About Us

Our History

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.



Christine Parkin

Our Chair Person

Chris is Senior Lecturer at Sunderland University and she has been involved with ShARP since it began 30 years ago.

Tia Patterson

Our Vice Chair

She lives and works locally and manages a portfolio of properties in the area.

Lisa Watson

member of our Board

Lisa is a parent carer development worker for the Carers Centre.

Kath Levy.

Our Treasurer

Clinton Leeks

Our Secretary


Sylvia Copley

our Chief Officer.

Len Watson

our Advice Services Manager.

Julie Lynn

an experienced Advice Worker

She is qualified to Level 3 in Advice and Guidance and has been with ShARP since 1997.

Eileen Bewick

our Lead Advice Worker.

She has years of experience as a qualified IAG worker, having worked for Citizens Advice.

David Snowdon and Rebecca Rooney

our Advice Workers for Advice On Prescription.

Lynn Watson


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.

Tarahneh Etemadi

our Volunteer and Centre Development Worker.

Jacqueline Lynn

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