The group helping people from isolation into life changing activities

With spectacular Christmas lights, a live Nativity and some very special guests: Pallion Action Group kicked off the festive season in style after another year of giving much-needed support to the Sunderland community.

“We’ve got wreath making, our singers and dancers and, of course, a visit from Santa. This event brings out so much enthusiasm in the community,” says organiser Karen Noble.

“We’ll also go and surprise anyone we know who’s going to be lonely at Christmas.”

This year, Tanya Brown switched on the lights in memory of her son Connor, who was 18 when he was attacked and killed on a night out in 2019.

Pallion has been at the heart of the community here since 1993, but the past couple of years have seen people increasingly struggling financially and feeling isolated.

“This time last year, people were in great poverty,” says Karen.

“But if we’ve done our job properly, they’ve become more financially resilient or less isolated and we should be helping different people this year. And a lot of those who were helped last year are volunteering for us now.

“People are so kind – we get loads of homemade thank-you cards. But I think the biggest thanks we get is knowing we’ve helped somebody to the point where they’re independent and getting on with life.”

Karen and the team organise a wide range of activities, from after-school clubs and cookery sessions to line dancing and computer classes to keep older people connected – and the Christmas season sees them swing into overdrive.

But all this wouldn’t be possible without funding from People’s Health Trust, with money raised through The Health Lottery. Every time you play The Health Lottery, not only could you win up to £100,000, but you’re also helping to raise much-needed funds that go straight to the heart of the community.

So far, £122million has been raised for charities, supporting over 3,280 grassroots projects throughout Great Britain.

The Health Lottery has helped more than 550,000 people facing issues such as dementia, loneliness, learning difficulties and mental health problems.

And since 2011, The Health Lottery has created 16 million prizewinners, who between them have scooped an amazing £158million. Play The Health Lottery and you could have five chances a week to win £25,000, plus the big £100k jackpot on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

“I think people don’t always realise when they buy a ticket that they could be changing somebody’s life,” says Karen.

“The funding we get allows us to help people. So playing The Health Lottery is not just the chance to win a prize; you could be making a real difference.”

Win £100,000 tax free every Wednesday and Saturday, plus £1,000s in other prizes and jackpots – including special draws at Christmas! See great offers at and support local projects near you.

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