16 November 2017
Foundation of Light is one of seven local charities to receive a share of £30,000 at the launch of the Harrison Centre for Social Mobility (HCSM), set up to tackle some of the North East’s most entrenched social issues.
HCSM will provide advice and financial support to charities that are helping people, particularly from disadvantaged backgrounds, to learn new skills while also looking for new and unproven ways to tackle long-standing social mobility issues in the North East.
Social mobility is the basic principle that each generation should do better than the previous one and that everyone should have the opportunity to reach their full potential.
But the region remains at the wrong end of league tables on employment, growth, productivity and health.
While part of the solution is education and job creation, HCSM has been created to focus on life skills including, aspiration and leadership.
We would like to thank David Harrison and the Harrison Centre for Social Mobility for their generosity which will help thousands of young people and their families realise and achieve their potential through the Beacon of Light.
At the Foundation of Light we are committed to creating a community where everyone has access to opportunities that can improve their lives and we are delighted that the Harrison Centre for Social Mobility have chosen to support this vision.
HCSM was founded by local entrepreneur, David Harrison, who says no matter what your background is, you should have the opportunity to make the most of your abilities.
HCSM hopes that through its support, more young people will discover new opportunities to reach their true potential.
Speaking at the launch of HCSM at Walwick Hall in Northumberland, David Harrison said: “I grew up in a typical County Durham pit village. It was assumed that my future would follow the same path as my parents and I got little out of the education system. I had to travel long distances to find work, was often poorly paid.
“Luckily I found an entrepreneurial streak and realised that I could set up and run a business of my own, look after my family and employ others. So I feel like I have lived social mobility and I would like others from similar backgrounds to me to have the same opportunity but perhaps to discover it a little easier.
“I learned that ambition and aspiration have to come from the individual ultimately but it sometimes needs someone who is trusted to point it out.
“Often new ideas are seen as being too risky for bureaucratic public funding, so HCSM will step in where there is a real chance of success. We are trying to show what is possible and give young people the chance to reach their true potential.”