The former mayor of Sunderland has spoken of his pride at seeing a charity he has supported for four years find its new premises.

The Northeast Disabilities Resource Centre (NDRC), which has been serving the region for more than 50 years, is set to relocate into custom built premises in Cork Street, Sunderland.

The organisation, which aims to enhance the lives of people living with disabilities, is moving to a brand new day centre in August, something its board – which includes Barry Curran, who was previously mayor of the city – has played an important role in making happen.

NDRC has been working in the Sunderland community for more than 50 years with the aim of enhancing the lives of people living with a disability.  Many of the charity’s clients are people diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, but NDRC also provides support for those who may have allied conditions such as a physical disability or a learning disability.

Barry Curran, who was asked to join the NDRC board after championing the charity during his time as Mayor, said: “I’m absolutely delighted that a charity that does so much good for people in this city is preparing to relocate to premises that will enhance the service it is able to offer to some of Sunderland’s most vulnerable people.

“The service has been operating from a space that is, quite simply, no longer fit for purpose, so moving into a custom-built premise that has the right set-up and facilities to support NDRC is amazing, and is  something myself and the rest of the board are thrilled about. This will allow the charity to support its clients in new and exciting ways. I’m proud to represent this charity and to have played a part in securing this new base for NDRC.”

Barry – who is currently standing to represent the Fulwell ward in the local elections – is one of four board members who support NDRC’s small executive team. The move to the new premises in Cork Street, in Sunderland’s East End, has been supported by Sunderland City Council, with funding also coming from NDRC’s own reserves.

Eddie Bell, chair of NDRC – which also provides specialist day care facilities – said: “Barry has been a committed servant to NDRC and has used his knowledge, experience and connections to ensure that we are well-supported to deliver our life-changing support to people with Cerebral Palsy.  We have a team of dedicated trustees, whose hard work and professionalism has made this all possible.

“As we look forward to a brighter future in our new premises, we really do want to thank our entire board for their support to get us here and of course, Stuart Johnson, who has been centre manager for 21 years.  It’s an exciting time for us, and we cannot wait to be able to deliver more for those who access our support in a space that is absolutely fit for purpose.”