7 December 2018
Foundation of Light CEO Lesley Spuhler OBE has scooped two prestigious regional awards recognising her significant contribution to the North East.
The inaugural North East Times Impact Awards, held at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art on Thursday 6th December, celebrated those individuals who have made their mark across the region in categories such as finance, global, regional, profile and innovation.
Lesley won the Regional Impact Award primarily for her work as CEO of Sunderland AFC charity Foundation of Light in bringing the Beacon of Light to life.
The new home of Foundation of Light, the Beacon is anticipated to make a significant contribution to the region with a projected saving to the public purse of £73m in the next 20 years through activities spanning four areas: Education; Health and Wellbeing; Sport and Play; and the World of Work.
From the five main category winners, Lesley was then chosen to receive the Outstanding Impact Award, the top prize recognising her efforts in improving lives of those living in the North East.
I’m very proud to win these awards as well as very surprised!
It’s great to be recognised by North East Times for my contribution to the region and that they are able to see the potential that the Beacon of Light has to improve our region.
However, I am also lucky to work with a fantastic team at the Foundation who inspire me every day and I’d like to think it’s more an award for our organisation than just myself.
Alongside the other award winners, Lesley features in the North East Times’ December 2018 issue and on the cover.
Alison Cowie, Editor, North East Times added: “We decided to launch North East Times’ Impact Awards to celebrate individuals who have made a significant mark in a variety of areas – financial, regional, profile, global and innovation – this year.
“Lesley was the very worthy winner of the Regional Impact Award for what she’s achieved in bringing the cutting-edge Beacon of Light to Wearside.
“Not only is it a striking and innovative building, but its four zones – Education, Health and Well-Being, Sport and Play and the World of Work – mean this fantastic facility will make a huge difference to people’s lives.
“Her impressive achievements in 2018 meant Lesley was also awarded our inaugural Outstanding Impact Award last night, too. Congratulations goes to Lesley and we wish her, and the foundation continued success in 2019.”
The Beacon of Light houses a 4G football barn capable of hosting 7-a-side and 5-a-side games, six outdoor 5-a-side pitches, a versatile indoor arena which can also host national sporting competitions, exhibitions and events, and a suite of classrooms, offices and informal learning spaces.
The Beacon will also be a home for Foundation of Light, generating vital funds which will be reinvested back in to the community through the charity’s award-winning programmes.
As part of this community focus Foundation of Light are launching a business 5-a-side football league on 17th January with teams paying just £30 a week to take part. Interested teams are advised to contact email@example.com.
The Impact Awards round off a successful year for the Foundation and Beacon, with Sunderland AFC’s official charity honoured at the Uniquely North East Awards as well as the Sunderland Echo Portfolio Awards.