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Lottery funds help shy Sunderland students get together

Bacon butties and footie are just two of the things bringing shy students together in Sunderland, thanks to a boost from the National Lottery Fund.

More than 100 students have already taken part in new activities including a breakfast club, zumba fitness workouts, art classes and football, organised by Sunderland College’s new Together Activity Group (TAG).

TAG was launched after a survey revealed many students did not sign up to activities because they lacked confidence, cash or transport.

Foundation leaning student Michaela Potter, 21, has been trying out TAG activities for the past three weeks.

“I’m so glad I joined TAG – it’s helped me with my confidence and I’ve made lots of new friends,” she said.

The activities are all free and take place throughout the day at whatever time is most convenient to the students.

Sunderland College project coordinator Rachael Smales helps the students organise TAG, and says the project will encourage healthy lifestyles and lasting friendships.

“It’s all about engaging the students in activities they enjoy,” she said.

“Thanks to the part-funding from the lottery, we’ve been able to bring students together from all sorts of backgrounds and abilities.

“Part of TAG’s success lies in the fact we’ve given the student volunteers the power to organise activities themselves. The college provides any support they need with finance, transport or facilities.”

Nichol Charlton, 24, also a foundation learning student from Sunderland said TAG has encouraged her to get involved in activities she has never tried before, such as soccer.

“I’ve also made new friends and through attending the project I am now going to start training with a local women’s football team – something I could never have imagined doing just a few weeks ago,” she said,

For more information about TAG activities email tag@sunderlandcollege.ac.uk



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