South Tyneside Engineering firm backs Sunderland's Foundation of Light project

One of the North East's most respected and successful engineering companies has chosen to shed a little light in aid of charity.

Wednesday, 20th December 2017, 8:00 am
James Burman of the Foundation of Light, back row forth right, with Ford Aerospace Chairman, Geoff Ford and employees who will be backing the Beacon in 2018

South Tyneside based-Ford Aerospace, part of the family-owned Ford Engineering Group, is to have The Foundation of Light at its charity of the year.

The Foundation of Light was established in 2001 by Sunderland AFC and uses the power of football to educate, inspire and motivate.

The charity currently works with more than 40,000 participants every year.

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Ford group chairman, Geoff Ford said: “We have known about the fantastic work of the Foundation of Light for some time and that is why all our workforce will be backing it in 2018.

“As a company employing 160 local people we take pride in our corporate responsibility. Our workforce is always enthusiastic to commit to our charity of choice and has worked with a number of regional and national charities in the past.

“We were particularly impressed when we saw the plans for the world of work at the Beacon of Light, and are keen to find even more ways to work closely together in this area.

“We really want to get involved and be hands on, and do more than just fund-raising. We can offer work experience and placements, assist people with interview techniques and practice and help job-seekers understand the skills other employers are looking for.”

He added: “We are an engineering company that makes things - and we would like to help more young people and those of any age who feel disadvantaged make more of their skills.”

Lesley Spuhler, chief executive of the Foundation of Light, said: “We believe charity should begin on our doorstep and are delighted Ford Engineering has chosen to back the Beacon to help us build a brighter future.

“The Foundation already raises more than £4m every year to run its ground-breaking education programmes. This year we also need to complete the funding of the £18m Beacon of Light, which is due to open in 2018.

We’ve already raised more than £16m from sponsors, benefactors, trusts and other backers, which shows how much people believe in it.”