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2016

October 2016

  1. Foundation of Light Trustees approve start of work on Beacon

    Work Starts on Beacon of Light

    The Beacon of Light passed another important milestone at the weekend when Trustees of the charity approved the start of construction at a meeting at the Stadium of Light. Tolent Construction who won the tender…

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    The Beacon of Light passed another important milestone at the weekend when Trustees of the charity approved the start of construction at a meeting at the Stadium of Light.

    Tolent Construction who won the tender to build the Beacon, which will fuse together sport, education, the world of work, health and well-being, are expected to move onto site next to the Stadium of Light during the week.

    Sir Bob Murray said: “The Beacon of Light will be a first for the Foundation and for the region, so we’re thrilled to be moving on site and starting work this week.

    “We are immensely grateful to our patrons, benefactors, sponsors and supporters for backing us. It has been heartening to work with so many likeminded people who share values, and who want to make a lasting difference to people in the northeast. Their vision and generosity will inspire many more people to learn more, do more and be more, and will change countless lives.

    The striking cube-shaped development will be the first building of its kind in the country and house education and training facilities with an indoor football pitch above. When they enter the Beacon, visitors will be presented with a busy street along which the various activities will interconnect. Inspirational and motivational zones for education, the world of work, health and wellbeing, sport and play will combine together with excellent views into a sports arena.

    Trustee Sir Tim Rice added, “The Beacon will be a landmark destination delivering a meaningful and lasting legacy and it will represent a significant step change for the charity in terms of what we will be able to deliver in the future.”

    http://www.foundationoflight.co.uk/Beacon-of-Light/latest-beacon-news/

     

     

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September 2016

  1. Thank-you-lunch-RSM-web

    Sir Bob Thanks Backers

    Sir Bob attended a lunch to thank backers of the £18m Beacon of Light project in Sunderland on 30th September. He said, “I was delighted to attend the lunch at the Stadium of Light to…

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    Sir Bob attended a lunch to thank backers of the £18m Beacon of Light project in Sunderland on 30th September. He said, “I was delighted to attend the lunch at the Stadium of Light to personally thank the patrons, benefactors and sponsors of the Beacon of Light project.

    “We have come a long way and overcome some significant milestones since we announced our plans for the community development in Sunderland so I felt very heartened to be in the company of so many likeminded people who share our values, and who want to make a lasting difference to people in the northeast.”

    The Beacon of Light will be a first, and like the Foundation of Light, will be pioneering in its approach and aspirations. It will fuse together sport, education, the world of work and health like no other place in the UK.

    “It is because of my own personal experience in education that I continue to feel so driven to championing its importance, and why at the Foundation of Light we believe everyone deserves the chance to unlock their true potential and shine.

    “I also have a little personal experience in sport! And I know combining sport and education is a compelling and potent mix. Through the Beacon it is our ambition to help people, young and old, to learn more, do more and be more to change many lives for the better. “

    http://www.foundationoflight.co.uk/Beacon-of-Light/what-is-beacon-of-light

     

     

     

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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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September 2014

  1. 'Superkev' has signed for Sunderland once again.

    Superkev re-signs for Sunderland

    SAFC’s leading post-war goal scorer, ‘Superkev’ has agreed to become an ambassador for the club’s charity, the Foundation of Light. Sir Bob, who founded the Foundation when he was Chairman of SAFC in 2001, said…

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    ‘Superkev’ has signed for Sunderland once again.

    SAFC’s leading post-war goal scorer, ‘Superkev’ has agreed to become an ambassador for the club’s charity, the Foundation of Light.

    Sir Bob, who founded the Foundation when he was Chairman of SAFC in 2001, said he was thrilled the former fans’ favourite had agreed to join the charity: “Among Sunderland fans Kevin has legendary status. He played a major role in what was one of the club’s most exciting periods, and his goals and talent cemented a place in the club’s folklore.

    “I’ve remained close to Kevin since his days at the club and was sure he’d be interested in helping the Foundation. He’s always been a top man as well as a top player and he was genuinely interested in the invaluable work the Foundation does with families in the region.

    “It was only fair to him to wait until he’d retired as a player to ask him to join us, but I had no hesitation in doing so once he joined the coaching staff at his current club, Leicester.”

    “He is one of the club’s most famous sons and his involvement will make a real difference, heightening awareness and interest in the work we do.”

    Kevin said he was honoured to be asked to become an ambassador for the Foundation: “Sunderland will always hold a special place in my heart. I loved my time on Wearside and have really fond memories of the city and the club.

    “It’s great to be able to give something back to the community after all the support it gave me – and it’s also very hard to say no to Sir Bob.

    “He’s really passionate about the Foundation and has told me just how important the work is that it does. I look forward to helping take the Foundation forward and to promoting the fantastic work it does in the north east.”

    The Foundation works with more than 42,000 adults and children across Sunderland, South Tyneside and County Durham annually. Its mission is to use the power of football to help young people and their families realise their full potential.

    The Foundation’s base is currently within the Stadium of Light, but proposals for a new home, the Beacon of Light, were recently approved by Sunderland Council.

    The Beacon will be an exciting and inspiring education, training and sports facility located next to both the Sunderland Aquatic Centre and the Stadium of Light.

    The unique centre will be the first of its kind in the UK 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.

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2013

July 2013

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    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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2012

October 2012

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    Sir Bob Murray to be appointed Chancellor at Leeds Metropolitan University

    On 15th October, Leeds Metropolitan announced that Sir Bob Murray CBE is to become the new Chancellor of the University. Sir Bob, who was described as a businessman, philanthropist, and passionate supporter of education, will…

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    On 15th October, Leeds Metropolitan announced that Sir Bob Murray CBE is to become the new Chancellor of the University.
    Sir Bob, who was described as a businessman, philanthropist, and passionate supporter of education, will be officially installed as Chancellor at a formal ceremony at the university early 2013.

    Bob has been a leading business figure in Yorkshire for the last 43 years but is probably best known for his chairmanship of Sunderland AFC. He is also heavily involved with charitable causes and education: he is co-sponsor of Academy 360 which educates 4-16 year olds and aims to break cycles of educational underachievement and he set up the pioneering Foundation of Light charity to bring benefits to the community in the north east and beyond.

    Bob’s connection to Leeds Met dates back to 1969 when he moved to Yorkshire to study accountancy 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.

    Sir Bob said: “I feel very privileged to have been invited to become the Chancellor of such an esteemed Institution as Leeds Metropolitan University and was thrilled to accept. It is a highly-respected University that plays such an important role in developing the potential and talent of thousands of students from many different parts of the world.“As a former graduate and as someone who has worked in Yorkshire for more than 40 years it will be a great honour to take on such a leading role with the University. I hope my experience and track record in business, lifelong focus on education, and passion for sport will give me the necessary qualities to support the University, its outstanding staff and the next generation of leaders, entrepreneurs and professionals to achieve their ambitious and exciting aspirations.”

    The Video FramePlay Button Professor Susan Price, Vice Chancellor of Leeds Metropolitan, said: “We are delighted that Sir Bob is to become Chancellor of our University. Sir Bob shares our core values and is passionate about both education and making a difference to people in their communities. We are proud of so many things here at our university: 9 out of 10 of our graduates are in work or continuing their studies within 6 months of leaving us; we have achieved our best ever student satisfaction ratings this year, and our newly launched Research Institutes showcase our internationally recognised research, making a difference to real life issues such as men’s health and sustainable futures. Myself and my colleagues are really looking forward to working with Sir Bob and I know he will be a fantastic champion for our university.

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2011
  1. 2011

    Freedom of the City of Sunderland honour for Bob

      In October 2011, Bob was awarded the Honorary Freedom of the City of Sunderland. The honour was bestowed on Bob by Sunderland City Council for his eminent services to football, education and charitable causes…

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    Bob awarded Honorary Freedom of the City of Sunderland

    In October 2011, Bob was awarded the Honorary Freedom of the City of Sunderland. The honour was bestowed on Bob by Sunderland City Council for his eminent services to football, education and charitable causes within the City and local area.

    With both his mother and father being born in Sunderland, Bob’s civic and football allegiances have always remained firmly with the City. He has always demonstrated a great determination and desire to stand up for the City and everyone in it through his charity work and business life.

    The Leader of Sunderland City Council, Paul Watson said: “Sir Bob has been nominated in recognition of his outstanding contributions to football, education and charitable causes within the City. If anyone ever epitomised the spirit of Sunderland, then it is Robert Sydney ‘Bob’ Murray.”

    The extraordinary honour from a City he loves was accepted by Bob with great pride on 14th October 2011. He said: “I’m massively proud of my heritage. There is no greater privilege than to be recognised by your own. Sunderland has always been with me, all my life. It has a special place in my heart and has always been good to me. Thank you so much for this most unique and incredibly special honour.”

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    Sir Bob, Lady Murray and the Family

     

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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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