Middlesbrough mayor Andy Preston says he is stepping down from his role as chairman of Teesside Philanthropic Foundation “with a heavy heart” but “incredibly proud” to have created a charity that has raised £3 million for local worthy causes over the past eight years.
Mayor Preston is relinquishing his unpaid role as chairman and trustee of the charity he founded in 2011 following his election success at the mayoral election earlier this month.
Although he will continue in an honorary role as founder of the charity, he will no longer have any decision-making powers or financial say within the charity, which will now be run be an existing board of trustees comprising local business leaders.
On behalf of his fellow trustees, Paul Davison, director of Teesside firm Erimus Insurance Brokers, said: “Without Andy Preston, this fantastic charity simply wouldn’t exist.
“Thanks to his incredible vision, enthusiasm and commitment, the Philanthropic Foundation has now raised more than £3 million for some of the most disadvantaged Teessiders and deserving local causes.
“The legacy of Andy’s vision and hard work is an established charity that is able to support so many local community groups, good causes and people who require a helping hand.
“On behalf of the trustees, patrons, staff, volunteers and supporters of Middlesbrough & Teesside Philanthropic Foundation, we take this opportunity to congratulate and thank Andy for all that he has done and achieved.
“We’re delighted that Andy has accepted the honorary role of founder, which means he will remain the face of the foundation.”
Middlesbrough-born Andy, who founded the charity with Tanya Garland in 2011, said: “I’m incredibly proud to have set up the Foundation, which has become a force for good on Teesside, bonding together a wide range of generous local businesses and individuals to work towards a joint cause of helping their fellow Teessiders.
“As a proud Teessider, born and raised in Middlesbrough, I wanted to do some good for the place and people I love, and I was in the fortunate position to be able to do so.
“I’m delighted the charity has raised more than £3 million for Teesside – and even more thrilled that the vast majority of that has already been shared out with deserving community groups and charities.
“Of course, now that I’m Middlesbrough’s mayor, it’s right that I step away from any decision-making capacity within the charity and know I can do so in the sound knowledge that we now have three experienced members of staff and a fantastic board of trustees, who will continue to volunteer their time and skills to ensure the charity goes from strength to strength.
“While my mayoral commitments will restrict my involvement with the Foundation, I’ll of course remain a firm supporter of the charity and all that it stands for.”
Along with Paul Davison, the Foundation’s board of trustees, who will be chaired by Lee Bramley of law firm The Endeavour Partnership, features local businesspeople Karl Pemberton, Harriet Spalding, Ian Stark, Alistair Waite, David Henderson, Alisdair Beveridge and Emily Bentley.