Sunderland AFC gets royal recognition

ROYAL RECEPTION: The Countess of Wessex with Lesley Spuhler.
ROYAL RECEPTION: The Countess of Wessex with Lesley Spuhler.
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THE Foundation of Light has received Royal recognition after a visit to Buckingham Palace.

Sir Bob Murray CBE and the chief executive of the Foundation of Light, Lesley Spuhler, were invited to a Royal reception at Buckingham Palace by Her Majesty the Queen.

The reception was held to recognise the charitable patronages of the Earl and Countess of Wessex.

The Countess of Wessex has been the Royal Patron of the foundation for more than a decade.

Commenting on her patronage, Sir Bob Murray said: “It was a great honour for Lesley Spuhler and I to be invited to Buckingham Palace by HM The Queen in recognition of the work of the Foundation of Light.

“HRH The Countess of Wessex has been our patron for a decade and in that time she has been incredibly generous and giving with her time, as well as a fantastic advocate and a superb champion of all that we strive to do.

“Having the support of our Royal Patron means a great deal to us and makes a real difference; it gives the Foundation credibility and gravitas, and to our employees’ great confidence, which helps enormously with our ongoing development.

“The Foundation of Light was founded with passion and the desire to make a difference to people in our region. In the last 10 years we have inspired and motivated a generation of young people and their families to aspire for and achieve more and we look forward to reaching even more people in the next decade.”

A charity set up by SAFC, the Foundation of Light uses the power of football to engage young people and families in learning and sporting opportunities.

Each year, it works with tens of thousands of people across the North East.

n THE Foundation of Light is calling on volunteers to take part in this year’s Great North Run.

Although the ballot has closed for the event, anyone who has been unsuccessful in securing a place can still run for the charity.

For a deposit of just £52, runners can guarantee a place on the starting line.

Participants will need to raise an additional £250, but there is plenty of time to raise sponsorship money before the run in September.

All Foundation of Light runners will receive a charity running vest and fund-raising pack, training tips and a complimentary pair of tickets to an SAFC home game.

Places are limited.

For more information, call 551 5153 or email