Leading furniture and carpet specialist ScS, based in Sunderland, has joined forces with the Foundation of Light to support young and disabled people across the North East.
The company, which has almost 100 stores around the UK, donated £10,000 to help fund the charity’s Tackle It and Making Moves initiatives, which are offered free to young people in Wearside, South Tyneside and County Durham.
Since ScS’s donation was made, more than 600 primary school students have taken part in the Tackle It programme, with 95% showing an improvement in overall life skills, along with an increased awareness of the issues involved. This includes racism, bullying, self-esteem and substance-abuse, which are addressed through a combination of coaching and workshop sessions.
An additional 250 people have participated in the Making Moves scheme, which offers opportunities for disabled young people and adults to take part in a wide range of sports, with 85% displaying more confidence afterwards.
Ron Turnbull, finance director and company secretary at ScS, says: "Given ScS's heritage in Sunderland and the North East, the company is proud to be involved with such a worthwhile charity.
"The Foundation of Light's mission, and the passionate and dedicated people who help deliver that mission, are a perfect match with the core values and culture of our company."
Tackle It and Making Moves are among a number of sport and education-based programmes run by the Foundation of Light, which benefit more than 42,000 young people and families across the North East every year.
Since 2011 the charity has also led the way in specialist Down's Syndrome coaching and run a range of targeted after-schools coaching, along with the Learning Difficulties League, Pan Disability weekend sessions and sign language coaching, to further promote equality and accessibility in sport.
Phil King, commercial director at the Foundation of Light, says: "This generous contribution from SCS has made a huge impact on the lives of young people in the region, specifically in the areas of disability sport and social education, including substance misuse, racism and bullying.
"It is only through the ongoing support of community minded businesses like ScS that we are able to change so many lives and offer children the opportunities to improve their lives."