North East Connected

Teesside Park and Middlesbrough FC Foundation celebrate success of ‘Bright Lights’ training programme

Teesside Park and Middlesbrough Football Club (MFC) Foundation have marked the success of their joint educational programme, ‘Bright Lights’ with a graduation ceremony at the centre.

The event was held on Friday (­­23rd September) and attendees included leader of Stockton Borough Council, Cllr Bob Cook and Deputy Mayor of Stockton-on-Tees, Cllr Jim Beall.

11 graduates of the Bright Lights programme, which runs once a year, were presented with certificates and Middlesbrough FC matchday ticket vouchers to celebrate their achievements.

The Bright Lights programme gives people aged 18-24 high-quality training, advice from industry experts, and support with interviews and CV writing. Participants also gain valuable on the job experience and in-depth knowledge of how retail businesses operate. This year, participants gained experience working with Boots, Nando’s, Marks & Spencer and Morrisons at Teesside Park.

As a result of taking part in the scheme, two of the participants have already secured jobs at Nando’s and Boots, with continued support from Bright Lights being offered during their employment.

The Bright Lights programme is part of a long-term partnership between Teesside Park and MFC Foundation, which aims to support young people to develop their employability skills through various initiatives. This includes the recent ‘Raise Your Game’ scheme which saw 15 year 9 pupils take part in a range of sessions over two months, including developing a detailed business analysis of the centre and presenting it back to a panel of judges.

Catherine Furlong, Centre Director at Teesside Park, said: “Today has been all about celebrating the young people who have completed our Bright Lights programme. We have greatly enjoyed another successful year of Bright Lights; it has been a pleasure to see young people gain invaluable experience in retail and hospitality, learning new skills and gaining confidence.

“We’re so pleased to have delivered the programme with our long-term partners, MFC Foundation, and to jointly support our local community in kick-starting young people’s retail careers.”

Adam Gell, Functional Skills and Employability Coordinator at the MFC Foundation, said: “Bright Lights is a unique opportunity for young people to gain vital experience working in retail and be equipped with knowledge and skills which will help progress their career.

“Already at this early stage of finishing the programme, two participants have progressed into employment, and further interviews are taking place in due course. The support from British Land and the employers at Teesside Park has been excellent throughout, which has been key in Bright Lights’ success.”

For more information on Teesside Park, visit

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