Improving Futures with Big Lottery Fund

Funding used for exciting new project.

The Foundation of Light has launched its Neighbourhood Alliance project, aimed at giving children across Wearside a better future by supporting their families.

Earlier this year, the Foundation was awarded £890,000 from the Big Lottery Funded Improving Futures programme to support 160 families in disadvantaged neighbourhoods who may be experiencing multiple and complex needs such as domestic violence, poverty, lack of education and financial difficulties.

Using the Foundation of Light brand and the power of football, the programme will initially identify young children and families through local primary schools with information being shared between public services and voluntary and community sector organisations, leading to more effective, tailored and joined up support to solving family issues.

Over a four year period the project will support families whose eldest children are aged five to ten years old in five predefined neighbourhoods within Sunderland commencing in Southwick and expanding to Concord, Hendon, Peat Carr and Moorsley and Pennywell.

The programme will also assist families in identifying a 'neighbourhood friend' who will receive training and supervision to support and assist the family through an action plan.

Ken Teears, Strategic Development Director at the Foundation of Light, commented: "The Neighbourhood Alliance programme which, run in partnership with the local authority, Gentoo and SNCBC, will make a significant impact on the lives of children and families in need across the city of Sunderland.

"On behalf of the Foundation of Light, we'd like to thank the Big Lottery Fund for their support which will assist in helping those living in some of the most deprived wards in the country."

Peter Ainsworth, Chair of the Big Lottery Fund, added:"The focus of the Improving Futures programme is firmly on the children. They don't choose the families or circumstances they are born into, but adult issues - such as unemployment, domestic violence, housing or health issues - can have a devastating effect on children's lives and their life chances.

"This programme is about innovation and finding successful, cost effective ways of helping those children and their families. The Foundation of Light has already demonstrated this ideal through the various programmes they offer throughout the North East, and we are delighted to be helping extend its impact and reach through the Neighbourhood Alliance project."

The Foundation of Light (formerly known as SAFC Foundation) is the registered charity of Sunderland AFC which works with more than 40,000 people every year.

The organisation uses the power of football to inspire, involve and educate children, families and adults across the North East through programmes that can improve their lives.

Structurally and financially independent of the football club the organisation relies on fundraising for 95% of project costs.