A mystery donor has boosted the funds of new charity the Middlesbrough and Teesside Philanthropic Foundation by giving £15,000 anonymously.
And, that donation, means the charity has already burst through its first year target of raising £100,000 to redistribute to worthy causes across the area.
In fact the Foundation has pledges of £115,000 from businesses and individuals – and is now looking for applications for help.
Founder and trustee, local businessman Andy Preston, said:
“I took a call out of the blue from someone who very much wants to help the area – in fact they grew up here but now live elsewhere.
“He gave £15,000 but wanted to stay under the radar and remain anonymous. This is typical of the kind of strong feelings having Teesside ‘in the blood’ engenders and the very reason we have been so successful so quickly.
“We are a registered charity set up by Teessiders for Teessiders. Our purpose is simply to raise and allocate funds to assist community groups that need a bit of help.
“We have three specific goals: to make a real difference to the lives of local people; to show the 400,000-plus people who live in the area that there is a group of businesses and individuals who want to make a difference and to let the wider outside world know that we live in a special place where community spirit and a sense of fairness are important.”
The Foundation is looking for funding applications from community groups which will then be evaluated against a range of criteria – the most important being that there is real benefit to the community through the project.