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Fight for Teesside as a centurion

June 4th, 2013

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Could you be a Teesside Centurion? One of the region’s fastest-growing charities is looking for people to join their fundraising army fighting for Teesside.

Middlesbrough and Teesside Philanthropic Foundation aim to quickly find 100 Teessiders willing to donate £19 per month to help them carry out more charity work to inspire the local community, helping raise an additional £23,000 a year.

The launch of the Foundation’s Teesside Centurions was inspired by Greg Atkinson, a professor at Teesside University’s Health and Social Care Institute, who has become the first of many Teesside Centurions.

While Greg, 46, couldn’t match the big donations some of the charity’s individual and corporate patrons make, he was determined to do his bit by putting his hand in his pocket on a regular basis.

He is now calling on more passionate Teessiders to dig deep to help the Foundation in their work with such projects as Middlesbrough Homeless Football Club.

In just two years, the charity has raised almost £400,000, much of which has already been donated to dedicated charities, community groups, schools and projects.

Middlesbrough born and bred, Greg worked in Liverpool before returning to Teesside three years ago and has been employed at the university for the past 14 months.

“I came back because I wanted to make a difference,” he said. “Even when I wasn’t living on Teesside, this area was always close to my heart. I was born here, as was my wife Janet and our families too.

“This tough economic climate is hitting Teessiders harder than most, so I was inspired to see a charity that is so active in fighting to its absolute best for Teesside, its communities and people.

“Like my day job, the Foundation’s fundamental aim is to improve the health and wellbeing of the local community, so it appealed to me straight away.  It’s a real driving force for good, with all the funds raised staying here on Teesside, where it’s needed.

“The idea of the Centurions is promoting donations not from leaders of industry but from those of us who are fortunate enough to earn a decent living. I am sure many other Teessiders will want to do their bit for this amazing movement for the good of our communities.”

Foundation chairman Andy Preston said: “We’re looking for Teesside Centurions who are prepared to make a stand and fight the fight with us for this area.

“Our established patron model involved wealthy individuals and companies being able to make a real impact by making large annual donations. However, many people who were keen to get involved have previously been put off by the amounts involved.

“This is a way for those who aren’t in a position to write out a big cheque to make a small but significant donation each month and help make a real difference to our work here on Teesside. As an example of the impact this can have, £23,000 could help us run Middlesbrough Homeless Football Club for two years.

“Greg is sticking his hand in his pocket. Now we need to find another 99 Centurions to enable us to reach the 100-mark in a short space of time.”

If you’d like to become a Teesside Centurion, then get in touch with Foundation Chairman Andy Preston at info@teessidecharity.org.uk.

For more details about the Foundation, visit www.teessidecharity.org.uk

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