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Business & Economy

North East charity celebrate 130-year anniversary

Over the past three months, at the heart of the Tynemouth Metro station, residents, commuters and visitors crossing the iconic footbridge have been welcomed with a history of Children North East in the seaside town.

In collaboration with Vistry Partnerships and Mott MacDonald, the exhibition is part of the charity’s 130th anniversary celebrations and shares an insight in to the early beach trips of the 1890’s and its infamous Sandcastle Challenge.

The exhibition was thought up as a creative way to keep the legacy of the Sandcastle Challenge alive, which has been going for over 25 years, after the pandemic paused it in 2021.

The annual challenge usually sees over 1,700 children descend onto Tynemouth beach to demonstrate their building skills and compete for a coveted trophy, with local businesses teaming up to provide a helping hand.

Hayley Bell, social value coordinator at Vistry Partnerships, said: “We have been proud supporters of the challenge for the last eight years, so it felt important to work with Children North East to celebrate the Sandcastle Challenge during their anniversary year. Vistry are passionate about playing an active role in local communities and it spoke to those values to remind people that the community is still here, even if we can’t be on the beach together building sandcastles.”

In the spirit of the challenge, schools were asked to build bridges, with the winning designs included as part of the exhibition display.

Students from Broadway Junior School in Sunderland, Cotherstone Primary School in Barnard Castle and St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Jarrow took the top prizes.

Leanne Nicholson, business development and marketing lead at Mott MacDonald, said: “It’s been great to see students across the North East harness the spirit of Sandcastle Challenge by putting their problem-solving and creativity to the test in the bridge challenge. Mott MacDonald believe that the bright young minds of today will be the inventors and engineers of the future, which is why we choose to support organisations like Children North East, that work to give every child the best possible stat in life.”