Explore Timeline

2015

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. Student success at Derwentside College

    21 student superstars were shining brightly as they celebrated at Derwentside College’s Annual Achievement Awards ceremony in November.  The evening was attended by over 250 guests from across the region, with 21 students receiving special…

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    21 student superstars were shining brightly as they celebrated at Derwentside College’s Annual Achievement Awards ceremony in November.  The evening was attended by over 250 guests from across the region, with 21 students receiving special awards for academic excellence and personal endeavour.  Two of these awards were sponsored by Sir Bob Murray, both for Personal Achievement- Louise Bowman (Employability Skills) and Kerrieanne Derbyshire (Prince’s Trust).

    Sir Bob commented: “I am very proud to be associated with Derwentside College in my home-town of Consett and delighted to sponsor the special  awards for outstanding personal achievement. I would like to congratulate Louise and Kerrieanne on their awards and wish them every success in the future.”

    Guest presenters at the ceremony were Gary Philipson and Lisa Shaw from Heart Radio North East, whilst Andrew Hodgson, CEO of Wallsend based SMD and Vice Chair of the North East LEP was the College’s Guest of Honour.

    The evening culminated with the announcement of Student of the Year which was presented to Mark Stewart, an Advanced Apprentice at Pinnacle Re-Tec, based in Consett, for his outstanding achievements demonstrated throughout his studies. Mark said, “I was thrilled to have been nominated for an award, but to win Student of the Year was absolutely fantastic.  The proudest moment was knowing that my family, my employer and my assessor were there to see this.”

    Principal and Chief Executive, Karen Redhead said, “Our Awards evening is about celebrating success, the success of individuals in achieving their goals by progressing to further and higher education, by securing employment and the success of the college working with employers to raise skill levels and improve quality.”

    “Success rates on our classroom-based courses are very high, placing us again in the top 10 percent of all colleges in the country for the majority of our programmes and we have maintained this strong position for the last four years.  In the last 12 months alone we have delivered learning aims to 10,759 students, we had 5,234 apprentices in 20 different occupational areas of learning and we worked with 1,159 employers.”

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2013

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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  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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2001
  1. Foundation of Light mission

    SAFC Foundation founded

    There is a constant theme that runs through Bob’s life and that is his desire to create a legacy that enables the less fortunate in society to fulfil their potential and lead happy and constructive…

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    Foundation of Light mission

    There is a constant theme that runs through Bob’s life and that is his desire to create a legacy that enables the less fortunate in society to fulfil their potential and lead happy and constructive lives. The Foundation of Light, a registered charity, is an acclaimed example of this.

    When Bob became Chairman of Sunderland in 1986 one of his ambitions was to develop his vision for a true community based football club. His strong views on over-coming social exclusion led to the establishment of the nationally renowned Foundation of Light, which is now the biggest and best football charity in the UK.

    The Foundation’s mission is simple; 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 broad range of innovative and award-winning programmes that can help change lives. It is the kind of scheme which might have helped an unemployed school leaver such as Bob, had it been around in the early 1960’s.

    The Foundation began in 1988 when the club took part in the successful pilot scheme ‘Community Programme in Professional Football’. The results of this pilot were 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 had already been developed, but the new stadium proved to be the real catalyst for the Foundation, which has gone from strength to strength during the past ten years.

    The completion of the inspirational Centre of Light in 2004 provided a brand-new educational facility within the Stadium of Light, comprising five state-of-the-art classrooms and a football development area.

    Under Bob’s guidance, 100 full time staff, part timers and volunteers, now go daily into the community, teaching youngsters good habits about sporting behaviour, fitness and health awareness, whilst having fun and playing football. Tens of thousands of children and their teachers are also welcomed to the Foundation’s own education department for specially designed activities, which enable children to learn through football in line with National Curriculum requirements.

    Bob still has a strong vision for the future of the Foundation: “I fervently believe the Foundation of Light is best of its kind in the country and is run by the best people. It has to be good because the region both needs and deserves the best.

    “The Foundation’s 10th Anniversary was a significant milestone but is just the beginning. I’m focussed on exploring what we can achieve in the next decade and the difference the Foundation can make to the lives of young people in the region and beyond.”

    The Foundation is proud to have an active Royal Patron, HRH The Countess of Wessex, and the trustees who all have strong Sunderland connections are Kate Adie OBE, Steve Cram MBE, Lord Puttnam of Queensgate, Baroness Estelle Morris, Ellis Short, Sir Tim Rice, the Rt. Hon. James Ramsbotham DL, Paul Collingwood MBE, Sir Peter Vardy and Sir Bob Murray CBE himself who remains Chair of Trustees.

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