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Sir Bob fields a new team – of future health stars

Sir Bob fields a new team – of future health stars

Businessman and former SAFC Chairman Sir Bob Murray CBE knows a few things about fielding a winning team, and now he is working to ensure students from the region studying health-related subjects get the kick-off they deserve.

Sir Bob is a champion for health and learning in the region, and earlier this year with the University of Sunderland launched Murray Health, a specialist library and learning space for doctors, nurses, psychologists, pharmacists and other future health professionals, at the University’s City Campus on Chester Road.

Now, he is supporting new students from the region who are looking for a career in health with a £25,000 bursary. The first five students will receive £1,000 each in their first year to ensure they have the best possible start in their studies.

Three of the Sir Bob Murray Health Scholars are studying BSc Psychology, they are Bethany Jones, Haley McDonald and Omaya Younes.

Bethany Jones (20) from Stockton on Tees, says:

“Psychology is always something I have been interested in, and I have a genuine interest in how the mind works. I would love to go on and do a Masters once I graduate and look further into child psychology.”

Haley McDonald (49) from South Shields has worked in the care sector for 12 years, supporting people with dementia, and hopes her award will help improve her ability to work with these people and their families. “I hope to be in a position to place people with said conditions in the correct environment that will cater for their needs, lifestyle, and hobbies.”

Omaya Younes (18) from Choppinton, Northumberland, says that the Sir Bob Murray Health Scholarship will help her achieve her long-term career ambitions. “I feel this will provide the opportunity to specialise later in my studies. I would like to go on to a career as a psychologist to work with people struggling with their mental health.”

Jamie Okoth (27) from South Shields chose to study BSc Clinical Psychology as she is interested in child development and mental health.

Rebecca Wotton (24) from Murton is studying BSc Forensic Psychology, and when she graduates in 2026 has a specific career path in mind. “Forensic Psychology is a great stepping stone towards a career as a Probation Officer,” she says, “I’m a single mother of three young children and the scholarship will help me to not have added worries about accessing resources that would benefit my studies.”

Dr Rebecca Owens, Interim Head of the University’s School of Psychology, says:

“We are absolutely thrilled that Sir Bob Murray has demonstrated such an investment in our psychology students with these scholarships. This is monumental for the School of Psychology – not only does it demonstrate a significant investment in the future of our provision, focusing on psychological health and wellbeing development and support for the future, but also in supporting our students in achieving their own personal goals of advancing the field and making a difference to people’s lives.”

Sir Bob Murray was SAFC Chairman for over 20 years. He is the visionary behind the Stadium of Light, the Academy of Light and the Beacon of Light.

I’d Do It All Again, Sir Bob Murray’s autobiography, is now available. 100% of proceeds from sales of the autobiography will go to the Foundation of Light.

The Foundation of Light, Sunderland AFC’s official charity, works with up to 20,000 young people and their families from across the region every year. The Foundation uses the power of football to create better opportunities and enhance the lives of local people using a range of initiatives to improve education and skills, health and wellbeing and by encouraging more sport and play for all generations.

I’d Do It All Again is available to buy online here or in-person at the Beacon of Light and SAFC Club Store.

You can find out more about University of Sunderland scholarships and bursaries HERE.

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