The history of Tees Valley Community Foundation

Although rooted in the local community, Tees Valley Community Foundation actually came about following a call-to-action from the Mott Foundation of Flint, Michigan in the US.

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The Mott Foundation is a successful charity, part of a huge network of Community Foundations across the USA, most of which were established in the early 20th Century.

The link to this claim is that the UK was challenged by the Mott Foundation to seek out three areas committed to establishing its own Community Foundation, each aspiring to build an endowment that would generate income to support their local community, in perpetuity. The bait was an offer of $1,000,000 to the first three to raise an endowment of £1,000,000.

Just prior to this, Ken Kime OBE, a local, retired RAF Squadron Leader and an influential member of the voluntary sector in Cleveland, set about creating a new charitable trust. His ambition was to harness the success of local businesses to help the community across the area.

On July 31st 1988, under Ken’s watchful eye, The Cleveland Charities Trust was formed with the support of a group of willing volunteers including Geoffrey Collins, Peter Gowland, James Grierson, Malcolm Bainbridge and Ron Norman, a successful local businessman and Chairman of the Teesside Development Corporation.

Just over a year later, Ron became a Trustee of the new charity, set up the previous year with the slogan ‘Keep it in Cleveland’, under the guidance of the newly appointed Director Jenny Hopper.

The name wasn’t to last; within two months of his arrival and following Ron’s invitation to the launch of the CAF/Mott Challenge, he became Chairman and Lady Gisborough was made a founding patron of the new Foundation. Fundraising began in earnest!

Our Timeline

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July 1988
Cleveland Charities Trust formed its original slogan ‘Keep it in Cleveland’.
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September 1989
Jenny Hopper appointed Chief Executive. Geoffrey Collins, Peter Gowland, Ron Norman, James Grierson & Malcolm Bainbridge become Trustees.
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September 1989
Name changed to Cleveland Community Foundation. Lady Gisbrough becomes a Patron.
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October 1989
Tees Hartlepool Port Authority pledges £150,000. Alan Kitching becomes a Trustee.
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May 1990
Ron Norman becomes Acting Chairman.
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August 1990
£100,000 of donations received by the Foundation.
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September 1990
Les Bell donates £50,000 to create the Foundation's first ever named fund.
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November 1990
John Bloom becomes a Trustee
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October 1991
Northern Electric donates £100,000
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April 1992
Teesside Development Corporation donates £250,000
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March 1993
Donations reach £1.35million!
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July 1993
£100,000 donated from ICI/ENRON/Amoco
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January 1994
Bulkhaul Leech and Middlesbrough Football Club all make donations.
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March 1994
CAF/Matt Challenge Trust target achieved - investments valued at more than £1m for the first time.
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January 1995
Foundation Chair Ron Norman is knighted.
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January 1996
Teesside TEC donates £100,000, Northumbrian Water £50,000, Northern Electric £62,000, BASF £45,000 and Tees Power £45,000
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March 1996
Value of General Endowment Fund reaches £2,654,187
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July 1996
Tony Gillham becomes Chairman
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October 1996
Sir Ron Norman becomes President, Kevin Ryan appointed as Chief Executive
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January 1998
Value of Endowment Fund reaches £4,047,000
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March 1998
Grant-giving exceeds £1m
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September 1999
Stockton Social Services Trust Fund of £100k transfered to the Foundation
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January 2000
Endowment Fund valued at £5,329,000
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May 2000
Dupont donate £50k
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May 2001
Local Network Partnership Fund begins - £2m awarded in grants, gifts and donations
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Janunary 2002
John Bloom becomes Vice President
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March 2002
Foundation becomes owner of Peat Rigg Outdoor Centre
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April 2003
Name changed to Tees Valley Community Foundation
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April 2004
Permanent Endowment Fund valued at £5,613,000
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December 2004
Nan Bloom sets up John Bloom Law Bursary
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May 2005
Advansa Fund established
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September 2005
John Bennett becomes Chairman
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January 2006
William Weston appointed Chief Exectutive
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September 2006
Hugh McGouran appointed Chief Executive
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March 2007
Endowment Fund valued at £7,500,000
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September 2009
Chris Hope becomes Chairman
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January 2010
TVCF relocates to Falcon Court
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December 2011
Tees Power Station Fund reaches £1m - our single largest donor
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January 2013
25 years since the opening of governing documents of The Cleveland Charitable Trust
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March 2013
Tees Offshore Windfarm Fund established
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June 2013
TVCF makes first strategic investment in Middlesbrough Football Club Foundation
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August 2014
TVCF launches Intelligent Investment Fund
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December 2016
£450k invested into Peat Rigg Outdoor Centre
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September 2018
Award-winning Cash For Kids partnership with TFM rolled out nationally by Bauer Media
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September 2018
Neil Kenley becomes Chairman
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December 2018
TVCF welcomes three new trustees, Nigel Williams, Emma Read and Wendy John
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March 2020
Embraced working from home during Covid 19 lockdown - established and launch Teesside Covid Relief Fund
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April 2020
Launched Redcar & Cleveland Emergency Fund in partnership with RCVDA and Sirius Minerals Foundation
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February 2021
Established partnership with Edward Gostling Foundation to launch Better Together Fund to tackle lonliness and isolation
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Launch of RWE Renewable's Sofia Offshore Wind Farm Construction Community Fund for charities and groups in East Cleveland
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Who’s involved?

Check out some of the people and organisations who
help us to make it all happen.

View our donors
Businesses
British Steel logo
ICI logo
EDF logo
Wilton Centre logo
Middlesbrough Football Club logo
Northern Electric & Gas logo
People
Jeff Taylor small picture
Jeff Taylor

Chair

Hugh McGouran small picture
Hugh McGouran

Chief Executive

Emma Read FCA small picture
Emma Read FCA

Trustee

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