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2014

November 2014

  1. Using the power of football to inspire, educate and motivate.

    Thousands raised for Foundation

      Sir Bob hosted an exclusive gourmet dinner at the Stadium of Light which raised more than £25,000 for the Foundation of Light in November. Established in 2001 by Sir Bob, the Foundation of Light…

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    Using the power of football to inspire, educate and motivate.

    Sir Bob hosted an exclusive gourmet dinner at the Stadium of Light which raised more than £25,000 for the Foundation of Light in November.

    Established in 2001 by Sir Bob, the Foundation of Light is the registered charity of Sunderland AFC and uses the power of football to educate, inspire and motivate young people and their families. It is the largest football charity in the UK.

    Key supporters and trustees were welcomed to the Stadium of Light by Sir Bob for the fundraising event. Guests from the world of sport and entertainment included journalist Kate Adie OBE, architect and television presenter George Clarke, cricketer Paul Collingwood MBE, award-winning lyricist Sir Tim Rice as well as Olympian and television presenter Steve Cram MBE.

    Sir Bob said: “It’s always a pleasure to return to the Stadium of Light and this event was no exception. It was a special evening and also that raised a lot of money to support the Foundation’s life-changing work in the North East.

    “The evening was a tremendous success and I am extremely grateful to all of our supporters and Trustees for their continued support of the Foundation, a charity which is leading the way in its field and making a huge difference to the region.”

    Prizes on the night included VIP tickets to The Lion King in London’s West End, lunch at the House of Lords, a framed football shirt signed by Brazil legend Pele and a behind –the-scenes tour of St George’s Park, the FA’s National Football Centre.

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  1. 10 About - CoW at event

    Countess of Wessex supports Beacon of Light

    Sir Bob hosted a special event in Sunderland to raise awareness of the Beacon of Light project and HRH The Countess of Wessex GCVO attended as guest of honour. The Beacon of Light will be…

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    Sir Bob hosted a special event in Sunderland to raise awareness of the Beacon of Light project and HRH The Countess of Wessex GCVO attended as guest of honour. The Beacon of Light will be a vibrant and exciting education and sports facility and the first of its kind in the UK. It will use the power of football to inspire people and change lives. It will help people gain skills and qualifications and work with families to energise communities.

    The unique centre will become the home of the Foundation of Light in 2017 and include engaging and interactive zones in education; health and fitness; sport and play; and the world of work and will welcome thousands of children, young people and adults through its doors every week.

    The project, which is being led by Sir Bob, will help the Foundation to expand its reach and work with local people in a greater variety of ways to address the health and well-being, education and employment agendas.

    Foundation supporters and Trustees joined The Countess of Wessex on the visit including journalist Kate Adie OBE, architect and TV Restoration Man George Clarke, Olympian and sports broadcaster Steve Cram and Sir Tim Rice.

    Sir Bob said: “The Countess of Wessex has been a fantastic supporter of the Foundation over the years and we were delighted to welcome Her Royal Highness to an event focused on the iconic Beacon of Light project.

    “Ten years ago this month The Countess of Wessex opened the Centre of Light, a collection of classrooms and offices at the Stadium of Light that have had a huge impact on thousands of children, families and adults.

    “A decade later and we are discussing a new development that will greatly enhance the reach and impact of the Foundation’s work in the region, the natural progression of the work started at Her Royal Highness’ last visit here.”

    For further information about the beacon of light visit http://www.safc.com/foundation-of-light/beacon-of-light

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September 2014

  1. Picture by Vicky Matthers iconphotomedia

    Proud to be Chancellor of Leeds Beckett

      I am proud to be the Chancellor of Leeds Beckett University, which changes its name from Leeds Metropolitan University today. Congratulations to all at the University who have made this important milestone possible. I…

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    I am proud to be the Chancellor of Leeds Beckett University, which changes its name from Leeds Metropolitan University today.

    Congratulations to all at the University who have made this important milestone possible. I know that a lot of work from many colleagues has gone into making this step forward.

    The university has changed its name in order to be more distinctive and has also launched its new strapline; Leeds Beckett University: Opening Minds, Opening Doors.

    In business, and when leading any large organisation, those who lead it need to make big decisions. It’s so important to be bold in the decisions you take and stick to what you believe in. I know this myself from personal experience when Sunderland AFC moved from Roker Park to the Stadium of Light. The fans were not always 100% behind the changes but very quickly after the move the majority realised it was the right decision for the club in the long term.

    There may still be people who aren’t fully signed up to Leeds Beckett yet, but I’m sure in time they will be, when they realise what a positive and important strategic step it is for the university.

    Many congratulations to Leeds Beckett University on this exciting day – I look forward to many more years as Chancellor of this great institution.

    Read more here: http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/debate/columnists/bob-murray-proud-to-lead-university-into-new-era-1-6853614

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2013

November 2013

  1. Sir Bob Murray with Electrical Engineering student Mandy Davison and her two children

    Sir Bob returns to his roots

    Sir Bob returned to his roots in November as guest of honour at Derwentside College’s Annual Awards ceremony in his hometown of Consett. Bob was invited to speak at the ceremony and personally sponsored four…

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    Sir Bob Murray with Electrical Engineering student Mandy Davison and her two children

    Sir Bob returned to his roots in November as guest of honour at Derwentside College’s Annual Awards ceremony in his hometown of Consett.

    Bob was invited to speak at the ceremony and personally sponsored four new special achievement awards which he presented to students.

    Sir Bob said; “I was thrilled to be invited to Derwentside College’s annual awards ceremony to be guest speaker.  As a former student it was a great opportunity to share my personal story and demonstrate the power of education to transform a young person’s life – namely my own.

    “I left school with just one O-Level, and with twice as many people looking for jobs due to the baby boom after the war, I was unemployed for a year. It was a really difficult time for me and changed my outlook on life forever.

    “I realised the value and importance of education and studied part time for the next ten years to further my education and never looked back. I am truly passionate about education.

    “I had a wonderful evening meeting the students and their families and celebrating their outstanding achievements and success.

    “It was also fantastic to see how Derwentside College has invested and expanded in recent years by working closely with regional employers, advancing apprenticeships and growing student numbers. It is a highly respected institution and has grown into an extremely successful business.

    Derwentside College celebrated the success of all graduating students and 21 students received special awards for academic excellence and endeavour on the night.

    Four of the students received Special Achievements awards sponsored by Sir Bob Murray personally; Natalie Dixon (Customer Service), Wayne Spears (Information Technology), Heather Louise Robinson (Business Administration) and Mandy Davison (Electrical Engineering).

    Mandy Davison said; “I was thrilled to have been nominated but to have won the ‘Sir Bob Murray Award for Special Achievement in Electrical Engineering’ and then to have him present it to me was absolutely fantastic. The proudest moment for me was knowing that my children were there to see this.”

    Principal Albert Croney said; “It was an honour for the College to have Sir Bob, a former student, with us for such a special evening, especially as this was the first time that the Awards had been held on our College campus.

    “Our Awards evening  is about celebrating success, the success of individuals in achieving their goals by progressing to higher education or securing employment, and the success of the college working with employers and their workforce to raise skill levels and improve productivity.

    “The college has enjoyed very high success rates again this year that place us in the top 10% of all colleges nationally for the majority of our further education provision.  In the last 12 months alone we have delivered 465 different learning aims to 9493 students, had 4518 apprentices in 29 different occupational areas and we have worked with 1127 different employers.”

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September 2013

  1. Sir Bob Murray with Leeds Met students who have been awarded a £1,000 scholarship.

    Sir Bob awards scholarships to Leeds Met students

      Sir Bob Murray is to support five Leeds Metropolitan University students by awarding each of them a £1,000 scholarship. Bob, who was installed as Chancellor of Leeds Met in January, will donate a total…

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    Sir Bob Murray with Leeds Met students who have been awarded a £1,000 scholarship.

     

    Sir Bob Murray is to support five Leeds Metropolitan University students by awarding each of them a £1,000 scholarship.

    Bob, who was installed as Chancellor of Leeds Met in January, will donate a total of £30,000 over the next six years.

    Liam Hawksworth, aged 20, who is just about to embark on the second year of his degree, said that for him, while the scholarship was invaluable financially, more importantly it had given him self-belief.

    “During my brief conversation with Sir Bob, he told me not to let my social background hold me back and that I could do anything I wanted to do with the right amount of hard work,” he said.

    “To receive a scholarship of any kind is a fantastic privilege, but for me to receive this particular one was amazing as I consider Sir Bob Murray a very inspirational person that I have a lot of common ground with.

    “His career in business and more specifically football is very much in line with what I would call my dream career, and to see someone become so successful from a similar social background to myself and keep his working class pride is truly inspirational.

    “The scholarship will help me immensely financially, helping to pay for various books to provide further reading for my studies, as well as pay for short courses in accounting computer software. It will also help cover my living costs.”

    Bob added; “My own personal experience is very apt. I finally woke up to the value of education at 16 after I had left school with just one O-level and it took me another ten years to finally qualify as an accountant and graduate from here.

    “I didn’t get the opportunity to progress straight to University and know it can be difficult for a lot of students and their families. I wanted to demonstrate my belief in and commitment to the University by extending a helping hand to some students during my Chancellorship.”

    “This University has great vision, values, and state-of-the-art facilities. More importantly it gets the results that matter for students today with over 90% of graduates in work, further study or both within six months of leaving University.

    “I have spent most of my business career in Yorkshire and the North of England and am delighted to be able to help some young people take the first steps in their career.”

    Danielle Leonard, who plans to use her funding to help towards living costs and University expenses said; “It means a lot to me to be awarded this scholarship. It gives me the extra income to pay for travel costs from my accommodation to university and the library. I feel very lucky to have been chosen and I am extremely grateful to Sir Bob for this amazing gesture.”

    Forida Uddin, 19, added that being selected for the scholarship had given her a confidence boost.

    “Receiving this scholarship means a great deal to me as I will be able to focus more on my studies rather than how I am going to pay for them.”

    Professor Susan Price, Vice Chancellor of Leeds Metropolitan, added: “We are delighted that we could work with Sir Bob to create scholarships. We are particularly grateful that, as our Chancellor, alumnus and honorary graduate, he is able to give something back to his university by way of making such a significant contribution to students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

    “These scholarships will make a huge difference to hard working and talented students by helping them cover the costs of living and studying at university.”

    Sir Bob’s links with the university go back to 1969 when he moved to Yorkshire to study accountancy part-time at the university’s predecessor institution, Leeds Polytechnic. Some years later, in 2008, he was awarded an honorary doctorate in business administration by Leeds Metropolitan for his contribution to business and sport.

    An official ceremony was held in January to officially install Sir Bob as Chancellor.

    The scholarships are available to students on courses in Accounting and Finance-related subjects, from the North of England and from low income families earning less than £25,000 per year.

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  1. Sir Bob Murray shaking hands with Albert Croney at Derwentside College

    Sir Bob to celebrate student success

    Sir Bob will be guest of honour at Derwentside College’s Annual Awards ceremony in his home town of Consett later this year. Bob is increasingly recognised as a leading advocate of the power of education…

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    Sir Bob Murray shaking hands with Albert Croney at Derwentside College

    Sir Bob will be guest of honour at Derwentside College’s Annual Awards ceremony in his home town of Consett later this year.

    Bob is increasingly recognised as a leading advocate of the power of education to change young people’s lives and will personally sponsor four new special achievement awards for local students.

    Sir Bob said: “It is an honour to be invited to be the guest speaker at the Annual Awards ceremony at Derwentside College This will be the second time I have given an address at Derwentside, having been previously invited in 2001.

    “Derwentside College has an excellent track record and enviable reputation in vocational training and education and plays an important role in shaping the future destinies of young people.

    “I left school at 16 with just one O’ Level and the baby boom in the immediate aftermath of the war meant that there were twice as many people looking for work in 1961 and no prospect of me joining the steelworks where my father had worked. They were difficult times and being out of work had a profound and lasting impact on my life.

    “Initially I had nowhere to turn and was unemployed for a year. That experience changed my outlook on life forever and gave me the drive and ambition to change my life.

    “It took me 10 years of studying part time to further my education and get qualified but the most important step I took was enrolling at Derwentside College in 1963. I never looked back and am a passionate supporter of education. I know from personal experience how education can change your outlook on life and I want to encourage as many young people and adult returners to think about doing the same.

    “I’m delighted to be sponsoring four new special achievement awards from this year, as I also want to recognise and celebrate the accomplishments of some of the most dedicated and hard-working students from the College.”

    Albert Croney, Principal and Chief Executive of Derwentside College, said: “We are delighted to welcome Sir Bob Murray as our Guest of Honour for this year’s award ceremony.  As a former student, Bob has shown the extent of what hard work and dedication can achieve.

    “Our awards evening will showcase the success of students and the on-going support and commitment we provide to a number of local and regional employers.  Four-years ago the College worked with 2374 learners and this has risen to over 9000 this year.  I am pleased to say that Derwentside College continues to go from strength-to-strength and is supporting more learners and businesses in the region and beyond.”

    Derwentside College provides an impressive learning environment for a wide range of vocational courses for young people aged from 14+, as well as adults returning to education. It has excellent achievement rates and attracts students from a wide geographic area from Ashington in the North, to Harrogate in the South, to Carlisle in the West and South Shields in the East.

     

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July 2013

  1. Willowburn-logo-whitebg

    Sir Bob’s support for Willow Burn Hospice building project

      Sir Bob has expressed his support towards a building project which will create a £5.7m state of the art building for a North East hospice charity. Willow Burn Hospice on Maiden Law Bank, Lanchester,…

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    Sir Bob has expressed his support towards a building project which will create a £5.7m state of the art building for a North East hospice charity.

    Willow Burn Hospice on Maiden Law Bank, Lanchester, Co Durham was established 24 years ago and has since been operating from a former isolation hospital ward which dates back to the 1950s.

    The current facilities are not in a good physical condition and no longer meet operational requirements on many levels. The increased demand for services has also proved to be a challenge, with little flexibility in the way that the building can be used.

    Phase one of the project began in July 2013 and is due to be completed by spring next year. Additional fundraising is required for phases two and three. The start of the project was marked by a ceremonial lifting of the first sod of turf by the longest serving member of the nursing the team.

    Bob commented on the project, saying; “I grew up Consett so it will always be a special place to me. I have visited the hospice several times and have seen the plans for the new hospice, which look amazing. The staff at Willowburn are really dedicated and do a fantastic job. They make such a difference to the lives of so many people and I’m delighted to support the hospice.”

     

    For more information about Willowburn Hospice visit http://www.willow-burn.co.uk/ or to make a donation http://www.justgiving.com/willowburnhospice

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    George Clarke joins Foundation of Light

    Sunderland-born TV personality George Clarke has been appointed Trustee of the Foundation of Light after being personally invited by Sir Bob. George, who was born and raised in Sunderland, studied architecture at the University of…

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    Chair of Trustees of the Foundation of Light, Sir Bob Murray with George Clarke

    Sunderland-born TV personality George Clarke has been appointed Trustee of the Foundation of Light after being personally invited by Sir Bob.

    George, who was born and raised in Sunderland, studied architecture at the University of Newcastle and is now Creative Director of London-based architectural practice George Clarke + Partners which has established a reputation for designing and building high quality, award winning projects throughout the UK and abroad.

    George is also a writer, lecturer and TV presenter and has presented popular TV shows including Build a New Life in the Country, The Home Show, Restoration Man and George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces.

    Bob invited George to join the board after Lord Puttnam of Queensgate CBE stepped down from the board earlier this year.

    Speaking of his appointment, George said; “I’m delighted to join the Foundation of Light as a trustee and want to publically express my thanks to Sir Bob for asking me.

    “Being from the North East I am keen to be involved in the regeneration of the region in any way I can. The Foundation is doing some fantastic work across Sunderland, South Tyneside and County Durham and it’s a real privilege to be able to accept this official role with them.”

    Bob added; “George has a real grasp of the importance of community and like the Foundation of Light, is passionate about regeneration and helping to transform people’s lives.

    “I am certain his creative perspective and vast experience in architecture will further strengthen our Board.

    “His public profile will also be a huge asset and will help us to convey the importance of the Foundation’s work to the public and other stakeholders.”

    The Foundation of Light uses the power of football to involve, educate and inspire more than 42,000 young people and their families across the North East each year.

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January 2013

  1. Sir Bob Murray Kickz Pic 1 (4)

    Sir Bob chats to nebusiness and visits youth project in Derwentside

    Sir Bob met up with Peter Jackson to chat about old times and do a profile piece for neBusiness and The Journal when he was in the north east.   View Article Page 1 View…

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    Sir Bob met up with Peter Jackson to chat about old times and do a profile piece for neBusiness and The Journal when he was in the north east.

     

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    Later in the day he visited Derwentside to see at first-hand the impact of a youth project in Consett, Co. Durham.
    Sir Bob, who is the founder and Chair of Trustees for the Foundation of Light praised the work of the family learning and Kickz programme, which was launched in Consett and Stanley last year.

    The programme provides a range of sport related activities for 13 to 19-year-olds and has achieved impressive results in the region.
    It was expanded to Derwentside following a new partnership between Derwentside Homes and the Foundation of Light.
    The award-winning Kickz programme uses the power of football to engage with young people in local communities and aims is to reduce anti-social behaviour,
    teach youngsters valuable skills and increase their confidence.

    The Foundation has also rolled out its successful Family Learning programme in Derwentside, which offers first steps learning to parents and carers, as well as adult learning courses and qualifications.

    Since it was launched in April 2012, over 1,780 youngsters have participated in the Kickz evening, holiday and daytime sessions in schools across the District. Police have also reported that since May 2012, crime has reduced by 72% in the Consett town centre area.

    Over 40 local families have engaged in Family Learning courses in Derwentside since September 2012 and of those, 27 families have fully completed the courses.

    Sir Bob said: “It’s fantastic to see the positive impact that the Foundation is already having in the Derwentside area.”

    “One of the Foundation’s aims is to give people the opportunity to change their lives for the better and the support of organisations such as Derwentside Homes really make this possible by helping us into the heart of communities.”

    “I always believe that a huge amount of credit should go to those who take part in the programmes and are willing to give new things a go. It was a real pleasure meeting some of those people today and they are a real inspiration to all of us at the Foundation of Light.”

    Derwentside Homes’ chief executive Geraldine Wilcox said: “It was really generous of Sir Bob to come and visit the project and meet the youngsters and families that benefit from these activities. He is an ambassador for the North East and an inspiration to young people.

    “Since it was launched, the programme has grown from strength to strength and results demonstrate that through effective partnership working, we can make a difference to the lives of people who live in our communities.

    “Young people are the future so it important that we show our commitment by investing in services for them which will have a long lasting impact on a future generation.”

    Kickz sessions take place weekly at Derwentside College and The Chill In in Consett and Stanley Youth Centre and St. Stephen’s Church in Stanley.

    For more information about the Foundation of Light click here http://www.safc.com/foundation-of-light

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2010
  1. Sir Bob presents a cheque to the Brothers in Arms appeal at the Stadium of Light.

    Sir Bob supports Brothers in Arms memorial

    In 2010 Sir Bob Murray pledged £10,000 to the Brothers in Arms charity. The charity launched a campaign in 2009 to build a memorial wall in Sunderland dedicated to soldiers who have lost their lives…

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    Sir Bob presents a cheque to the Brothers in Arms appeal at the Stadium of Light.

    In 2010 Sir Bob Murray pledged £10,000 to the Brothers in Arms charity. The charity launched a campaign in 2009 to build a memorial wall in Sunderland dedicated to soldiers who have lost their lives since WWII.
    The charity was founded by local families who have lost a child in the line of duty.One family involved with the Brothers in Arms charity is that of Private Nathan Cuthbertson, who was tragically killed in Afghanistan aged just 19 years old.Speaking in 2010, Sir Bob said: “I met the Cuthbertson family and they are wonderful people who have endured unimaginable tragedy. As a parent myself I cannot begin to understand what they and other families are going through and I commend them from the bottom of my heart for showing an amazing strength of character in getting this campaign off the ground.“I wanted to help the project for the Cuthbertsons and all those families who have lost loved ones. The City of Sunderland is steeped in military tradition and it is so important that these brave young men and women are remembered in a fitting way and for their families to know that everyone in our city and beyond is so very proud of them.” The charity successfully raised their target of £100,000 for the memorial wall and it was unveiled during the Remembrance Day parade in Sunderland during November 2011.The concept for the wall designed by Sunderland based Fitz Architects is soldiers standing in formation. The wall subtly rises and falls in a gentle curve to represent individuals standing together as ‘Brothers in arms’. It was also designed as an educational resource to convey information on each conflict since World War II. Solid grey granite was used to construct the wall.

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