Individual and family philanthropy is the lifeblood of community foundations. The many different ways people choose to get involved to support our communities reflects their overwhelming generosity.
In 2005, Helen McArdle had a very clear idea of what she wanted to achieve with her philanthropy. Helen wanted to help young people and families who were having a tough time and she knew this would require significant support over several years. Helen asked the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland to identify local organisations which were really making a difference on issues such as homelessness, domestic violence and disability.
This year Helen renewed her support to four of the organisations identified by the foundation, along with her daughter Rachel, shown visiting Children North East, where the fund has been used to support the cost of a playworker in a deprived area of Newcastle.
A worker at another supported project, Newcastle Women's Aid, says,
'Meeting Helen and her daughter Rachel was just the first step. They have been really interested in what we do. Their support for our children's service is vital to our charity's work; without the service women would just not be able to use the refuge, get emontional and practical support, find out about their legal rights and, most importantly, safeguard themselves and their children from harm.'