Skills for life

Funding level: £5,001 to £10,000


'FANS Museum' started 4 years ago. Starting off small helping out a local charity ‘Back on the Map’ based in a deprived area of Sunderland, by taking along some football memorabilia for people to see and handle, which was greatly received. This led to the start of a host of roadshows across the region then a 5 month project working with Sunderland City Council within local libraries in 2015. The Council, after they did their due diligence, then offered us the lease transfer of the Railway Museum in Sunderland, a grade 2* listed building.

FANS Museum registered as a Community Interest Company in January 2016, receiving the keys early 2018. The building needed work to get it ready and has been brought back to life with a lot of hard work by very willing local volunteers, currently 50 volunteers signed up of all ages and capabilities - OAP’s, disabled, ex veterans, young people, people with autism, lonely people and those with mental health issues.

Here at the Fans Museum these people are helping to create a destination in Sunderland that is open to and will welcome everyone. Using the theme of football as a backdrop we can reach out to people from all different backgrounds, football doesn’t have an age demographic and is support by all, men, women, children, youth’s, OAPs, all nationalities and faith’s, there is nothing else like us out there.

Next stage of development is to create an Intergenerational multi-use dedicated learning centre within the building. This will help build on intergenerational activities which started with us working on the building. Many of the volunteers have expressed an interest in taking part or helping with digital activities, this will not only help them up-skill but also helps others in the community whilst in return helping improve their own wellbeing whilst helping others. The dedicated learning centre will be a hub of activity where we will house 12 computer terminals available for use by everyone. We are a different type of organisation where people will come here and engage with us and our partners as a service providers who would not normally walk into a library or learning venue.

We have some donated furniture and computer equipment, projector and screen but to fulfil the project we need to add to this. We need to purchase a licence for a dedicated Broadband line giving people access to many great sites, something along the lines of a local library facility which is much needed in the area as most libraries in Sunderland having closed down. This licence will mean we can gain access to local history searches, family trees, local studies, e-learning courses, skype, job searches, benefit claims, universal credit applications, housing applications, online hospital bookings, energy switching services, online shopping, facebook and twitter, the list is endless.

People can learn to be more digital savvy, older people can learn to shop online, skype their families in far off countries or gain access to facebook where they could make new friendships and help tackle loneliness, homeless people can access job searches, benefit claims or be able to apply for housing, young people, some who have issues and those with learning difficulties can learn in a totally different environment away from a school classroom. We anticipate we will benefit at least 500 people and by bringing people together around the digital agenda we can impact positively on social isolation and create new friendship groups.

The project will include people helping to create a memories via a digital media project, upskilling people to video and record memories of football, the local area, their childhood, school days and working in Sunderland, etc.

We will have a staff member on hand to manage the project alongside some very willing volunteers and local community partners. We hope this ‘Fans for life learning centre’ will be just the start of many activities that the centre can be used for over many year.

Project Video

The FANS Museum

Moment of Pride

We are proud of the people involved with the FANS Museum, showing what local people will do for a good cause, much needed work painting, cleaning, plumbing, joinery, all done by local people giving up their time for free and volunteers all with an interest in either football or the companies ethos.

Location: Sunderland