Foundation of Light

Experience and Values

The Foundation of Light was founded in 2001 and uses the power of football to Involve, Educate and Inspire thousands of young people every year. 

One of the largest and leading sports charities in the UK, it has an excellent reputation for its pioneering educational work with children, young people and their families.

The Foundation works with more than 38,000 course registrants every year using ground-breaking and award-winning sports, health, community and education programmes.

As a result of our strong relationships, unique expertise and outstanding educational track record, the Foundation is experienced working with schools and learning providers throughout the region but also has the freedom to work across age groups, geographical boundaries and with other agencies.

The Foundation’s approach to education is innovative; we think outside the box, take risks and work in partnership to provide a safe, inspiring and encouraging environment to develop learning pathways that are as individual as the young people we work with.


Over the last 15 years the Foundation has achieved exceptional educational results:

  • The Foundation can attract and reach young people that may not access other services or agencies. our results demonstrate our track record in motivating young people, particularly those who feel marginalised from the education system or wider society. We don’t just measure our success by education and vocational attainment – our results are also visible in improved engagement and behaviour and increased confidence and self-esteem.
  • The Foundation inspires, encourages and supports young people to gain knowledge, skills and qualifications to enhance their life chances. We don’t just deliver core curriculum subjects such as literacy, numeracy and IT but also focus on employability and offer unrivalled access to vocational opportunities and networks that can connect young people to many local businesses.

Structurally and financially independent of Sunderland AFC, the Foundation is the architect of its own success raising over £4 million per annum to deliver life-changing learning experiences across the region.

The Foundation’s reputation is reinforced by winning more than 10 national awards across its entire portfolio over the last 15 years.

Projects recognised as demonstrating excellence in their field include: Pitstop (youngsters excluded from mainstream education); Family Learning through Football (children and adult education); and Back in the Game (employability).


Our Principal Partners