Lifeline South Tyneside service marks 20 years since opening

BLISS=Ability celebrate 20 years. CEO Sharon Bell and mayor Olive Punchion
BLISS=Ability celebrate 20 years. CEO Sharon Bell and mayor Olive Punchion

A South Tyneside charity has marked two decades since it first opened its doors to those in need of help with day-to-day issues.

Now into its 20th Year, Bliss=Ability originated from an idea a resident of South Tyneside, Sandra Nesbit, had back in 1995.

After assembling a group of like minded people to develop the concept and raise some funding and by 1997 a “disability information service” was formed, based in an office at Wyvestow Lodge.

Due to a lot of hard work by a small team of staff and volunteers the service expanded and BLISS=Ability moved in 2007 into its current location in Green Street, which used to be The Working Men’s Corporation Club or the Bin Lid, as it was affectionately known by.

Sandra Nesbit remains the president of Bliss=Ability to this day.

South Tyneside mayor Olive Punchion made a visit to the organisation as part of an open day event to mark 20 years since the charity opened its doors to those in need.

She met with CEO Sharon Bell before finding out more about Bliss=Ability offers.

The organisation now works in partnership with South Tyneside Council, South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust and Clinical Commissioning Group, and many other voluntary and community sector organisations across South Tyneside to ensure services are delivered to meet the needs of disabled people, those who are unemployed, vulnerable or isolated and living in South Tyneside.

Bliss=Ability offers information and advice, Care Act Advocacy, digital inclusion courses, health and wellbeing courses and social prescribing with volunteer opportunities.

For more information go to or call 0191 427 1666.