Tag: Foundation of Light

Foundation on Track with The Railwaymen

Foundation of Light is proud to announce Shildon AFC as the charity’s official Northern League Football Partner.

The innovative link-up will create further exit routes and opportunities for young players and coaches via the Foundation’s Player Pathway and Sports Education programmes as well as giving Shildon AFC youth teams use of world-class sports facilities at the Beacon of Light.

Building on existing connections which sees the Shildon-based Football Scholarship squads utilise Dean Street’s facilities for training and NFYL matches, the partnership will provide promising Scholars from Sunderland, North Durham and South Durham with progression into the Railwaymen’s under-18 squads and beyond.

Jamie Wright, Foundation of Light’s Assistant Director for Sales and Delivery, said: “We have always had strong exit routes and building on our existing partnership with Shildon AFC will give more young people opportunities that they might not get otherwise.

“Together we will provide a first-class environment to develop the skills and techniques of those looking to forge a career in football and sport.

“The Foundation has developed strong community links in Shildon for a number of years with the aim of raising aspirations for young people in the town, and now we can offer these opportunities to those across the North East.”

A number Scholars have already represented the Dean Street club at various levels, with Monkwearmouth’s double-winning captain Aaron Duell making his first-team debut in the recent Durham Challenge Cup tie against Consett AFC.

From the 2018-19 season, Shildon AFC’s Development and Under 18 squads will utilise the Beacon’s state-of-the art roof-top football barn and outdoor pitches for training sessions alongside the Foundation’s Scholarship teams and Community Clubs, sharing best coaching practice.

David Dent, Shildon AFC Chairman, added: “This is an exciting partnership for Shildon AFC and a really important milestone in our ambitions to create a sustainable Club which will play at the highest level possible it can within the National League system.

Our partnership with the Foundation of Light gives us access to some of the best young talent within the North East and strengthens our commitment to creating opportunities for young adults and children in the town.

“We have already seen Aaron Duell represent the first team and I’m sure many more will get their opportunity in the years to come ”

Foundation of Light’s Player Pathway provides all players with the opportunity to access a coaching programme that enables them to learn and develop new skills in a fun and challenging environment.

Gifted and talented players from the charity’s school sports delivery, Evening and Weekend and Holiday courses are invited to train with Player Development Squads and Sunderland Regional Talent Club, the North East’s elite girls centre of excellence.

The pioneering Football Scholarship programme was established in 2016 through a partnership between Foundation of Light, South Tyneside College and Monkwearmouth Sixth Form College.

Earlier this season, Scholars representing the Monkwearmouth and Shildon teams signed contracts with Premier League side Burnley FC, while every learner who has applied for University has received unconditional offers.

More than just football, Coaches Academy gives youngsters the qualifications and skills needed to pursue a career in the sports coaching industry.

Foundation of Light is holding Open Trials for its Football Scholarship programme during the Easter holidays. For more information, call 0191 5515077 or email jade.royal@foundationoflight.co.uk.

Scholarship Programme – Open Night

Following the recent announcement, The Development Centre is holding a special open evening at Dean Street, Shildon AFC on Tuesday, March 29th 6pm, for potential players to find out more about the Scholarship Programme.
Shildon AFC are  delighted to support Sunderland AFC in creating a football academy based at Shildon AFC . We are a community focused football club and our partnership with the Foundation of Light is so important to realising not only our ambitions but more importantly those of the kids who will join our academy.
Sunderland AFC charity Foundation of Light are recruiting for the ‘Football Scholarship Programme’ commencing in September 2016 and will be holding open trials for promising young players.
We are delighted to be associated with a programme which will help young people become involved in sport, not only on a recreational basis but hopefully leading to employment or further study within the sports profession.
Foundation of Light’s community outreach programmes are second to none and we must continue to use the expertise within the local community to provide the best opportunities for our young students of today.

– Ged McNamee, Academy Manager at Sunderland AFC


The programme combines academic studies with high level football coaching and the opportunity to represent the Black Cats in the National U19s Football Development League against high level opposition including Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham.
Whilst on the Football Scholarship Programme participants will undertake the nationally recognised BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Sport and Physical Activity Development qualification (the equivalent of three A-levels) which can lead into further education, universities and employment.
The two year, full-time programme is free for 16-19 years olds with centres running in Sunderland and Shildon, South Durham.
Martin’s previous successes include: helping players progress into professional teams in England and abroad; seeing one player appear in the England U18s; and 80% of players progress into University.
Martin adds: “Being the only organisation in the North East to offer this opportunity we expect the quality of players on the programme to be high and we’re very excited about meeting those interested.”
For players who are currently studying in Year 11 and 12 it will give them an insight into the course and opportunity to see course programme and content.

Free Foundation of Light course in Shildon

Starting on the 20th March, the Foundation of Light will be delivering a brand new NEET programme which is aimed at young people in South Durham aged 16-19.

Foundations in Shildon is the venue for delivery and the course will run on a Thursday and Friday from 10am – 3pm for 12 weeks.

Lunches and travel expenses are provided to the young people and they will take part in a varied mix of sporting and cultural activities including completion of an accredited BTEC qualification.

Get in touch with Foundation of Light at Shildon, at the contact details below to chat about or register your interest in the course.

Development Centre partners Foundation of Light

Shildon AFC Development Centre, founded by Sunderland-based IDENTITYCONSULT, is delighted to announce that it has entered into a partnership agreement with the Foundation of Light – the registered charity of Sunderland AFC.

The Foundation of Light was established in 2001 by former club Chairman, Sir Bob Murray CBE, and uses the power of football to involve, educate and inspire more than 42,000 young people and their families across the North East each year.

Last year, at the same time as Shildon AFC Development Centre – which provides football coaching to Shildon’s youngsters from the ages of 5-16 years – was being founded by Shildon-born IDENTITYCONSULT Managing Director, David Dent, the Foundation of Light – in partnership with local housing agency livin – was opening an area office in the South Durham town.

With both the Development Centre and the Foundation of Light sharing many aspirations for the town’s young people, and the Foundation and Identity working together on the exciting Beacon of Light development in Sunderland, the organisations have agreed to pool resources in order to provide a variety of football and vocational courses, delivered by highly trained and experienced coaches and tutors.

The partnership means that Shildon AFC Development Centre will have access to the Foundation of Light’s professional FA qualified Sunderland AFC coaches, while the town’s youngsters and their families will also gain access to the Foundation’s state-of-the-art facilities at their Church Street offices.

Meantime, Foundation of Light intends to refer its young people on to Shildon AFC Development Centre courses and on to its junior teams, which should give more local people access to the Sunderland AFC Academy player pathway as well as access to a range of educational and personal development opportunities.

The Foundation of Light will be offering a ‘girls only’ youth club as part of the local offer for young people within Shildon. Plans are also being drawn up under the partnership to implement a local Soccer Kicks youth initiative which will provide additional evening youth opportunities and access to national Soccer Kicks tournaments.

The Foundation will be providing access to Family First Aid and Wider Family Learning Courses (Family Learning Through Football Coaching), which will help players and parents to improve both their footballing and general life skills.

The partnership will also see the establishment of a Back on Track programme, which involves working with local NEET young people (Not in Education, Employment, or Training), aged between 16-19, to achieve a Level 1 Certificate in Work-skills in order to provide them with access to the employment market.

In addition, the Foundation of Light and Shildon AFC Development Centre will be co-hosting Coaches Clinics. The organisations are also planning to host mini tournaments and community celebrations which will see Sunderland AFC mascots, Samson & Delilah visiting the town, and many play resources and Sunderland AFC-related prizes being made available.

David Dent spoke with enthusiasm about the partnership: “We are really excited about the partnership we have entered into with the Foundation. Our head office is within Sunderland and we are currently supporting the Foundation professionally within the city, but the partnership arrangement in Shildon provides us with a fantastic opportunity to make a tremendous difference to the young people in the town in which I was brought up, and I am sure it will act as a catalyst for the future growth of our Development Centre, underpinning the excellent work that the Foundation have commenced within the area. In combining our resources and networks we will I am sure achieve so much more.”

Foundation of Light Chief Executive, Lesley Spuhler said: “We have a very good track record of engaging communities and providing opportunities that can change people’s lives. Through working with Identity Consult and David we will be able to enhance our work and make an even bigger impact on the region.”

Foundation of Light Football Course

Sunderland AFC Foundation of Light is to hold a two-day October half term football course at Jubilee Fields Community Centre.

The course will run over Monday 28th and Tuesday 29th October and is for boys and girls aged between 5 and 14 years.

The course runs from 10am -3pm each day and costs just £15 for the two days.

Attendees are asked to bring suitable indoor and outdoor clothing, plenty of drinks and a packed lunch.

There will be trophies and prizes on offer and everyone will receive a certificate for attending.

The course, like all Foundation of Light courses and tournaments, is led by FA qualified Sunderland AFC coaches and all children will be supervised at all times.