16th Oct 2017

Tributes have been paid to Community Foundation donor, former trustee and popular North East pub boss John Sands, who passed away on 7 August 2017.

John, 69, established the Carrie Reay Grassroots Community Foundation Fund to make a difference to children’s lives in Tyne and Wear. As well as serving for six years as a trustee of the Community Foundation, local voluntary groups also benefitted from his business expertise as he gave his time pro bono through the Foundation’s Community Ventures project.

Rob Williamson, Chief Executive of the Community Foundation said:

“John was an inspirational man whom we will remember for his passion and generosity. He set up the Carrie Reay Grassroots Fund at the Community Foundation in 2009. To date, it has provided grants totalling £25,000 which have made a difference to the health and wellbeing of hundreds of children across Tyne and Wear.

“John worked tirelessly giving his time for free as one of our Community Ventures experts, where he would work with voluntary groups over several months to help them increase their impact. He was also a committed trustee of the Community Foundation, bringing his unrivalled business expertise to our own finances and investments.

“Our thoughts are with John’s family, and we will remember the good that he did making the North East a better place to live for all members of our community.”

Born in Scotswood, Newcastle, John studied at what is now Northumbria University. After first working at Dunlop in Cheshire he returned to the North East to embark upon a successful career in hospitality. He became managing director at Camerons and later spearheaded the £1.3bn deal that triggered Pubmaster’s takeover by Punch Taverns. He won the North East Business Executive of the Year award in 2002 and, four years later, he co-founded Wear Inns with his colleague, the late John Weir.

John lived in Wynyard with his wife Susan. They had four children, Heather, Kevin, Kathryn and Jonathan, nine grandchildren and a great grandson.

He had cancer for 16 months. His family said: “John accepted his illness with typical stoicism and strength. He will be terribly missed by his family and his many friends.”

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