Women urged to “pay it forward” at a celebration of women in philanthropy

Irene Dorner, a philanthropist and fund-holder at the Community Foundation urged women to “pay it forward” at a recent celebration of women in philanthropy. The lunchtime event was held at the Crowne Plaza – Newcastle Stephenson Quarter and raised nearly £22,000, including a crowdfunding appeal by the Northern Learning Trust to establish a family learning project in South Tyneside.

Now in its tenth year, the International Women’s Day event attracts a regular audience of over 250 professional businesswomen, establishing itself as one of the premier networking events around International Women’s Day. Key supporters of the lunch include Dame Margaret Barbour, a renowned community philanthropist and the founding donor to the Women’s Fund, which has now made awards of over £350,000 to women-only projects in Tyne & Wear and Northumberland.

Clarand Accountants, which was founded in 2013, is sponsoring the lunch for a second time. Claire Priestley and Claire Yeats, directors of the firm, attended the lunch as guests during their first week of business and now sponsor the event as a key part of their social responsibility, giving back to support the work of the Community Foundation.

Keynote speaker Irene Dorner is a passionate philanthropist, international businesswoman and a fund-holder at the Community Foundation with her husband Jack. Irene discussed her personal journey in her career as the former President of HSBC USA and more recently as a Non-Executive Director at Rolls Royce. Other speakers include the Northern Learning Trust, a beneficiary of Irene and Jack’s philanthropy. At the lunch they raised £4,800 through a crowdfunding initiative to establish a family learning programme in South Tyneside.

Avril Gibson, Chief Executive of the Northern Learning Trust said:

“We’re very grateful to the kind generosity of guests at the women in philanthropy lunch. Family learning is an important programme to support children in their transition to adulthood. Our research shows that parents with a low level of numeracy or literacy are often unable to support their child with their learning. This means that by the time a child reaches a formal education setting, they are at a disadvantage to their peers and often they never catch up, and leave school with lesser qualifications or chances of success. Family learning breaks this cycle at its source by giving parents the support and skills they need to educate their children and give them the best possible start in life.”

Irene Dorner added:

“It’s hugely inspiring to see first-hand the work that Northern Learning Trust do. As someone who benefitted from a good education I recognise the importance of numeracy and literacy and this is what drives my family philanthropy through the Nash Fund. Women’s philanthropy is a hugely important and rewarding experience, and I’m really proud of everyone at the event who helped us to raise nearly £22,000 to support local causes through the Community Foundation.”

Sandra King, Chief Philanthropy Officer at the Community Foundation said:

“We’re delighted to have raised nearly £22,000 at the lunch to support local causes such as the Northern Learning Trust. The Crowdfunding appeal raised over £4,800 to support a family learning project in South Tyneside, with the remaining money raised going to the Women’s Fund at the Community Foundation. This will ensure that more projects around the region can benefit from the kind generosity of women’s philanthropy at our International Women’s Day event.”

Posted on 16/03/2017 @ 4:49 pm
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