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RT @JackGray1997: @SAFCFoL Coaches Coffee Club returns on Tuesday 19th January 4:15pm-5:15pm! @ScottN1504 will be leading the event on “Th…

☕ The ever-popular Coaches' Coffee Club has returned during lockdown. 📊 This week's hot topic was the xG Theory,… https://t.co/hUZVhuOW4b

𝗜𝗖𝗬𝗠𝗜 @baileywright92 gets a grilling from our budding stars during a Zoom Q&A... Watch ▶️ https://t.co/oj1Hqfn57j… https://t.co/m7JkCWihyI

𝙎𝙥𝙖𝙧𝙚 𝙖 𝙛𝙚𝙬 𝙢𝙞𝙣𝙪𝙩𝙚𝙨? 🤗 Help us understand your thoughts and perceptions about charitable causes across the north… https://t.co/VwEzWJ5w2h

RT @KirstyLouiseSm9: Another excellent virtual session this morning @SAFCFoL Skills, Q&A’s with the coaches and great advice for the kids!…

👏 Congratulations @Charliewyke1 on your hat-trick v @AFCWimbledon this afternoon. 🙌 Big win for @SunderlandAFC on… https://t.co/kZ9Caufuq4

RT @BlcSafc: Reaching out for support shows strength .. Our virtual @SunderlandAFC match day mental health hub with @washingtonmind is avai…

🥳 Many happy returns to the King! ⚽️ Chris Maguire turns 32 today, let’s hope he can add to his three goals so far… https://t.co/LpVVwV0N8u

🔴⚪⚽ ...It's matchday! 🔜 There may be no 𝙃𝘼’𝙒𝘼𝙔 𝘼𝙉𝘿 𝙋𝙇𝘼𝙔 draw today but get your tickets now for Tuesday night 👉… https://t.co/K7MkMG1HHM

RT @EFLTrust: .@RishiSunak thanks our EFL Clubs and Community organisations as we focus on providing opportunities for unemployed young peo…

🪚 Carving out opportunities for our young people. 🤩 Some of the handy work on show during our one-to-one woodwork… https://t.co/aYi4rfbyti

🏃🏼‍♂️ Love this! Keep it up, Archie - but don’t tire yourself out before you’ve baked those cakes you promised ever… https://t.co/3nVvGW5wIR

RT @KirstyLouiseSm9: Can’t thank @baileywright92 enough! Such an inspirational Q&A session with Mason & the #FolPlayerDevelopment kids last…

🤸 Don't forget our PE and Dance activity sessions take place at 1.30pm every afternoon for kids - and parents - of… https://t.co/JV81WkO3Bm

Great to have @LukeOnien on board as one of our @PFA ambassadors for the 2020-21 season. Your support is really a… https://t.co/y56R5Z0gfe

🇺🇸 Our star in stripes! Good luck, Austin 👊 https://t.co/mq4fZDOvdX

👀 Don't touch the jelly babies... @baileywright92 shares some superstitions with young players from our Developmen… https://t.co/Xobvs9iorH

💻 #SAFC's @baileywright92 took to the hot seat as he was grilled by our Player Development Centre kids via Zoom.… https://t.co/CEfSH3WJTB

RT @BlcSafc: As we can't be at @SAFCFoL in person with @washingtonmind on Saturday, our virtual mental health will be available between 12…

🤔 Kids who are missing our football sessions have come up with a 𝙇𝙤𝙘𝙠𝙙𝙤𝙬𝙣 𝘾𝙝𝙖𝙡𝙡𝙚𝙣𝙜𝙚 to stay active while fundraisin… https://t.co/rv2RLz3yCE


As part of the Premier League Charitable Fund 10th anniversary celebrations. pupils from Barbara Priestman Academy in Sunderland were treated to a surprise video call from Black Cats star Luke O’Nien, who awarded the school with a Premier League Inspires Award.

The Meadowside school, which has been working with Sunderland AFC’s official charity, Foundation of Light for 11 years, supports 11to 19-year-olds with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder or complex learning difficulties.

The Foundation delivers a variety programmes at Barbara Priestman Academy including PE, lunch and afterschool clubs, school sports days and festivals as well as out of the classroom learning days.

Since 2019 the school has taken part in the Premier League Inspires programme which supports 11 to 25-year-olds who are marginalised or at risk of not reaching their potential; helping them as they move through the education system and early adulthood.

Working with the young people, the Foundation’s team has helped to develop students’ personal skills and positive attitudes to succeed in life, with sessions focused on careers and enterprise, positive living, leadership and life-skills such as teamwork and communication.

One of the students who took part in the talk-in session with Luke said: “I think the Q&A with Luke O’Nien was amazing because it inspired me. It helped me improve my communication skills by asking Luke some questions about his career and interests.”

Luke O’Nien, who is the Foundation of Light’s Disability Ambassador, said “I thought I would drop in and surprise them, as I know they have been working hard on the Premier League Inspires programme.”

After discussing his favourite film, how his Aunty who won a Paralympic medal inspired him and that he really enjoyed school, the 26-year-old had this advice about the last few days of school “Just enjoy every day; they are great times. Sometimes it takes you to get older to realise how great school days are. Make sure you work hard…and enjoy every day. Smile every day.

“On behalf of Sunderland football club, I wanted to congratulate you on your award. You’ve done a great job and you’ve inspired a lot of people. Keep up the great work!”

Following the initial lockdown, Barbara Priestman Academy was one of the first schools recommence delivery of the programme. Assistant Head of Academy, Glen Richardson explains “the Premier League Inspires programme has become an integral part of our school learning. The work that the Foundation does in school gives our young people invaluable confidence and presents them with new and exciting opportunities and skills.

“As we returned back to the classroom in September after the initial lockdown, we knew that the Foundation team were going to play a big part in helping our young people transition back into the learning environment. The support they have given us has been fantastic.”

Speaking about the special award Mr Richardson said “We are really honoured to be recognised with the Premier League Inspires Award – it is very special for all of the staff and students at the Academy. And what a fantastic way for the students to learn the special news. Luke was fantastic and I have no doubt has made memories for the children today which they will be talking about for a long time.”

The Premier League Charitable Fund was established 10 years ago to distribute funding provided by the Premier League to clubs across the entire football pyramid, to support those clubs in their delivery of community programmes.

110 professional football clubs from the Premier League to the National League have been working in their communities to engage those that need the greatest support, provide positive pathways and support mental and physical wellbeing.

To find out more about the Foundation’s Premier League Inspires programme click here. 

25 November 2020

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