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Roland Cookson is still making a difference on his doorstep

Corbridge charity benefits from Roland Cookson legacy modules Roland Cookson

The future is looking bright for a Corbridge charity thanks to regular grants from the Community Foundation, made in the name of a philanthropist who lived locally.

The Charlotte Straker Project, which provides residential, nursing and respite care for frail elderly people in Tynedale, and recently celebrated its 100th birthday, is the recipient of regular generous grants from the Community Foundation’s Roland Cookson Fund, thanks to a unique, ongoing, arrangement between the two organisations and Roland’s friends and relatives. 

The Roland Cookson fund was established in 2004 upon the wind up of the RA Cookson Charitable Trust, which was itself established by Roland Cookson, a Tyneside industrialist who lived in Corbridge and died in 1991.

The former trustees of the Trust continue to act as advisors to the Community Foundation on grant-making from the fund, and in 2016 they asked us to refocus this, and offer providing regular support to the Charlotte Straker Project, a local charity that is close to Roland’s home in Corbridge. 

Having undertaken the necessary checks on the organisation, the Community Foundation agreed an approach whereby the fund makes quarterly grants to the Charlotte Straker Project. In theory, the relationship could exist in perpetuity thanks to the Foundation’s endowment model by which it is primarily investment income with which we make grants.

Since the arrangement was agreed, the fund has made more than £150,000 in grants to the charity, with the funding representing an average of around 6% of the organisation’s annual income.

The majority of funds are put towards direct care costs, but the organisation has also reported expenditure on physical improvements to the building and its surroundings.

Berenice Groves, Charlotte Straker Chair, welcomes the additional funding provided by the Roland Cookson Fund:

“Given our ethos that care is given according to individual need and that lack of means should not be a barrier to receiving care, the gift contributes enormously ensuring no-one is denied access to care because of lack of means.” 

Bill Cunningham, the Trustee responsible for the relationship with the Roland Cookson Fund at the Community Foundation said:

“Increasingly there is a financial gap between what it costs the charity to care for a resident and the money we receive. Regular, guaranteed, unrestricted funding like that we now receive in Roland’s name, is vitally important to us.”

For more information about leaving a legacy at the Community Foundation click here.

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