Hundreds of local schoolchildren have enjoyed a better Summer break, thanks to chemical giant SABIC and business leader Claire Preston joining forces to support charity Teesside Philanthropic Foundation.
More than £5,000 was raised for the Foundation’s Schools Hardship Fund when Claire – CEO of Tees educational firm Sound Training – organised a fundraising 50th birthday party at Middlesbrough restaurant, The Fork in the Road.
While guests – including Claire’s former St George’s school friends – paid to attend, the funds raised were match-funded by the Foundation’s patrons Barclays, while SABIC donated a further £3,000 to the cause.
The unique fundraiser enabled the Philanthropic Foundation to make substantial donations towards summer schools, activity clubs and healthy lunch canteens run by six Teesside schools during the six-week holiday.
Schools benefiting from the donation were Middlesbrough’s Caldicotes, Newport and Berwick Hills primaries, Redcar’s Ryehills Academy and Kirkleatham SNAP plus St Hild’s in Hartlepool.
Claire said: “When I knew my 50th birthday was approaching, I suggested that a fundraising party would be a better idea than one where guests bring presents.
“It was a fantastic night, supported by around 70 friends, family, colleagues and business contacts, with some friends travelling from as far afield as London.
“While not all the children who attend the lunches and summer activities are underprivileged, it was fantastic to see the money we raised in action supporting projects within some of Teesside’s most disadvantaged areas.
“I’m grateful to the support of SABIC for their encouragement, support and donation towards a fantastic cause.”
Claire Wordsworth, SABIC’s senior communications business partner, said: “We were moved to hear the levels of poverty in some areas of Teesside that the Foundation supports through its Schools Hardship Fund.
“Claire’s amazing 50th birthday fundraiser allowed us to support an event and cause that is close to our hearts and we know that the donation made a huge difference to some Teesside children over the summer break.”