The generosity and commitment of the Foundationâ€™s Trustees and Patrons is helping to shine a spotlight on Teesside for all the right reasons - from willingness to give, to the strength of our private sector and the areaâ€™s ambitions for a more positive future. Thank you to every one of them.
FIGHTING FOR TEESSIDE TOGETHER
www.teessidecharity.org.uk Registered Charity No 1140740
Registered Charity Number 1140740
AIN’T NO MOUNTAIN HIGH ENOUGH
Back by popular demand, we’re again asking our supporters to join us for the Yorkshire Three Peaks on July 15.
CHAIRMAN’S MESSAGE TEESSIDE NEEDS YOUR HELP Some people might have expected me to use this column to celebrate the fact that the Foundation recently reached the £2 million fundraising milestone.
And I’d certainly like to thank all those who’ve helped us along what has been an incredible journey over these past five-and-ahalf years. But my worry is that announcing such a figure might also send out the wrong message – that we’re doing great, so we don’t need any more patrons or supporters. But nothing could be further from the truth. As quickly as we raise funds, we donate them to those within the Teesside community who most need our support. There are so many people and organisations out there that need our help – and, in these times of ongoing local government cut-backs, our financial support is needed more than ever. We are determined to carry on supporting local food banks, helping some of the poorest families on Teesside, creating apprenticeships for young people who’ve become disengaged and directionless, and inspiring our talented sportspeople to achieve their full potential. And we need YOUR support, your help, your inspiration and your money to help us go on doing that. So please do check out our website to see how you could help. It may be that you can make a small donation, organise a fundraiser, take part in one of our events or maybe even become one of our generous Patrons. All the details are either here in our magazine or on our website www.teessidecharity.org.uk. We’d love to have you on board. Andy Preston Founder-Chairman
So it’s time to get those walking boots on and take on the challenge of climbing Yorkshire’s three highest peaks – Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough. It’s a 24.5-mile walk that needs to be achieved inside 12 hours. There’s a series of training events available for those who want to get some practice in ahead of the event. Good walking boots, waterproofs and lunch are essential, as is a big dollop of determination! Entry fee is just £30, though we do ask you to raise funds via sponsorship too. To reserve your place contact firstname.lastname@example.org
IT’S GREAT TO RUN
Will 2017 by the year you take part in the world’s biggest half-marathon, the Great North Run? Every year we have numerous big-hearted fundraisers who step out through the streets of Tyneside to raise cash for some of the most needy people on Teesside.
NEWS Our first Sportsmen’s Dinner will feature (from top left) Richard Kilty, Chris Tomlinson, John Hendrie and Craig Hignett.
JOIN THE FANTASTIC FOUR FOR TEESSIDE SPORTSNIGHT An incredible night is in store when we hold our first ever Sportsmen’s Dinner in April in the company of two Boro legends and two local Olympians.
This unique event will feature a combined talk by Boro heroes John Hendrie and Craig Hignett, the scorers of the last league goal at Ayresome Park and the first at the Riverside Stadium. On the same bill are Teesside athletics superstars Chris Tomlinson and Richard Kilty. Three-times Olympian Chris, the former British long jump record holder, will be joined by the outspoken Kilty, the World 60m champion and 2016 Olympic finalist.
Last year, runners of all ages and abilities helped us raise around £10,000 in sponsorship.
Hosted by Boro fan and radio regular Gary Philipson, our Sportsmen’s Dinner is certain to be a memorable night of sport and banter.
In 2017, the run takes place on Sunday, September 10. Signing up to run for the Philanthropic Foundation is great way to guarantee your place on the starting line as the event is always oversubscribed.
All funds raised will go towards our FAST Fund – Financial Assistance for Sportspeople on Teesside – inspiring talented locals to reach the very top in their chosen sport.
Entry fee is £55 and we ask those running on our behalf to raise at least £300 in sponsorship for the Foundation. Email email@example.com for more details.
THE SKY’S THE LIMIT Here’s one for the thrill-seekers!
Tick off a big one on your bucket list by joining us for a tandem sky-dive! Adrenaline-junkies will love the once-in-a-lifetime thrill of falling at speeds of up to 180mph. Our sky-dive fundraiser takes place on Saturday, March 18, priced £55, with all participants required to raise at least £395 in sponsorship. Published by: Middlesbrough & Teesside Philanthropic Foundation Magazine Editor: Dave Allan, DNA PR & Publicity Editorial Support: Neil Stockton Design: Eighty8 Design Photography: Doug Moody Photography, Sharone Robinson Photography, Chris Booth, Andrew Dunning Photography Print: Quoin, Middlesbrough Website: www.teessidecharity.org.uk Facebook: Teesside Charity Twitter: @teessidecharity Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Taking place at Jury’s Inn, Middlesbrough, on Friday, April 7, tickets for the event are £49 each or £490 per table. There is also a limited number of VIP tables available at £690 each, including a VIP drinks reception and meet and greet with Hignett, Hendrie, Tomlinson and Kilty. Reserve your table soon via email@example.com
MARATHON EFFORT FOR SOUND FRIENDS Sound Training, the North East Small Business of the Year, organised a series of events to raise £15,000 for Teesside’s poorest kids – culminating in a team of 18 running the New York City Marathon.
Eight of the Middlesbrough company’s staff were joined in the big race around the New York’s famous streets by partner schools and friends to raise funds for our Schools Hardship Fund. They were joined by Lisa Preston and Jordan Clayton from our patrons Hunters Estate Agents, plus staff Acklam Grange School, North Shore Academy and Oaks Park High Schools in Ilford. As part of the fundraising efforts, Sound Training also held a 1920s-themed dinner at Acklam Hall that proved a great success.
£44,000 raised on the night
Helped us reach £2 million in cash and pledges since 2011! Headline Sponsors: Cool Blue Brand Communications Co-Sponsors: Active Chartered Financial Planners Entertainment Sponsors: Barclays Middlesbrough Wine Sponsors: Read to Achieve Programme Sponsors: Marton Electrical Drinks Reception Sponsors: Devereux Transport.
DOZENS of Tees businesses joined forces at the Foundation’s Annual Dinner to raise funds for the most needy Teessiders.
Supported by headline sponsors Cool Blue Brand Communications, funds raised at the dinner will help fund the Salvation Army’s Christmas Toy Appeal for the poorest kids on Teesside and support local food banks. Kath Callen of the Middlesbrough branch of the Salvation Army spoke about the key role last year’s dinner had played in boosting many of Teesside’s poorest kids by supporting their Christmas Toy Appeal. A big thank you for the generous donation of auction and raffle prizes to The Fork in the Road, Middlesbrough FC, Steve McClaren, Chadwicks Inn and Cornerstone Business Solutions. We also thank Rudby Hall, Sharon Healey, Philip Kirby Racing, Joe Cornish Gallery, Viral Effect, RAW Digital, DNA PR & Publicity, Mantis Media, Tees Business, Barker and Stonehouse, Yarm Studio, artist Lucy Pittaway and amateur photographer Nick Dent for their generous prize donations.
Snuggling down: Craig and Alex Strike.
All set: Staff from our patrons RMB Auto.
Feel the POWER of the FAST FUND The FAST Fund – Financial Assistance for Sportspeople on Teesside – is designed to help super-talented locals reach the top in their chosen sport. Here’s just a couple of recent examples of those we’ve supported
TWO members of Middlesbrough Powerchair Football
SLEEP COMFORTABLY LAST NIGHT?
Club hope their FAST Fund grant can accelerate them towards an England call-up.
MANY of your fellow Teessiders didn’t. Did you know Teesside is the homelessness capital of the North-East? And ever-growing numbers of Teessiders are turning in desperation to local food banks. So a massive “well done” to more than 50 locals with big hearts (but cold feet) who braved the freezing temperatures by sleeping out as part of the eighth Big Tees Sleepout. They helped us raise nearly £7,000, taking us well beyond the £94,000 milestone from our combined sleepout events. All of the funds raised will go towards supporting local food banks, homelessness charities and amazing Christmas appeals by the Salvation Army. A big mention to the staff of our patrons RMB Auto who took part in the latest sleepout as well as staff from the local branch of Biffa and Hartlepool firm Heir Hunters.
Both Cath McNicol and Owen Swift received £2,000 grants to enable them to purchase highly specialised wheel chairs that will help them speed around the pitch in the fast-growing, fast-flowing sport of powerchair football. The pair had already raised more than £11,000 towards the £15,500 combined cost of the two chairs they needed to help them to continue to fulfil their huge potential in a sport that gives physically disabled adults and children opportunity to take part in a fast-moving, exciting activity. Both Cath and Owen are now playing in their new Strikeforce powerchairs that not only boast great acceleration but allow for much bigger ‘kicks’ too.
Will you take part in the next Big Tees Sleepout in May 2017? Don’t sleep on it. Make the decision now. Get a team of friends or colleagues to sign up too. Visit www.bigteessidesleepout.co.uk for details on how to sign up and what you need to do.
“Our grants from the FAST Fund were fantastic news,” said Cath, the club’s 41-year-old playmaker. “It was quite a lot of money to raise but we worked hard with lots of fundraising events. It was brilliant to get that final bit from the Foundation.
If you are part of a homeless charity or run a project that you feel could be helped by the funds raised please do apply for a grant via our website www.teessidecharity.org.uk
“We all have aspirations to play for England – the support of the FAST Fund helps to keep the dream alive.”
Thanks also to Middlesbrough College who again provided us with a venue for this event.
FAST forward: Cath McNicol and Owen Swift.
CROSSEN LOOKING FOR A MATT FINISH WHEN Matt Crossen suffered a stroke at the age
of just 23 he had to learn to walk and talk again. As a talented young footballer, his dreams appeared to be dashed. But Stockton-born Matt bounced back to not only walk but play the game he loved once again – and he did it so well that he was selected for Great Britain’s Paralympics squad that took part in Rio 2016. Now he’s in training for the 2017 World Cup in Argentina, boosted by a £1,500 FAST Fund grant that we hope will help him achieve his goal.
SOUND SUCCESS MEMBERS of Teesside’s female business community enjoyed a treat with our latest Ladies Lunch, this time at Jury’s Inn. Guests enjoyed a drinks reception, time to browse gift stalls and a two-course lunch before a talk by guest speakers Katy Parkinson and Claire Preston of Sound Training, the 2016 North East Small Business of the Year. There was also a fascinating talk about Teesside charity, A Way Out, about their work to support vulnerable local women and their families. The event raised £2,500 that will be distributed to some of Teesside’s amazing community groups.
Speakers: Claire Preston and Katy Parkinson of Sound Training.
The next Ladies’ Lunch is being held at Acklam Hall on March 30. Tickets, priced £35 each, can be reserved by contacting Mandy Shields via firstname.lastname@example.org or 01642 686018.
Guests: Shazia Noor and Samina Sarwar
Other recent FAST Fund donations went to: Brooke Newton Josh Cowperthwaite Daniel Currie Kelly-Jo Robson Jasmine Clark Sophie Haw Joe Martin Beth Bryan Philippa Stone Joseph McNeill Amy Carter Aaron Jeal
Football Cross Country Athletics Weightlifting Athletics Boxing Athletics Rowing Athletics Judo Athletics Hammer
£1,200 £1,100 £750 £800 £700 £500 £400 £500 £750 £500 £250 £250
FAST footed: Paralympian Matt Crossen.
To find out more about the FAST Fund visit www.fastfund.org.uk
WE BACK THE SHACK
A DONATION THAT MADE GOOD SENSE
One of the biggest grants given the green light by our Trustees in recent months was the £5,000 that will go to The Shack in the Ragworth area of Stockton.
Very crafty! That’s the fantastic charity called Be Crafty in Hartlepool. This wonderful non-profit organisation caters for adults and children with disabilities and health issues, giving them craftwork opportunities to give them a safe and relaxing space to relax and enjoy.
A team led by dedicated volunteers has converted an old building into a first class community resource centre, The Shack, providing educational, recreational and social activities in an area of high unemployment, anti-social behaviour and health deprivation. The Foundation donated £5,000 towards further building renovations at The Shack. Ken Devereux of our patrons Devereux Transport was joined by personal patron Bill Scott for a visit to The Shack to see the completed renovations and meet the team of incredible volunteers. Right: Patrons Ken Devereux and Bill Scott with volunteers at The Shack in Stockton.
AN INSPIRING VISIT We come across so many amazing volunteers doing brilliant things to help others – but few are more inspiring than those we met in Liverton Mines. Having heard so much about them before donating short-term funding of £3,000 grant, we paid a visit to St Hilda’s Church to see the Liverton Mines Youth Project in action – and we weren’t disappointed. The project runs youth groups for children in some of Teesside’s most underprivileged communities. The children, aged 5-13, enjoy arts and crafts, fun and games, board and table games, refreshments, visits and the project’s healthy eating programme – and it’s all free! We asked Nigel Willis, managing director of our Redcar patrons First Choice Labels, to join us on the visit. As you can see, Nigel loved every minute – and proved he was down with the kids! Right: Nigel Willis of First Choice Labels chats to kids at Liverton Mines Youth Project.
WE ARE TEESSIDE In this special feature, we look at just a few of the groups we’ve supported to show where your money goes – and how it makes a difference
When they asked us to support them with their hopes of providing a sensory room to stimulate the minds of those with autism, dementia or other mental health issues, the Foundation was delighted to donate £4,000. Lisa Preston of our patrons, estate agents Hunters Teesside, was given a guided tour of their facilities and their brand new sensory room when she paid a visit. Below: Lisa Preston of Hunters at Get Crafty in Hartlepool.
MIDDLESBROUGH, REDCAR, GUISBOROUGH, BILLINGHAM, STOCKTON, HARTLEPOOL, ESTON
FOOD FOR THOUGHT It’s appalling that there’s a need for food banks in 21st Century Teesside – but increasing numbers of families are being forced to turn to them in desperation. That’s why we’ve again donated £1,000 to each of Teesside’s four food banks, from cash raised via our Annual Dinner and through the Big Tees Sleepout. The Foundation shared £4,000 with food banks in Billingham, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Hartlepool, with our patrons taking time out to present the cheques. Patrons of the Foundation also toured Teesside to present £10,000 for the Salvation Army’s Christmas Toy Appeal. Five local Salvation Army centres – in Guisborough, Eston, Middlesbrough, Stockton and Hartlepool – each received £1,000 cash and £1,000-worth of toys to be distributed to some of the poorest families across Teesside. A further £1,500 was donated to the Moses Project in Stockton towards providing Christmas Day dinner for families in poverty, the homeless and those suffering from various addictions.
WE COULD BE HEROES
£1,000 donation to: Blue Light Babies Presented by: Phil Lyons, InBond
Meet the latest unsung community champions to win one of the Foundation’s monthly Teesside Hero Awards.
A Teesside ambulance worker who started a national charity crochet craze to make blankets and hats for new-born babies has been recognised with a Teesside Hero Award.
Each received a trophy, a voucher for Mohujo’s Mexican restaurant and £1,000 for a worthy cause of their choice.
Blue Light Babies now has 2,000 people crocheting for charity across the country thanks to a Facebook appeal. The group has produced tens of thousands of crocheted items for new-borns and other good causes.
£1,000 donation to: Butterwick Hospice Presented by: Lisa Preston, Hunters Estate Agents
KERRIE MORRISON BERNIE SLAVEN
£1,000 donation to: diabetes ward, James Cook University Hospital Presented by: Lee Bramley, Endeavour Partnership, and Paul Davison, Erimus Insurance Brokers BERNIE earned legendary status for his goal-scoring exploits while playing for Middlesbrough FC but now he has been officially recognised as a Teesside Hero due to his less-heralded work off the pitch. Over the years the adopted Teessider, who scored 146 goals for Boro, has raised £40,000 for the Multiple Sclerosis Society, £37,000 for the Gary Parkinson Trust, has taken part in the Big Tees Sleepout and raised more cash for Teesside Hospice and the Mike Findley MND Fund.
£1,000 donation to: the Moses Project Presented by: Joanna Wake Brian and the team at the Moses Project, based in Stockton, work with people excluded from society and battling drink, drugs or mental illness. His dedication has been rewarded with a Teesside Hero Award. Working with a small team of directors, trustees and committed volunteers, the project has enabled many once desperate men to break the grip of addiction and has undoubtedly saved many lives in the process.
£1,000 donation shared between: Friends of Gleneagles and the Cleveland Unit (James Cook Hospital) Presented by: Tracey Flanagan, Bulkhaul Kerrie has worked selflessly to support parents’ of children with disabilities and additional needs. She was an active member and, until recently, chair of Parents 4 Change and her efforts have been recognised with a Teesside Hero Award.
The group aims to ensure parents views are heard when dealing with local authorities, health services and other organisations. Although taking a less central role she continues to support the group’s work.
Inspired by a son who passed away at 10 days old and his twin sister, severely affected by cerebral palsy, Mike began fundraising after a chance meeting with movie star James McAvoy. He has raised over £50,000 for many charities and good causes including Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice and the neo-natal unit of James Cook Hospital among others. His selfless work has been recognised with a Teesside Hero Award.
FR PAUL FARRER
£1,000 donation shared between: Middlesbrough Youth Mission, Sowing Seeds Ministries, St Alphonsus Church food bank Presented by: Alisdair Beveridge An adopted Teessider has been presented with a Teesside Hero Award for his service to the Catholic Church and his charitable fundraising. Hull-born Fr Paul arrived on Teesside in 1994 and worked as the diocesan youth chaplain for the Middlesbrough Youth Mission. His fundraising covered a vast array of activities and beneficiaries but he is most proud of his 40@40 campaign. Instead of raising the targeted £40,000 it reached a spectacular £110,000 for an array of different charities
£1,000 donation to: Boro Real Fans Believe in Dreams Presented by: Mark Ellis, Middlesbrough FC
WE NEED MORE HEROES If you think you know a deserving Teesside Heroes Award-winner, drop us a line with your nomination and up to 500 words about them to email@example.com
A charity fundraiser has received a Teesside Hero Award in recognition of his work for a range of causes. Tony, a process technician at Chemoxy international, helped to set up and run Boro Real Fans. The group has helped a thousand children and hosts six children and their carers at every home game. Hundreds of Boro fans have supported the project to the tune of £20,000 since its launch in 2015.
CHARLIE SAUNDERS £1,000 donation to: Kinship Carers Presented by: Harriet Spalding, Mandale Group
Charlie and friend, Frank Stratton, set up Kinship Carers after meeting others who took in their grandchildren when they were threatened with being taken into care. The former steelworkers’ efforts have been recognised with a Teesside Hero Award. Family members who take in children receive no financial assistance, unlike foster carers. The group provides day trips, parties and holidays and supports many other grandparents and family members experiencing similar issues.
£40,000 OF GOLDEN GIVEAWAYS! Our Golden Giveaways are getting ever bigger! Two £20,000 Golden Giveaways during the second half of 2016 means we’ve handed out £40,000 to 30 different Teesside community groups, charities and schools. Biggest winners were Butterfly Giving, a Teesside charity dedicated to supporting teenage cancer sufferers that was set up by 20-year-old university student Hannah Larkin when she was still a schoolgirl. As the winner of our mid-year Giveaway, the charity received £5,000 towards “Boxes of Sunshine”, packed full of goodies to bring a little cheer to teenagers affected by a cancer diagnosis. Our other £5,000 winners were East Middlesbrough FC, to purchase much-needed equipment for a newly established football club in one of the town’s least privileged areas. Runners-up in our public polls and therefore receiving £2,500 each were charity Remembering Rebecca for trips out for the siblings of disabled children with life-limiting conditions, and The Link in Redcar, supporting children who have suffered abuse, exploitation or bereavement.
Other recent recipients of our Golden Giveaway include: • Cleveland Mountain Rescue Team – Emily Bentley of Evolution Business and Tax Advisors presented £2,000 for new casualty care equipment for the volunteer team. Brambles Primary Academy – Laura Bashizadeh of estate agents Hunters Teesside presented £2,000 towards outdoor play equipment. • Grangetown Netball – Jayne Stephenson presented £1,500 for kit and equipment for club featuring 200 players and coaches. • Swift-Tees – Alisdair Beveridge presented £1,500 for leadership and coach training for running club with more than 200 members. • Camphill Village Trust at Larchfield Community – Christine Nolan of Erimus Insurance Brokers presented £1,500 towards sports facilities for adults with disabilities. • Scoil Rince I Muir – Elaine Bunn of Nortech Group presented £1,000 towards costumes and shoes for Irish dancers in Thornaby and Coulby Newham. • Dormanstown Community Sports & Social Group – Joe Darragh of Mandale Group presented £500 towards a new heating system. bereavement.
Hannah Larkin of Butterfly Giving shows one of the teenage cancer charity’s ‘Boxes of Sunshine’ to Teesside Philanthropic Foundation chairman Andy Preston (centre) and Stephen Downey of Foundation patrons PASS. Top: Waves from more who shared our latest £20,000 Golden Giveaway.
Right: Tanya Garland of Cool Blue Brand Communications with team members of £5,000 winners East Middlesbrough Football Club.
MEET OUR PATRONS NIGEL WILLIAMS Tell us about yourself! I was born and bred in Linthorpe, Middlesbrough. I’ve been a solicitor for 25 years, and I’m a partner with Bond Dickinson. Although I’m based in Leeds, I’m lucky enough to be able to spend part of my time working from home in Middlesbrough, and spend my weekends in Saltburn, where I aim to retire to as soon as I can. Why do you support the Foundation? It may sound trite but everyone wants to give something back, and I couldn’t think of anything better than to do that on a local basis. There are some great national charities out there doing amazing work but I believe charity begins at home. I’ve also got this notion that helping at grass roots level makes a real difference. Which of our fundraising events has been your personal favourite? The Golden Giveaway event at the Riverside was very special. Having the pleasure of giving out cheques and hearing what a difference it’s making to local groups makes that a great occasion. The Annual Dinner is fantastic too - such a great event. Which organisation are you most proud or pleased that we’ve supported? Not so much an organisation, but those that really touch me are when we hear about individuals who have an urgent need and nowhere else to go. Sometimes their stories are quite tragic and it’s good to know we’ve been able to help. Helping the Salvation Army at Christmas is also a great one too.
PAUL DAVISON Erimus Insurance Brokers
What does your organisation do? We’re a business-to-business insurance broker and the only UK Top 100 insurance broker headquartered in the Tees Valley. It’s also our 30th anniversary this year. Why do you support the Foundation? Because we’re passionate about promoting the Tees Valley. The area comes in for a lot of criticism and I think it’s up to businesses and people who achieve success in the area to positively promote it. Which of our fundraising events has been your personal favourite? The CEO Sleepout is something I’ve done and enjoyed, if that’s the right word, but I would say the Annual Dinner is the highlight. It brings together many of the people we deal with in business. I’d also like to mention the Annual Golf Day at Rockliffe Hall because the Erimus team won that this year, which was definitely a highlight for us! Which organisation are you most proud or pleased that we’ve supported? One of my personal favourites is Tees Valley Wheelchair Basketball Club. Because of the practical difficulties of being confined to a wheelchair, the opportunity to partake in sporting activity is quite limited. The very nature of the equipment needed makes it an expensive hobby so I think the Foundation’s support for the club is very worthwhile. Can you tell us something your fellow Foundation supporters might not know about you personally? I’ve always loved cricket, and when I was younger I was part of an English touring team that visited India, Zimbabwe and South Africa. I spent a holiday in the company of Michael Vaughan, the former England cricket captain, back in the early 1990s.
MEET OUR PATRONS
NIGEL WILLIS First Choice Labels
TANYA GARLAND Cool Blue
EMILY BENTLY Evolution
First Choice Labels
What does your organisation do? Cool Blue is an integrated marketing company - we offer PR, design, digital and marketing services. We started in 1999 and we still have offices in Middlesbrough as well as Newcastle and London.
What does your organisation do? We manufacture self-adhesive labels from a factory in Redcar. We make labels for everyone from the MoD and the NHS to the local butcher. Our products are used on pet foods, nuclear submarines and Nintendo game consoles. It’s an invisible industry for the most part but everything is labelled in one way or another these days.
What does your organisation do? We’re a firm of accountants and business advisers that works with companies of all shapes and sizes. We help companies to achieve their business aims through advisory and compliance services, accounts and tax advice as well as boardroom consultancy.
Tell us about yourself! I was born in Scotland, but lived down south in my childhood before moving to Sedgefield and then Eaglescliffe when I was ten. I bought my first house in Linthorpe when I was 19. I was a commission-only canvasser who became a salesman and now run my own business, The Build Directory, on Portrack Lane.
Why do you support the Foundation? Middlesbrough is my hometown and, even though I now live in Newcastle, I still have strong ties in the area. My mum and sister as well as lots of friends live here and I always feel a sort of love for it. Let’s face it, there are a lot of social challenges so it’s nice to think that if you’re going to do something on a charitable level that its going somewhere you feel it will make a difference. Which of our fundraising events has been your personal favourite? I’m no runner so you won’t see me on the 10k and I take my hat off to those that do the sleepout! I always enjoy the Annual Dinner because it is one of the reasons you know the organisation has been successful. Which organisation are you most proud or pleased that we’ve supported? I particularly remember some of the first projects we funded - one was Blood Bikes, to transport blood between hospitals, and the other was a boxing club in South Bank where the lads were so passionate about boxing. Can you tell us something your fellow Foundation supporters might not know about you personally? I used to do parachute jumping up at Peterlee. I did the first one as a dare and I was absolutely terrified but it was such an adrenaline rush that I really loved it. It was really addictive and I ended up doing quite a few more.
Why do you support the Foundation? As a growing company we found we were getting asked to support charities and events in the local area. Putting money into the Foundation meant we could be involved on a much wider scale. For example, I would never have known how to approach or give money to a local football team supporting ex-addicts. Which of our fundraising events has been your personal favourite? The CEO Sleepout at Preston Hall was really good. It gave me time to focus my thoughts on the experiences of those less fortunate who are sleeping rough and think about how we could help. Which organisation are you most proud or pleased that we’ve supported? The one that springs to mind is Redcar Gymnastics Club - a club with about 200 members from all different backgrounds that really is at the heart of the community. The club gives kids discipline and lessons in life. I was proud to be able to nominate the head coach for a Teesside Heroes Award as recognition of her time and efforts on behalf of the club and the community. Can you tell us something your fellow Foundation supporters might not know about you personally? I’ve done the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge six times. I last did it as an unfit businessman with a group of ex-servicemen, Paras, SAS, Marines and SBS, to raise money to aid the recovery of a former Paratrooper severely injured in Afghanistan.
Why do you support the Foundation? When we first met with Foundation chairman Andy Preston a few years ago it just seemed like such a brilliant concept to give something back to the community we serve and which most of the people we employ live in. It wasn’t just about established charities but the Foundation also enabled wider community groups to benefit. Which of our fundraising events has been your personal favourite? I really enjoyed doing the Yorkshire Three Peaks because I really love walking and being outdoors. So, a bit selfishly, if I can raise money for charity as well as being outside then that’s great. What was a lot of fun was the zip wire off the Transporter Bridge which was just exhilarating.
Why do you support the Foundation? I support the Foundation because I’m in a position to do it and I think it’s the right thing to do. Rather than set something new up I thought it better to support something that exists and try and play my part, small as it is. I like the fact that it’s not one-dimensional, that when I put a pound in it goes to lots of different causes. Which of our fundraising events has been your personal favourite? I like going to the Golden Giveaway events as I enjoy meeting some of the people who have benefited from the initiative. Although I couldn’t go this year, I also enjoy the Annual Dinner and it’s great to meet up with the other patrons.
Which organisation are you most proud or pleased that we’ve supported? There are just so many inspirational causes and individual stories that it’s really difficult to choose one.
Which organisation are you most proud or pleased that we’ve supported? I think they’re definitely all worthy but the projects that support children make me feel quite emotional. I remember meeting a lady involved in the wheelchair football and I just thought she was a great person.
Can you tell us something your fellow Foundation supporters might not know about you personally? I’m currently chair of ‘Club Cento’, the UK small Fiats club, which I helped set up after realising that, although there were clubs all over Europe, there wasn’t one in the UK. I still own my first car, a 1998 yellow Fiat Cinquecento Sporting. It’s like a Ferrari, only smaller.
Can you tell us something your fellow Foundation supporters might not know about you personally? I used to be an amateur boxer and I used to do it to test myself. I liked the training and won more bouts than I lost. As I spend a lot of time in my car I like to listen to audio books, probably at least two a week – the automobile university, the only one I went to!