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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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May 2016

  1. img-homepage-banner_beach-1071x800

    Backing Sunderland 2021 Bid

     Sir Bob Murray has accepted an invitation to become an Ambassador for Sunderland’s ambitious bid to become City of Culture in 2021. “I was born into the fourth generation of a Sunderland mining family and…

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     Sir Bob Murray has accepted an invitation to become an Ambassador for Sunderland’s ambitious bid to become City of Culture in 2021.

    “I was born into the fourth generation of a Sunderland mining family and have always been hugely proud of my personal heritage, and that of my city.

    “Sunderland people are special – passionate and generous. I saw the passion first hand during my time as Chairman of Sunderland Football Club, and continue to be overwhelmed by the generosity of Wearsiders in my role as Chairman of Trustees at the Foundation of Light, the charity arm of SAFC.

    “I firmly believe a successful City of Culture bid would have a transformative effect on Sunderland. And it wouldn’t just act as a catalyst for the city’s growing cultural sector. The investment and higher profile would undoubtedly lead to jobs and greater opportunities for Wearsiders. I also believe that a successful bid would help encourage our young people to stay here, rather than look elsewhere to build their lives and futures.

    “One thing I learned through my team at the club and at the Foundation, is that Sunderland is about true partnerships. It can act as one coherent, determined body as the city did during the 2018 World Cup bid. This strength means that the whole city, from the council to businesses large and small, to everyone living and working on Wearside will pull together to back this bid.

    “I can think of no more worthy recipient of the title City of Culture 2021 than Sunderland.”

    Find out more or get involved http://www.sunderland2021.com /

    #SUNDERLAND2021

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2015

September 2015

  1. Beacon of Light illuminated at night

    Beacon Green Light

    “It’s been  a great week for the Foundation of Light as the BEACON OF LIGHT passed an important milestone when it secured full planning approval from Sunderland City Council.   “The Beacon will be a…

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    “It’s been  a great week for the Foundation of Light as the BEACON OF LIGHT passed an important milestone when it secured full planning approval from Sunderland City Council.

     

    “The Beacon will be a game-changer for the Foundation and catalyst for so much that we want to achieve in the next decade. The charity already works with more than 40,000 people every year, and the Beacon will significantly expand our work and the number of lives we can touch.

    “I have always been a passionate advocate of the power of education to change lives and the power of football to inspire and motivate people. The Beacon will epitomise this vision and fuse together sport, education, the world of work and health and well-being like no other place in the UK.

    The Beacon received more good news when the Home and Communities Agency (HCA) also confirmed the land transaction has been approved in principle with heads of terms being exchanged. The HCA has worked closely with the Foundation over the last year to bring about the land deal for the unique development.

    “We are immensely grateful to the Home and Communities Agency for their visionary approach and support for the Beacon of Light development. The landmark development will make a real difference to the lives of thousands of people and the Home and Communities Agency demonstrated a real enthusiasm and keenness to invest in the city from the outset. I would like to thank them for going the extra mile and showing great commitment to the project. Like us, they want to see the Beacon of Light become a reality.

    Contractors for the new development have now been shortlisted and tender documents issued. It is envisaged that work on the Beacon will start in spring 2016,

    The £16.5m striking cube-shaped development, designed by leading architecture practice FaulknerBrowns, will be the first building of its kind in the UK and house education and training facilities with an indoor football pitch above.

    “The Beacon will give us an important platform to expand our pioneering programmes and to extend our work into exciting new areas. We are thrilled that our vision is one step closer. The Beacon is attracting a lot of attention and we’re delighted so many individuals and organisations are keen to get involved,” added Lesley Spuhler, CEO of the Foundation.

    The award winning Foundation of Light was established in 2001 and uses the power of football to educate, inspire and motivate. One of the largest and leading sports charities in the UK, it has an excellent track record of working with children, young people and their families.

     

    Perspective Section Sports Hall

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January 2015

  1. Lesley Spuhler, CEO of Foundation of Light and Sir Bob Murray on the site of the Beacon.

    Beacon will be a powerful educator

    THE Foundation of Light and the Premier League recently teamed up to tell Ministers and MPs about their pioneering work in the community and to launch ambitious plans for the Beacon of Light. Baroness Jay…

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    THE Foundation of Light and the Premier League recently teamed up to tell Ministers and MPs about their pioneering work in the community and to launch ambitious plans for the Beacon of Light.

    Baroness Jay of Paddington who sponsored the event in the House of Lords with Sunderland MP Julie Elliot, outlined some of the ground-breaking work being undertaken in the north east

    by the Foundation of Light – the charity arm of SAFC, which was set up by Sir Bob in 2001.

    She said: “The Beacon of Light will be an inspirational, multi-functional Centre of Opportunity – bringing people, communities and agencies together to make an outstanding and long lasting difference to people’s lives.”

    Baroness Jay also revealed that the Beacon of Light development has the potential to generate an estimated social return on investment of more than £73 million within the next 20 years.

    Lesley Spuhler, CEO of Foundation of Light and Sir Bob Murray on the site of the Beacon.

    The £15m development, which will be operated by the Foundation of Light, will expand the award-winning work of the charity using the power of football and sport to engage people in activities designed to improve their lives,

    and the lives of those around them.

    Sir Bob explained; “The Beacon will be a vibrant and exciting education, skills and sports facility and will address local issues through four  innovative zones of sport and play, world of work, health and well-being and education – given Sunderland as a city is behind national figures in all of these areas. The Beacon will be operated as a social enterprise to ensure it is both sustainable and self-sufficient – not a constant ask but, once constructed, a constant give.”

    Julie Elliot MP added: “Despite the ground-breaking efforts of the Foundation of Light and various local agencies, Sunderland is still an area with its challenges. The Beacon of Light will empower people to take responsibility for their own choices and actions and encourage people to learn more, do more and be more. It will allow them to change their world and that of their families and neighbours – a succession of steady and gradual changes that will echo the story of social and economic regeneration in the North East.”

     

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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. '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

  1. Featured story image

    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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1987
  1. Community programme launched

    Today, the Foundation of Light is the largest football charity in the UK, with a mission to use the power of football to involve, educate and inspire more than 42,000 young people and their families…

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    Today, the Foundation of Light is the largest football charity in the UK, with a mission to use the power of football to involve, educate and inspire more than 42,000 young people and their families across the North East each year through a range of pioneering and award-winning programmes that help change lives.

    The origins of the charity date back to the late 80s when Bob insisted the club took part in a successful pilot scheme known as ‘Community Programme in Professional Football.’

    The results of this pilot were far-reaching in Bob’s thinking at Sunderland and instrumental in the Football Trust’s decision in the early 1990’s to invest nationally in Football in the Community schemes, with which Sunderland were involved from the outset.

    By the time the Club moved from Roker Park to the Stadium of Light, a far-reaching community programme (SAFCommunity) had been developed, but it was the move to the Stadium of Light that proved to be the real catalyst for the Foundation, which has since gone from strength to strength and continues to work with young people and their families across the region

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