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Our Unique Georgian Heritage Centre

The Donnison School enjoys the contributions of a number of academics and experienced local historians with established reputations in research, dissemination and published work. The Donnison School is a very active heritage, education and community hub with a full range of annual events and activities that appeal to a wide spectrum of ages, interests and backgrounds.  Each year we undertake a variety of projects to bring into focus some aspect of the heritage of Sunderland, it's industry and it's people!

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The Donnison School Heritage and Education Centre Today

The Donnison School is a very active building, staffed and maintained by volunteers. 

Our focus is the amazing history and heritage of Sunderland and it's people.  We research and teach about our heritage.  Many of our volunteers are lecturers, established speakers, skilled and knowledgeable local people and/or established authors.
We all love the Donnison and enjoy bringing history to life for all members of our local community - and further afield.


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Gift Shop

We have a small gift shop selling seasonal items, which supports the running of The Donnison School site.  The shop is an attractive addition to the centre, selling unique items and books, ideal for gifts any time of the year.   Our retail sales of seasonal items, unique local pictures - framed and unframed are supported by our range of books and publications by local authors. 

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Our Garden

The Donnison School has an award winning garden. This beautiful space provides a wonderful refuge from life's daily grind.  Visitors can enjoy this peaceful area - one that again serves a number of functions.          This space is valued as a seating area for events when the weather permits.The garden has a variety of fruit trees.  In the season, these provide apples, pears, plums and greengage's.  Other fruit includes raspberries and strawberries and in the herb garden we grow mint and chives.

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Our Events and Activities

Our Lovell Lectures are an annual series of talks delivered by a variety of speakers.  These are enthusiastically received by an audience gathered from around the region.          Heritage Week in August, school visits throughout the year, where pupils experience an education in a Georgian schoolroom, links with Sunderland University and our programme of Cream Tea events are typical of our activities.  An especially popular event is our Heroes and Villains walking tour.

Our Intergenerational Activity

Intergenerational activity is a feature of what we do and we work with a wide variety of age groups and abilities.  We have very strong connections with a wide range of groups and individuals within our community and actively seek to engage with them. 

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