the community can engage and support each other, which, in turn, will add to the sustainability of the boxing club.
With this in mind, they have managed to secure an old church building (pictured above and below) that was being used as a woodwork shop, which is run down and requires a lot of work to get it anywhere near the club’s expectations.
Again, the coaches along with parents and associates of the club have been putting in countless hours just clearing it all out and doing what they can to help.
The news of the Sport England Grant means that once the money is released, they can get on with the essential large jobs of restoring the roof, floor and electrics.
Disability access is also a must for the club, so they can be fully inclusive.
Coach Rob Key said: “It’s been a painstaking process, especially during the current Pandemic and restrictions, but we’re getting there slowly but surely.
“I think it means the world to this area to get this grant. We really want to make it community-orientated and open it up to everyone, not just for boxing, to make a real difference.”
Once East End can start the major work, they are hoping for a turnaround time of three months.
Main pic is pre COVID-19.