A CHURCH project set up to tackle poverty and exclusion and promote well-being has celebrated the first six months of success at an open house event.

The scheme launched in November 2013 is led by Anglican church of St Michaels and All Angels, in Houghton-le-Spring.

The celebration was marked at Space4 headquarters in the town’s library and was attended by the Bishop of Jarrow, the Right Reverend Mark Bryant, the Mayor and Mayoress of Sunderland, Councillor Robert Heron and Juliana Heron, along with invited guests and community partners.

The Reverend Canon Sue Pinnington, Rector of St Michael and All Angels, said: "This is a great project but it is very sad that in this day and age we need to have projects like this at all in order to help the most needy in our society.

“I am immensely proud of the project and the team."

One client, who is not named, said: "The project has helped me to unravel the complexity of my situation, they have supported me and given me the space I needed to try to get my life back on track.

“I cannot thank them enough they have allowed me to make time and to move-on."

Partners of Space4 include city of Sunderland, Gentoo, DFW Adoption, Bridges Community Bank and Houghton library along with a host of community associates.

Bishop Bryant: “This is yet just another example of the church getting alongside people supporting communities and making things happen.

“It's a credit to the Church lead team bringing partners together in support of those who can be so easily forgotten. This is a real demonstration of our presence in our communities."

Space4 projecct co-ordinator Sue Elsley said: “We are very grateful to the council and local community for helping us and making the space available to allow us to help others.”

Space4 is on Facebook www.facebook.com/HoughtonSpace4 and on twitter twitter.com/HoughtonSpace4.