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Partner Showcase: Sunderland AFC’s Foundation of Light

Exterior photograph of the Beacon of Light

Moving On Tyne & Wear (MOTW) is delivered by a collaboration of 13 charity partners. Our different partners deliver different services to our participants. Our core partners, like Mental Health Concern, focus on providing core programme support. Others offer unique programmes to help improve the wellbeing and employability skills of our programme’s participants by tapping into their specialisms.

The Foundation of Light (FoL) is one partner delivering a valuable arm of support. Based in the new Beacon of Light, FoL is the charitable arm of Sunderland AFC.

Their work

From working with children to supporting adults, FoL’s work is hugely varied. Their ethos is simple: ‘to improve lives through the power of football’.

MOTW participants are able to tap into their support through a bespoke programme. FoL has created a course which helps people move closer to the local job market by developing skills and improving personal well-being.

Our participants based in Sunderland, Gateshead, and South Tyneside have access to a 6-week operating from the Beacon of Light. Over six, weekly sessions, their ‘students’ have the opportunity to build personal and employability skills while working on confidence through group work and socialising.

People taking part in this programme have the opportunity to learn a myriad of skills whilst gaining basic qualifications in English and Maths. These formal qualifications have proven a huge asset to previous graduates of this programme.

With their obvious connections to sports, the programme also offers an additional fitness element. Whilst half of every session is based in a classroom environment, the second part of the day encourages participants to take part in physical activities utilising the various facilities the sports club has to offer. MOTW is inclusive to all health conditions meaning everyone is accounted for during activities taking place at FoL.

Activities divided week by week

The structure of the MOTW programme hosted by the Foundation of Light during 2018.

Connections with local businesses

Working with FoL also has an additional benefit – links with local businesses. A major part of the MOTW and FoL curriculum is spending time getting practical advice and experience from world-class businesses like Nissan and Arriva.

Nissan has, in fact, taken over a whole room in the Beacon to allow people to experience operating machinery actually used in their Sunderland-based factory. This is yet another practical skill which participants can use to embellish their CV.

Furthermore, those with a keen interest in working in this field could also have an opportunity to tour the Nissan factory and even have an interview for a paid position. Throughout the programme, you’ll be able to work on your skills with the FoL staff, as well as Navigators, and explore all opportunities on offer.

Nissan room in Beacon of Light

The ‘Nissan’ room in the Beacon of Light.

MOTW has grown into one of the leading employability programmes in the North East because of the support our partners, like FoL, deliver.

After a successful scheme of programmes through 2018, we’re thrilled to announce FoL will be running another round of sessions in 2019. Dates are yet to be confirmed but we’re excited to offer a limited number of spaces to our participants.


Are you interested in taking part in this leading employment programme? Find out if you’re eligible for the programme and get in touch to join today.

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