Our Mission

A charity passionate about enhancing the quality of life of people living and visiting Hendon and the East End of Sunderland.

Born out of the New Deal for Communities (NDC) programme, which delivered a £54million injection to regenerate Hendon. Back on the Map has been working for ten years, transforming Hendon, working with and for local people to change the area and lives for the better.

Building on NDC’s legacy, over the last decade, Back on the Map has grown a reputation as one of the most successful and sustainable social enterprises in the North East. Standing on its own two feet thanks to its own innovation and ingenuity, Back on the Map has managed to deliver targeted intervention that is strengthening the social and economic fabric of a part of Sunderland that faces significant challenges.

It’s strategic objectives, which are supported by local people, are strong and clear. These are to build;

We work in the heart of the community to empower the people of Hendon to deliver Sustainable Homes and Community Action by creating;

A Better

A Stronger Community

A Local Voice

Why Hendon?

Hendon is a part of Sunderland with a proud history. Once the economic heart of this young city – in its past a hub of industry, where ships were built, glass was made and coal was mined – in decades gone by, Hendon bustled with hardworking communities made up of workers employed in heavy industry. While not rich, the people were ‘Mackem’ through and through – close-knit, dedicated workers, who forged the values that still define Sunderland today.

However, economic change across the UK and particularly the North East had a massive impact on Hendon and Sunderland’s East End, with the city stripped of its industry, leaving communities like Hendon behind. In recent decades, Hendon had the unwelcome badge of being one of the most rundown and deprived areas in England. Locals were existing, not living. Life was tough.

Centre External Photo 1908

But the embers of the pride and determination that defined this spirited community still glowed. Local residents were sick of the cycle. Poor quality housing and a large, badly-managed private rented sector led to unvetted tenants moving into the area driving anti-social behaviour and the intimidation of local people. Add this to the lack of support for families facing social and financial difficulties, and neighbourhoods were falling into decline. Hendon was falling deeper into deprivation.

A small group of residents were determined to stop the cycle; build a better, stronger, healthier community and importantly put this power into the hands of local people to drive the vision.

And so began the journey to put Hendon back on the map, for all of the right reasons.


Who are Back on the Map?

Our People, Charity Leadership & Local Accountability

It’s the people that make Back on the Map a success. Not just its staff team; not just the small army of volunteers and dedicated board members; not just tenants or service users or the funders and partners it works with; not even just the residents of Hendon.
 It’s everyone and the power of collective energy.

While challenged by COVID-19, even a global pandemic hasn’t been able to stop that energy. It doesn’t depend on one person – it is shaped by many.

As the Chief Executive of Power to Change, Vidhya Alakeson, said after spending the day at Back on the Map,

“Back on the Map isn’t just accountable to the community, it is the community"

Local People Driving Accountability

Back on the Map is not just a charitable organisation but much more. It is run by a dedicated team of staff and volunteers. And it is genuinely part of Hendon, owned and valued by the people who live there – those who use the services, and those who don’t. Those who have benefited directly and those who have witnessed the positive change.

There was a lot to do when Back on the Map was formed. In 2011, from a small shop on Hendon’s street main Villette Road, the team began build on the vision, taken from their experience but now with new vigour as Hendon’s own, independent community enterprise, . With a clear vision, together they would create:

  • A Better Place
  • A Stronger Community
  • A Local Voice

Our Achievements

Back on the Map is committed to making Hendon and the East End a Better Place, the graphics below show a selection of our key achievements throughout the past ten years.


Our Strategic Objectives

Back on the Map works in the heart of the community to empower the people of Hendon to deliver Sustainable Homes and Community Action by creating;

Our Core Values

A little insight into what is important to us here at Back on the Map;