Comedian backs centre campaign

A campaign to turn a centre earmarked for demolition into a key community facility is being backed by a top comedian.

Friday, 5th February 2016, 07:50 am
Updated Thursday, 4th February 2016, 08:59 am
The Avenue centre, Avon Avenue, North Shields

Meadow Well Estate’s community development charity, The Cedarwood Trust, has launched a campaign to rent a large, empty community centre on the North Shields estate.

The trust is hoping to encourage North Tyneside Council to allow them to rent The Avenues Centre, which is due to be demolished unless a buyer can be found.

Now, they have received support from Dyslexia North East England who said they would use part of the building as a specialist centre.

Their patron Simon Donald, comedian and co-founder of Viz Magazine, suffers from dyslexia.

He said: “I myself wasn’t diagnosed with the condition until I was 40 years old and when I look back I know that what could have helped me enormously was support.

“Being shown that I wasn’t alone, being shown that with the right tools and teaching I could achieve equally would have developed confidence in me instead of it draining away. This kind of help, support and friendly expert advice is exactly what Dyslexia North East offers.

“The Avenues Centre would make an ideal location for Dyslexia North East to have a permanent centre to serve the regional community.”

Trust chief executive Phil McGrath said: “We are delighted to have Simon onboard and this demonstrates the powerful support we have for our plans. We’ve also a number of other groups interested in using the facilities which will bring people into the estate and benefit our residents.”

The Cedarwood Trust encourages people to make a real difference to their lives and to the tight knit community in which they live.

Celebrating its 35th year, the award winning charity has carried out a number of pioneering projects to raise confidence and aspiration in the people who live on the estate.

Previous projects have changed lives by instilling skills and hope into the community. From debt counselling and specialist health self-help and support groups, to groups and training for young and old, gardening and catering skills, sport and play have all played a big part in raising aspirations, and improving spaces on the estate.