Poppies project all set to bloom

Simon Kristiansen of Forward Assist
Simon Kristiansen of Forward Assist

A charity working with former servicemen has received £1,000 in support for a project creating glass poppies.

 Forward Assist has been helped by The Cultural Spring, an Arts Council funded initiative working in Sunderland and South Tyneside.

 The grant comes from The Cultural Spring’s Your Art fund, and is one of six made in the second round of the scheme, launched earlier this year to help local communities with arts projects.

 The funding, awarded quarterly, is allocated on a ward-by-ward basis.

 Up to £3,000 will be awarded to each of the Cultural Spring’s 10 wards a year. It is hoped that about 60 local groups will benefit from the scheme over three years.

 The support given to Forward Assist will enable the charity to work with up to six former servicemen in designing and creating glass poppies. Simon Kristiansen, from Forward Assist, said: “Our veterans will take the lead in the project, from looking at the right materials, to choosing a design and then creating the poppies.

 “The idea is that the veterans will go into local schools to talk about the poppy project and the significance of the poppy. They’ll also help pupils to make their own poppies.

 “We’re already working with the National Glass Centre to see how we could produce the poppies there, and what skills our servicemen would gain in creating the poppies. “

 Other organisations who have successfully applied for Your Art support include: West Harton Churches Action Station in South Shields and Ocean Road Community in South Shields.

 The deadline for the next round of funding is the month.