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SHARP - About us


30 year logo.Shiney Advice and Resource Project (ShARP) was established in 1981 during the particularly difficult times of the closure of the pits, mass unemployment and general strikes. ShARP is a local advice and support agency that has historically used welfare rights as a vehicle for community development.

From its inception, ShARP has been influenced by a view that if people had access to their rights and entitlements they will be able to take control of their own lives and influence the future of themselves and their communities.

Over the years SHARP has developed responses to address identified issues such as the support and development of local campaigns, community groups and social enterprises; the provision of community based education; and working in partnership with other agencies to attract responsive public services and regeneration resources into the area.

Click HERE to view the full range of films celebrating over 30 years of service to our community


ShARP provide a range of services that include:

  • Advice and guidance (welfare benefits, debt management, housing and employment)
  • Access to training (including providing childcare)
  • Employment support
  • Children’s activities
  • Services for older people
  • Community development

Shiney Things Charity Shop - Room Hire - 30 Years of Service - Investors in People


Our Chair person is Tia Patterson. She lives and works locally and manages a portfolio of properties in the area. Our Vice Chair is Christine Parkin. Chris is Senior Lecturer at Sunderland University and she has been involved with ShARP since it began 30 years ago. Our Treasurer is Kath Levy.
Our Secretary is Clinton Leeks OBE.

Lisa Watson is a member of our Board. Lisa is a parent carer development worker for the Carers Centre.




Sylvia Copley is our Chief Officer.

Chris Wake & Lynn Watson Administration/Reception. This role is to direct people to the correct service; whether that be on the telephone or face to face and all other general administration duties.

Julie Lynn is an experienced Advice Worker. She is qualified to Level 3 in Advice and Guidance and has been with ShARP since 1997.

Barbara Haswell is an experienced Advice Worker. She specialises in debt and benefits advice and has been with ShARP since 1997.

Eileen Bewick is our Lead Advice Worker. She has years of experience as a qualified IAG worker, having worked for Citizens Advice.

Karen Level is an experienced Advice Worker. She joined ShARP on 01 April 2015.

David Snowdon & Rebecca Rooney are our Advice Workers for Advice On Prescription.

Jacqueline Lynn is our cleaner.


ShARP exists to support local people. We are members of various groups locally, across the city of Sunderland and the North East. We aim to bring information about current events to local people and provide space for services to be delivered in the community.


ShARP has computers that are available free of charge for use by the public. Please call into reception if you would like to use the computers. We can also provide printing, stationery, photocopying, laminating and binding of documents.


ShARP can help you in finding a new job. We provide employment support including:

  • Free access to computers and the internet
  • Free training to use computers and the internet
  • Free help in setting up email accounts
  • Free support in using employment websites such as the Job Centre online, fish4jobs, total jobs and many more
  • Free support in developing your CV and personal statements
  • Free usage of stationery and printing
  • Free postage

We can even help with benefits advice to help in the transition from benefits into work, including ‘better off’ calculations.



SHARP - Focusing On Our Community
ShARP, 17 Beatrice Terrace, Shiney Row, Houghton Le Spring, Tyne & Wear, DH4 4QW, Tel: 0191 385 6687. general@shineyadvice.org.uk
Company Limited by Guarantee No: 04769232, Charity Number: 1065786