Covid-19: Foundation's pledge to help schools

As the country continues to battle the COVID-19 outbreak Sunderland AFC’s official charity, the Foundation of Light, has been closely following the advice of the government and putting contingency plans in place. 

The club’s charity has pledged its support to the national effort to ensure that key workers can continue to carry-out their vital roles and to protect the most vulnerable in our society, by utilising skilled coaching, teaching and education staff to support primary and secondary schools across the region.

 The Foundation of Light is working with a number of schools across Sunderland, South Tyneside and Durham to provide classes based on the national curriculum as well as family learning courses teaching low-income families how to cook healthy meals on a budget.

The Foundation’s Post 16 education and employability programmes have moved to online provision, utilising resources such as Google Classrooms, to ensure learners across the region continue their studies at this challenging time.

A number of other initiatives are also in place including staff filming DVD’s of gentle exercises for older people which will then be delivered through their doors, as well offering staffing support at local food banks.

Sadly however, following comprehensive risk assessments and in line with guidance from governing bodies such as the EFL, Premier League and the FA, the Foundation has had to suspend or cancel a number of programmes until further notice.

Programmes affected include:

  • Suspension of all football until further notice:
  • Regional Talent Club
  • Player Development Clubs
  • Foundation Community Clubs
  • Little Dribblers
  • Little Skills
  • 1:1 specific coaching
  • Recreational football
  • Premier League Kicks and YOLO
  • Cancellation of all Foundation of Light holiday courses running 3-10 April at the Beacon of Light, Washington Football Club and Millennium Community Football Centre, Stanley
  • Suspension of Extra Time Hubs and Silver Surfers
  • Suspension of disability programmes including Every Player Counts, all Children in Need courses, Saturday FC and Your Health multi-sports and football
  • Suspension of Fit Black Cats at the Stadium of Light
  • Suspension of Get Set to Go activities in the Beacon of Light
  • Postponement of two charity fundraising events, the International Cycle Challenge and the Lambton Run

Foundation of Light chief executive, Lesley Spuhler OBE said“These are unprecedented times and the economic impact of the COVID-19 will be felt across the nation for some time.

“Now more than ever our community services matter; they matter to large numbers of vulnerable people across Sunderland, South Tyneside and Durham.

“The welfare of our customers, participants and staff is paramount, and we continue to monitor the situation closely. We are now diverting resource to support the national drive to keep key workers in their roles and provide vital services to the most vulnerable members of our community. Offering our services and skilled staff will play a critical part in keeping our schools open for those who need them most.

“I would like to say thank you to everyone who has contacted us over the last few days. The kind words of support and encouragement we have received has been amazing.

“If you are going into social-isolation then please take care and remember we are here to help you. Please contact us if you need support during this very difficult time – our staff are happy to run shopping errands or collect medications for anyone who is self-isolating.”

The Foundation of Light is continuing to monitor government guidance and will send further updates as it becomes available.

If you are a teacher or school governor and would like to learn more about how the Foundation can help your school, please contact david.dowson@foundationoflight.co.uk

If you have booked a Foundation holiday course between 3-10 April, a member of our team will be in touch to discuss rolling payments forward to later in the year.

Keep an eye on Foundation of Light social media channels and website for updates about how to stay healthy, look after your mental health and make the most of your time in self-isolation.

Twitter: @SAFCFoL

Facebook: Foundation of Light
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