10 July 2017
A Sunderland-born business leader has been honoured by Foundation of Light for his outstanding fundraising efforts and commitment to improving lives across the North East.
Chief Executive Officer of Grafton Group plc, Gavin Slark, has been one of the driving forces behind the Foundation’s International Cycle Challenges personally raising over £100,000 to benefit thousands of children and families across the North East.
Gavin and his team were presented with an award for their achievements by Sunderland AFC legend Marco Gabbiadini after completing their sixth Cycle Challenge alongside 30 riders who travelled 305-miles over four days from Poland to the Czech Republic.
“I am delighted and flattered to be recognised by Foundation of Light,” said Gavin. “I accept this award personally, but also on behalf of everyone who has taken part in the Foundation’s Cycle Challenges and raised so much for a city and charity which is very close to my heart.
I’m very keen to do whatever I can to support the Foundation of Light who do so much good work in Sunderland and across the North East.
Gavin’s passion and support of his home town was recognised by the charity earlier this year when he was invited to become a Foundation of Light Ambassador by Chair of Trustees Sir Bob Murray CBE.
Gavin added: “I know how important it is to have access to opportunities that can help improve your life and the lives of those around you. Being a Sunderland lad I also know these aren’t always easy to come by and that’s why I was drawn to get involved with the Foundation of Light.
Gavin and Grafton Group plc’s involvement with Foundation of Light continues the company’s long-standing commitment to developing links in local communities by supporting a range of initiatives covering health, welfare, sport, education and community projects in addition to donating to a range of local charitable causes.
All proceeds from the Cycle Challenges, which have seen riders take on the roads of Ireland, Italy, Belgium, France and Spain, are reinvested into local communities through the Foundation’s Sports, Health and Education programmes.
Jemma Garrett, Foundation of Light Events Manager, said: “Gavin has been a keen supporter of the Foundation for many years and we wanted to show our appreciation for everything he has done.
“He was taken aback when we presented him with the award but it’s really deserved. His fundraising efforts are unbelievable and he has inspired everyone with his passion and commitment to improving lives in his home city.”