Foundation of Light

SAFC fixtures breakfast launches partnership with Foundation of Light

Great Annual Savings Group (GAS) is proud to have partnered with the Foundation of Light to support a number of the charity’s events.

The partnership kicked off with a bang this morning at the Foundation of Light’s hotly-anticipated annual SAFC Fixtures Breakfast, which welcomed a host of famous faces for live reaction as Sunderland AFC’s fixtures were released.

The event rewarded some of the charity’s supporters with an exclusive first glimpse at the club’s upcoming schedule and featured BBC Sport Commentator Guy Mowbray, Sky Sports Presenter David Jones and Simon O’Rourke from ITV Sport.  Black Cats legend Kevin Ball also dropped in to share his thoughts on the season ahead.

The partnership will support the charitable work the Foundation does in the region, helping people of all ages improve their education and physical fitness with a range of bespoke programmes.

BBC Look North Presenter Jeff Brown did a great job of hosting the event at the Hilton Garden Inn, next door to the Stadium of Light.

Ricky Mingle, Chairman of GAS’ Charity Committee, said: “We were excited to kick off our partnership and get to meet the other supporters of the Foundation at what turned out to be a brilliant event.

“We’ve been speaking with Richard Hopper at the Foundation for some time developing a plan to offer some meaningful support, which will help the staff deliver a range of programmes.  We hope to go on to forge a purposeful partnership with tangible benefits for the area.”

SAFC Foundation of Light’s Richard Hopper with Adam Brown from GAS

The Foundation of Light is a multi-award-winning sports charity which works to improve the lives of children, young people and their families.

GAS will also be sponsoring other Foundation events throughout the year.

The new Championship season will commence Friday 4 to Sunday 6 August, with Sunderland AFC looking for an immediate bounce back to the Premier League.

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Paul JohnsonGroup Financial Director

Paul Johnson is very much a home-grown talent.

He joined Great Annual Savings Group in its infancy, fresh from a youth career as a professional footballer with Hartlepool United.  He quickly established a reputation within the business and aced all required accountancy qualifications in the space of four years to become the Group’s Management Accountant.

Several successful projects later, Paul was promoted to Head of Finance.  When the former FD left GAS, he took on the mantle of the business’ most senior finance professional; boasting a string of incredible achievements all under the age of 30.


“I have witnessed phenomenal growth at the Group over the many years I’ve worked here and I’m looking forward to guiding the Group into an exciting new chapter.”

Interesting fact:

Paul made his professional debut for Hartlepool United against Bournemouth in the Football League.  Some say Danny Ings still resides in his pocket to this day.