Streetcare has been established in Sunderland since 1991 as a volunteer support group. The aims of the group are to help and care for those in need, particularly those who are homeless or those who are without any means. Loneliness is also a major problem to many.

Many are isolated from their family, unemployed, and often without a home of their own, living in hostels or a lonely bedsit or, worst still, living rough.

This is mostly brought about by adverse circumstances, although a few are there by choice.

There are a number of our friends who have lost their jobs. The stress has led to a broken marriage and the eventual loss of their home.

Loneliness can then become the biggest problem for a lot of people; others can suffer with depression or mental illness, or have alcohol or drug related problems.

Contrary to what many people believe, very few of these people are scroungers, always on the take, but many are caring folk. Yes, we have been taken for a ride occasionally, by the very nature of the work. There are some folk who will try to con their way to everything they can get, but this is not the regular pattern, and our volunteers can usually 'suss' this out.

The genuine people we help and the appreciation we receive far outweigh the negative side of things, and make what we do really worth-while.