Our Aspire grant programme supports 44 community groups in Sunderland with more than £20,000

Our Aspire grant programme has supported 44 community groups in Sunderland with more than £20,000 in funding.

We are celebrating awarding more than £20,000 in Aspire grants to 44 community groups across Sunderland in 2023/24.

We currently offer Aspire grants of up to £500 to fund projects and activities in Gentoo neighbourhoods, with applications approved by our involved customer group.

Community groups that have recently benefitted from funding including Marta Card Craft, Choice Wellbeing Service and Houghton Boxing Club.

Lewis Walmsley, Customer Engagement Lead said: “Aspire grants offer an opportunity for people to make a positive difference in Gentoo communities, whether that be through sports clubs, wellbeing services or community events. The funding puts Gentoo customers at the forefront of decision making, with each Aspire grant being approved by our involved customers. The grants allow community spaces and organisations to maintain and improve their services for local people and I’m delighted we have been able to support more than 40 groups over the last year.”

The funding allowed Marta Card Craft to stock up on craft materials, Choice Wellbeing Service to print copies of their special educational needs (SEND) directory and Houghton Boxing Club to buy new boxing gloves.

Patrica Ross, Gentoo customer and volunteer at Marta Card Craft, said: “We were so pleased to receive a £350 Aspire grant from Gentoo. We were able to stock up on card and craft materials that we use to create handmade greeting cards. We get together every week and love crafting the cards. It's nice for everyone to get together and have a catch up too.”

Launched in 2003, our Aspire grant programme has awarded over £220,000 since it launched and has benefited hundreds of local groups and organisations over the years, including art, music and drama clubs, toddler play groups, local football clubs, older people’s clubs and resident and community associations.

If you or someone you know could benefit from an Aspire grant, you can find further information and an application from on the Gentoo website: www.gentoogroup.com/aspire

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