Award nomination kicks off Hendon High Street Revolution

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A city charity has been nominated for its second national award this year as it aims to build on a decade of success. 

Back on The Map, based on Hendon’s Villette Road has been shortlisted for the Third Sector Awards’ Enterprise Award, following recent wins in the Charity Awards, North East Charity Awards and Portfolio Business Awards as well as being named a Community Improvement District  – receiving five-figure funding in the process. 

Charity Chair Julie Gray says the award nomination is the perfect way to celebrate 10 years of helping shape Hendon’s future:

“We are tremendously proud of the work we have done, and the recognition of the community of the role we are playing in transforming Hendon is the ultimate reward for us. But for Back on the Map to win this award is truly humbling.’

The nomination comes after the news that Villette Road was granted £20,000 as part of the nationwide Community Improvement District initiative. 

The initiative, funded by Power to Change, will see Hendon become one of just five areas across the country putting residents and their voices at the heart of the future of their high streets.

Chief Executive Joanne Cooper says despite the success, the charity won’t rest on its laurels. 

“We’ve recently been in consultation with local people and residents to make sure their voices are heard around the recent Community Improvement District initiative funding so we’re certainly not standing still.”

She continued:

“It’s an exciting time with a lot happening and being able to celebrate what we’ve done while continuing to move forward for the future is a proud moment for us all.” 

Over 600 locals were consulted at the recent Hendon Together event, with locals asked what they would like to see for the future of Villette Road with suggestions ranging from new shops to an improvement of Barley Mow Park – all part of the ongoing Hendon High Street Revolution. 

One Hendon resident said:

“It used to be that you could feed and clothe your children without ever having to leave Villette Road. I’d love to see that sort of local one stop shopping return.”

Another commented:

“It would be great to see new shops open up for the things you need day to day. Fruit and veg – that sort of thing. 

“It would be nice not to have to drive for miles just for something as simple as a box of screws – if that was on our doorstep, I’d happily use the street more.”

Further consultations have been ongoing with local traders, residents and community figures to ensure the whole Villette Road community has their chance to have their voice heard.

Having been born out of the New Deal For Communities (NDC) programme, Back on The Map has become one of the most successful and sustainable social enterprises in Sunderland and the North East as a whole.