Loading...

How Foundation of Light is still helping thousands of families in lockdown

Sunderland’s Foundation of Light charity is still burning bright in lockdown and helping thousands of families on Wearside.

By Katy Wheeler
Monday, 4th May 2020, 4:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th May 2020, 3:04 pm

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The Beacon of Light is home to the Foundation of Light charity
The Beacon of Light is home to the Foundation of Light charity

As the nation battles COVID-19, the official charity of Sunderland AFC, the Foundation of Light, is playing its part in the national effort by continuing to support some of the most vulnerable people

across the North East.

Working with tens of thousands of people each year throughout Wearside, the Foundation, which is based at the Beacon of Light, uses the power of football to improve people’s lives by tackling societal issues, such as social isolation, obesity, unemployment and anti-social behaviour.

Children have been taking part in Zoom sessions with Foundation of Light staff

Sign up to our daily newsletter

As everyone is staying home and staying safe, the Foundation team have not let that stop the good work that they do, looking for alternative ways to help families and reach out to those who need support.

More than 8,500 viewers engaged with weekly fitness challenges uploaded on to YouTube, with many taking part sharing their efforts on social media.

In addition, 15 new free online skills courses have been developed to support members of the public who have recently been placed on furlough or made unemployed as a result of the pandemic, as well as online resources being provided so over-16s can continue their existing scholarship courses.

Youngsters have also been encouraged to get creative with various stay at home activities, with daily inclusive challenges posted on the charity’s Facebook page reaching 1,500.

SAFC Ladies captain Keira Ramshaw has taken part in a Q & A session

Meanwhile, staff have volunteered for more than 200 hours at Sunderland Foodbank, collecting food and delivering packages to those who are self-isolating.

Over 100 budding stars from the Foundation’s Player Development Centres have been staying in touch during lockdown, taking in part in online activities via Zoom, including question and answer sessions with former Sunderland AFC players and SAFC Ladies captain Keira Ramshaw.

Elsewhere, SAFC director David Jones personally called members of the Extra Time Hub, a programme run in partnership with the EFL that supports the over-55s with both physical and mental health.

The group were also sent videos to help stay active at home with special ‘Sit and Be Fit’ workouts.

Children have been taking part in fun activities

Foundation of Light Chief Executive Lesley Spuhler OBE said: “As a charity at the heart of the Sunderland community, we have been playing a key role in supporting not only the most vulnerable but also the wider community.

“We have had to make considerable changes to our delivery in a relatively short space of time, moving from 100% face-to-face delivery out in the community, to moving to 100% online and distance provision.

“That is no mean feat and I am immensely proud of our staff and the work they are doing to support the people of Sunderland, South Tyneside and Durham.

“From over 200 hours of staff support to the Sunderland Foodbank, to launching 15 new online education courses for those who have recently been furloughed through to seated exercise and phone calls to our older and isolating participants, our work is making a life-changing difference.

How Foundation of Light's community work has continued during lockdown

“Thank you to everyone who continues to support us - without you, this wouldn’t be possible.”

For more information visit www.foundartionoflight.co.uk

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper.

Thank you

How to subscribe to the print edition

It’s easy to subscribe to your local newspaper. We have arranged a special 20 per cent off subscription offer for people to take advantage of. Visit www.localsubsplus.co.uk, choose the newspaper title, the type of subscription and enter your details.