Sunderland Guild of Help was founded in 1907 following a sermon preached by the Rev A. Wylie Blue, who referred to the plight of the poor in Sunderland and made a special plea “that measures might be taken by voluntary effort to overcome the evils and mitigate the distress”.
Since its foundation Sunderland Guild of Help has been involved in meeting the needs of the poor and needy of Sunderland by setting up soup kitchens, establishing convalescent homes and helping people in need at their point of need. In 1927 the Guild was appointed by SSAFA as their local agent to help ex-servicemen and their families and subsequently appointed similarly by the Royal Alfred Merchant Seamen’s Society.
In 1977 the Guild was active in setting up one of the first Victim Support Schemes in the country in Sunderland and maintained this association until 1999 when the Victim Support Scheme obtained separate charitable status.
In recent years statutory agencies such as Social Services have taken on much of the work pioneered by the Guild, whilst other organisations such as SSAFA and the Citizens Advice Bureau have become independent from the Guild and set up their own agencies.
Presently Sunderland Guild of Help still administers welfare cases through small funds and operates as an enabling charity to the people of Sunderland.