17 October 2018
Football’s power to improve lives across has been honoured at a glittering awards ceremony celebrating the best of the North East charity sector.
Foundation of Light, Middlesbrough Foundation and Newcastle United Foundation teamed up to win the ‘Uniquely North East’ prize at the fourth annual North East Charity Awards for their positive impact throughout the region.
The three Foundations operate a broad portfolio of community programmes that aim to tackle the region’s biggest challenges, contributing to the socio-economic regeneration of the region. Programmes support core curriculum delivery in schools, helping improve literacy, numeracy, physical literacy and much more, supplementing and enhancing the work done by teachers.
Those who are unemployed receive support and guidance to gain qualifications, skills and, ultimately, employment.
Good health and wellbeing are promoted for children, teens and adults, with programmes covering topics such as healthy eating, the importance of exercise and understanding mental health.
In 2017 Middlesbrough Foundation joined Foundation of Light and Newcastle United Foundation as Newcastle International Airport’s official charity partner to engage both staff and customers at the airport through fundraising activities, raising tens of thousands through collections and activities.
Foundation of Light CEO Lesley Spuhler OBE, who was named Charity Leader of the Year at the 2015 Awards, said: “I’m a little bit shocked but I think we have such great support in terms of football here in the North East and such a passion and a power in terms of using support and football to educate children, young people and families that otherwise wouldn’t connect or reach out.
We might bring them through the door, but it’s the staff at our foundations and the programmes that really deliver.
“My motto this year is together we are stronger, so we can do these things together and the outputs and impacts are so important.”
The ‘Uniquely North East’ award was among 11 prizes handed out as more than 400 people gathered at Hardwick Hall in County Durham to recognise the hard work and innovative thinking by local charities and individual fundraisers, whilst also paying tribute to the local businesses and employees who help to support their work.