2020 has been an extremely challenging year for everyone and one we may remember for many of the wrong reasons.
Pandemic is not a word many of us used before this year. None of us could have ever imagined the personal losses so may have suffered, the economic hardship that thousands in our region now face, as well as the isolation and mental anguish so many are now feeling. This is a historic period in all our lifetimes and is definitely one that none of us will ever forget.
But out of the darkness comes light and there have been some things that we will hold dear as we move into 2021 – a revised sense of community spirit; a desire to help those less fortunate than ourselves; and an enormous pride in the commitment and dedication of our frontline and key workers.
Some of the most memorable stories to emerge this year, are those of the NHS heroes gallantly leading the fight against COVID-19.
This year we, as a Foundation, have been proud to play our part in supporting this incredible institution protect the health of our communities. In February, we welcomed the NHS Northern Gambling Addiction Clinic – operated by Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust – to the Beacon, whilst in March we provided defibrillators to local hospitals, and since the summer we have been encouraging football fans to stop smoking through the Northumbria NHS Quit for COVID-19 campaign.
As a nation we owe a huge debt of thanks to the NHS. As a Foundation, we will continue to work closely with this with incredible institution on a number of different projects in 2021 to help to positively improve the physical and mental health of the region.
This year, the Foundation of Light staff have shown immense commitment to their work, often pulling together in difficult circumstances to ensure we continue to support and help those in our communities who need our help.
I am in awe of the difference they make every day – to supporting over 1,000 socially-isolated older people with telephone befriending services, care packages or online activities through to supporting the unemployed and furloughed re-train and learn new skills, as well as providing dedicated support for young people and low-income families across the North East.
Finally, as we move into 2021, now is the time for us to continue that rekindled community spirit, be kind to one another and continue to help those who need it most through the darker days. I have no doubt that although the road ahead is still rocky, we will re-emerge stronger and be able to positively look forward to the future once again.
I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone who has supported the Foundation this year. Your support means the world to the us, our participants, donors and communities.
As we move into our 20th birthday year, I hope you and your loved ones had the best Christmas possible and I wish you a healthy 2021.
Sir Bob Murray CBE
Chair of Trustees
How You Can Help
The Foundation of Light is currently aiming to raise £10,000 to support those who are social isolated across Sunderland, South Tyneside and County Durham stay connected. We have reached the half way point, with Sunderland AFC fans raising over £5,000 before Christmas.
Since the start of the pandemic, we have supported over 1,000 people. We want to continue that support until at least March 2021. By donating £5, you will provide an older person with access to telephone befriending, online activities and garden-gate visits to help them stay mentally and physically healthy in their homes.
Help us, help them today. Donate online via justgiving.com/campaign/quid
Written By Sir Bob Murray CBE
28 December 2020