Dozens of worthy Teesside causes are set for a shot in the arm after a charitable movement received an incredible £700,000 cash injection from an anonymous business.
Just days after hitting the £1m fundraising milestone, Middlesbrough and Teesside Philanthropic Foundation was given the massive cash boost via a source linked to Stockton company, the px group.
Only last week the foundation announced the great news that it had raised £1 million over the past four years and that almost every penny had already been donated to Teesside good causes.
Now it has been confirmed that benefactors who have requested anonymity have agreed a £700,000 grant to the charity to distribute to key community causes across Teesside.
Foundation chairman Andy Preston worked hard to clinch a positive decision by the source after receiving a tip-off about the fund’s potential availability from David Henderson, head of business development for px – one of the foundation’s patrons.
Describing the donation as “the most exciting thing” to happen to the charity, Andy promised that the money would be pumped into areas of Teesside that need it most.
Described as “a powerful source for good”, the foundation has promised the anonymous benefactor that the money will be invested in educational, employment, health, sport, social action and other community-related schemes.
Andy revealed that specific aims would include creating Teesside jobs and expanding the foundation’s Schools Hardship Fund for the most underprivileged local families.
He said: “It’s incredible that so soon after celebrating the fact that we’ve raised £1 million for Teesside in just four years, we’re now up to £1.7 million just days later.
“We’ve been able to do incredible things all over Teesside, from helping to feed local families to funding apprenticeships so that youngsters can get their first job.
“But this £700,000 cash injection will allow us to do our work on a much bigger scale, making a longer-lasting impact on the lives of people who need our help.”
He continued: “It promises an even better future for the people we work with – Teesside’s many fantastic community groups, schools and people in need.
“I’m excited about the range of projects we can continue to support, while we can now launch new projects that can start to change people’s lives. We expect to announce the first scheme launched as a direct result of this donation within the next few days.”
After hearing about the fund’s potential availability, Andy and David devised an action plan that was successful in convincing the potential benefactor that the foundation was the right avenue for distributing the funds to good causes around Teesside.
Andy explained: “As a charity, we pride ourselves on having exceptional business connections, and it was through our business network that we were alerted to this potential opportunity. We’re especially grateful to David Henderson and px for helping to make it happen.
“Due to strong links with Teesside’s industrial heritage, the benefactors insisted that the money had to be used for the specific purpose of improving the lives of local people, particularly where access to funding is not easy.
“We put a lot of time and effort into convincing them that the Philanthropic Foundation was the right recipient to ensure these funds were distributed across Teesside in the way they wanted.
David added: “Our close affiliation with the foundation meant we always believed that the charity would be the perfect vehicle for distributing this cash in a way that would make a real difference around Teesside, just as the benefactors wished.
“Andy and I went on a mission to convince them that the foundation would ensure a diverse range of good causes would benefit from the cash.
“They loved our plans and we are now identifying suitable projects that will have a positive and lasting impact where help is most needed.”
px, which operates and manages industrial infrastructure such as offshore facilities, gas processing plants, power stations and fuel storage depots, is one of around 40 generous patrons who share their success by making annual donations to the foundation to make Teesside a better place to live, work and do business.
Other local firms backing the charity include Evolution Business and Tax Advisors, Erimus Insurance Brokers, BHP Law, RMB Auto, First Choice Labels, Active Chartered Financial Advisors, Erimus Insurance Brokers, The Keys Yarm, Hunters estate agents, AV Dawson, Castlegate Shopping Centre, Pass, Henderson Insurance Brokers, Stockton Machine Company, CPD Bodies and Mandale Group.
Others include Middlesbrough Football Club, Bulkhaul, Cleveland Cable Company, Charles Clinkard, Cool Blue PR, Unasys, Barclays Middlesbrough, Devereux Transport and Endeavour Partnership.
Along with foundation chairman Andy, individual patrons are the McCullagh, Wadsworth and Sizer families, Barney Ord, Rob McLaughlin, Steve Nichols, Ali Miremadi, Simon Scotchbrook, Bill Scott, Nigel Williams, Ian Tracey and Alastair Waite.