We are delighted to announce:


2nd June 2020


Sunderland Maritime Heritage is proud and honoured to announce it has today been awarded the Queens Award for Voluntary Service.

This award, the equivalent to an MBE for charities, was given in recognition of our work with volunteers. It reflects the work Sunderland Maritime Heritage does in recording and demonstrating the maritime history of Sunderland at its centre in Church Street East.

Sunderland Maritime Heritage celebrates its twentieth anniversary in December this year and is run by unpaid volunteers. The centre offers an interactive heritage experience for all with a workshop area demonstrating boatbuilding, woodworking and engineering skills and a visitor centre which illustrates the development of Sunderland’s six-hundred year history in ship building and associated trades.

Volunteers are from all walks of life – the unemployed, retirees, persons with special needs, those on the autistic spectrum and those with early onset Alzheimer’s – all of which have something very special to offer the Sunderland Maritime Heritage Centre experience.

Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Mr Christopher Carolan said:

“We are all very proud that we have been given this award and would like to thank Sunderland Council, CT-1, the Sir James Knott Trust, the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Sir John Priestman Trust and all our visitors & members who have supported us over the years. We would not have flourished without your help.” 

Susan Winfield, Lord-Lieutenant, commented:

“I am delighted that Sunderland Maritime Heritage have been honoured with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service 2020, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.  A unique organisation which is playing a vital role in attracting, educating and promoting knowledge of the maritime heritage of the City of Sunderland. My warmest congratulations to all those who have played a part in achieving this honour.”

Sunderland Maritime Heritage is a registered charity dedicated to preserving the shipbuilding skills and history of the City of Sunderland.  Our Centre is normally open from 10:00 am to 4:00pm Monday, Wednesday & Friday. For more information about our work, to volunteer, come a member or donate please visit or email/phone us.

Chris Carolan

Chairman – Sunderland Maritime Heritage