Philanthropic members of The Reece Family have generously pledged £250,000 to the North East Roots Fund at the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, which aims to strengthen communities in North East England and ‘bring opportunity home’.
The North East Roots fund was set up in July and encourages anyone with a passion for the region to ‘give back’ whatever they can, wherever they are in the world. It is hoped this substantial pledge will inspire further donations and ultimately take the fund past halfway towards the Foundation’s initial target of at least £1million.
Donations will be used to create a permanent fund that will support local charities and community organisations which help create opportunities, reduce inequalities and sustain the region.
Anne Reece spoke about the family’s decision to support the fund:
“The idea of the North East Roots Fund really resonated with me and my family. As a family we have strong roots in the North East but we’re also not all in the North East anymore. My brother Simon is in Cumbria and my daughter is in Singapore but whilst they aren’t here they are still proud Geordies and want to see the North East thrive.”
“The opportunity to give back, to truly ‘level up’ our region was compelling. I call on anyone with the means to support the fund and really help the foundation make a difference to communities”.
The Reece Family’s support is made up of an immediate donation of £100,000 and a pledge to match the next £150,000 of donations received by the Foundation on a £1 for £1 basis.
Chief Philanthropy Officer at the Community Foundation John Hollingsworth, who devised the North East Roots Fund after returning to the region after 10 years in the United States, discusses the initiative and the value of support from the Reece Family.
“As someone who has come back to the North East to make a difference to the place I have always called home, I am delighted to celebrate the generosity of Anne and the Reece Family giving back to the region.
“Their support will have a huge impact on the North East Roots Fund and the communities it will support. Their pledge boosts the grant-making pot but also sets a challenge to others to match their generosity pound for pound.”
The North East Roots Fund has already made its first four grants including to the Phoenix Detached Youth Project in North Shields, Skills4Work in Gateshead, Pallion Action Group in Sunderland, and the Tyne Rivers Trust in Corbridge.
The gift from the Reece Family was announced at the Community Foundation’s North East Roots Showcase which took place at Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art. There were performances from North East talents Key Greyson and Katie Grace Rushworth, both previous winners of the Community Foundation’s Alan Hull Award named after the Lindisfarne songwriter.
Attendees also heard from individuals and organisations supported by the Community Foundation though the generosity of its donors.
For more information about the North Easts Roots Fund at the Community Foundation visit: communityfoundation.org.uk/northeastroots