Foundation of Light “delighted” with £500k donation from Helen McArdle to set up care academy

Sunderland AFC’s official charity, the Foundation of Light, has announced a major new partnership with Helen McArdle CBE and the McArdle family who’ve donated £500,000 to support programmes which create “life changing opportunities” for the region’s youngsters.

Thursday, 13th January 2022, 2:29 pm

The new partnership will see the Helen McArdle Health and Social Care Academy open in the Beacon of Light in 2022, with the aim of engaging some of the “hardest to reach” young people aged 16-19.

Part of the Beacon of Light will also be re-named the ‘Helen McArdle Youth Zone’.

Having made her name in the care industry with the founding of Helen McArdle Care, the academy will provide young people with the skills and knowledge needed to work in the care sector as well as more general practical skills for the world of work and further education.

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Learners will achieve nationally recognised qualifications, improve their numeracy and literacy skills and gain practical, hands-on work experience through employment placements.

Helen said: “I am pleased to be able to support the Foundation of Light, to create a space for young people to learn and grow their skills and provide a pathway into the health and social care industry.

“Like many industries, health and social care is facing a skills shortage but through the work of the Foundation of Light and the other charities we support, I hope that we are creating a lasting legacy to support the industry and provide quality care to thousands across the region.”

Helen McArdle and Sir Bob Murray at the Beacon of Light

Sir Bob Murray CBE, chairman of the Foundation of Light, added: “We are delighted to welcome Helen McArdle and the McArdle family as Foundation of Light partners, and we are hugely grateful for their support. Working together we are set to improve the lives of thousands of young people and close the employment gap for some of the most disadvantaged in our community.

“Over the last 20 years, we have supported over half a million people to live happier and healthier lives and our key focus has been to support young people to make the right choices. The Helen McArdle partnership will help us continue that mission and is set to support thousands over the next three years.”

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