Community help And Neighbourly Care for Everyone (CHANCE) is a well established voluntary organisation and a registered charity that is run by local people for local people. The organisation was set up in 1993 by a group of female residents who lived in the Garths, A high rise blocks of flats that was situated in the East End of Sunderland, Tyne and Wear.
Initially the group was set up as a support mechanism for parents and their young children who, lived in the Garths, who found themselves socially and economically isolated. A group of residents identified the need to offer support to the local community. They contacted the area housing organisation Home Housing to explore possibilities. The organisation provided initially two flats and through a variety of sources of funding they were able to convert two unoccupied flats into a drop-in resource for residents. Other agencies were approached to support the Project, which led to the development of a range of family support and education/training opportunities to benefit residents from the area.
With knowledge that the flats were to be demolished to make way for new social housing developments, the local Management Committee from the project sought funding to build a new purpose built community facility in the East End. Local users of the project informed the design and planning processes and successfully raised the £340,000 needed for the construction. The new building was opened in 1999 and now provides an invaluable resource to the whole community. The building has a purpose built and well equipped crèche, a large multi-purpose meeting/training room which can be divided into two rooms to make best use of the space, a kitchen, a reception area and office accommodation for the project team.