24th Mar 2021
The Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland has today announced the appointment of three new Vice-Presidents: Dr Hari Shukla CBE, Dr Shobha Srivastava MBE and Gill Winter and new Patron Professor Nicola Curtin. They have been given the honorary role in recognition of their long-term support of the Foundation and communities in North East England.
Dr Hari Shukla made national headlines when he was one of the first people in the UK to receive a Covid-19 vaccination in December 2020. But he has been making news for many years for his tireless work around race equality on Tyneside. As well as being Director of Tyne and Wear Racial Equality Council he has been involved with several charities, including the Community Foundation, and held dozens of voluntary roles in organisations. He told his story in a book ‘The Art of Giving’ which focussed on collaboration, learning, tolerance and friendship and the differences small contributions make to the lives of individuals.
On his appointment Hari said:
“I have had strong links with the Community Foundation since it was founded as it moved into the office next to mine in MEA House in Newcastle! I was part of the team that set up the Asian Fund there and am pleased to have been asked to be a Vice-President. It will be a real pleasure to continue working with the team at the Foundation.”
A donor to the Foundation, and one of its former trustees, Dr Shobha Srivastava MBE has long been an advocate for community cohesion. She has supported a range of activities in South Tyneside including a healthy living centre, services for domestic abuse victims and raising awareness of forced marriage and honour-based violence. Particularly close to her heart is ‘Hindu Nari Sangh’ which she founded. It works to increase cultural awareness among women of all ages and nationalities to reach their potential through dance, exercise and performance. Most recently she has been appointed a Covid Champion by South Tyneside Council for encouraging people from all communities to come forward for Covid-19 vaccinations.
“I was extremely excited to be offered this role because the Community Foundation has been close to my heart for many years from supporting groups I work with to having a fund there and my time on the board”
Gill Winter has been an active member of the Foundation for nearly 20 years. She currently looks after her family fund with her three children who all live locally. Gill’s late husband, Ashley Winter OBE, was actively involved with the Foundation as a donor and trustee, and later served as the chair of its Board for five years. He was also a High Sheriff of Tyne and Wear.
“I have always been incredibly impressed by the work undertaken by the Community Foundation. We started our family fund with Foundation due to its ability to match our giving with the area’s most worthy causes. I am delighted to accept the honour and look forward representing the Foundation as a Vice-President.”
Meanwhile, Professor Nicola Curtin has been made a Patron of the Foundation for donating nearly £1 million from the proceeds of her role in developing the cancer drug Rubraca which made national headlines in 2019.
Prof Curtin talked about the philanthropic journey that led to this point
“I have been lucky to be able to pursue my scientific passions and luckier still that the anti-cancer drug I helped to develop has been successful. I therefore wanted to put the royalties I received to good use to spread the luck and help other people make the most of their lives. After a bit of searching through various charitable organisations the Community Foundation seemed the most suitable, I am so grateful to them for helping me to set up the fund and identifying groups whose goals mesh with the aims of my fund. I am full of admiration for the work they do and really honoured to be a patron.”
Welcoming all of them to their new roles, Rob Williamson, Chief Executive of the Community Foundation said
“I am delighted to welcome Hari, Shoba and Gill as Vice-Presidents. Their support, expertise and enthusiasm over many years has been an important part of our development. I am also pleased that we are recognising the generosity of Professor Nicola Curtin. These roles recognise their part in making the Foundation what it is today, the largest independent charitable foundation in the North East.”