“Let’s give Teesside a massive round of applause”. That was the message from Andy Preston, the founder of Teesside Philanthropic Foundation, as he welcomed nearly 200 guests to Wynyard Hall for our first ever Celebration Event.
Sponsored by commercial IT experts Cornerstone Business Solutions, the event saw representatives of the wonderful charities and community groups we support mix with many of the companies who generously fund our work whilst enjoying a delicious Afternoon Tea.
“Let’s celebrate Teesside – the best place in the world,” Andy told the attendees, adding his belief that the Philanthropic Foundation is also “the best charity in the world”.
“Newcastle doesn’t have a charity like this, nor does Leeds,” he said. “They’ve got great charities, sure, but they don’t have a charity that’s set up purely to make fantastic things happen in the area.
Encouraging everyone to “give Teesside a massive round of applause”, he encouraged people to mix and talk to as many people as possible to create successful ideas.
“Our area is challenged but I think it’s absolutely remarkable,” said Andy, who is the elected mayor of Middlesbrough. “It has massive opportunities, of course, and there are loads of great things about it but there is one thing that is critical to success, cohesion, ambition and prosperity – and that is the people.
“And it’s about the relationships they create – whether it be a family or a sports club or a community group or charity. It’s groups like those that we help that are doing fantastic stuff in the community that make Teesside special.
“And if you’ve got a community that’s pretty good you can make it better by working hard and talking to people.
“Incredible things can happen when you mix and talk to people. In my experience of life, the more people you talk to the more great ideas are developed.
“At the start, this charity was just an idea between me and Tanya Garland. I got talking to people like Ken Devereux and other businesspeople and it just snowballed. It’s become a phenomenon – but the first steps were all about talking to people.”
A game of Stand-Up Bingo resulted in nominations from the winners for both Norton Sports Charity and TFM Cash for Kids to each receive £250 donations. The game also raised £235 for the Philanthropic Foundation.
*Thanks again to Cornerstone Business Solutions for supporting the event – and to Wynyard Hall, who’ve made our Foundation their Chosen Charity for the year.