Forces charity scoops cash

Major Brian Finlayson
Major Brian Finlayson
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A CHARITY which helps serving and ex-servicemen and women and their families has been given a grant to help continue its good work.

Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) Forces Help was given £25,000 from the Stuart Halbert Foundation to continue the outstanding work it does in supporting members of the Armed Forces and their family members.

The grant was one of £1.2million worth of funding that was announced last Thursday at the Sage Gateshead.

Major Brian Finlayson, of SSAFA in Northumberland, said: “Our work to support the Forces and their families began in 1885 with Colonel Sir James Gildea, who established the principle which lies at the very heart of the Association today – ‘The ready help of friends to friends’.

“The Northumberland branch of SSAFA is one of 92 branches nationwide.

“It is essential that we have ‘friends’ to offer all financial assistance to help our volunteers support members of our forces and their families.

“I would like to thank the Stuart Halbert Foundation for its wonderful donation, which will enable us to help those that serve or have served.”

The Elderberries project at the Alnwick Garden also scooped funds.

It was given £250,000 aimed at reducing isolation and loneliness among those aged 50-plus.

Funding will be used to maintain and broaden the services available to the community.

The Duchess of Northumberland, who inspired the design of The Alnwick Garden and wanted to develop a programme for the over 50s in the county to enjoy, said: “Northumberland has a higher proportion of people aged over 55 than in the rest of England and the Elderberries programme aims to promote a healthy, more-fulfilled quality of life for these important members of society.”

The Stuart Halbert Foundation was established in 2010 by private individuals within the Halbert family to commemorate the important role that Stuart Halbert played in the evolution of Kilfrost from a family business into a global de/anti-icing brand, and the support he gave to the people of the North East.

The charitable fund is supported from a mix of private donations from the Halbert family trustees and from Kilfrost.

Gary Lydiate, chairman of trustees at the Stuart Halbert Foundation and chief executive officer of Kilfrost, said: “Stuart Halbert was not only instrumental in the growth of Kilfrost, he was proud of his roots in the North East.

“This fund is in his memory and should serve the local community and beyond to help those that may be disadvantaged or who simply merit our support.

“As family trustees we are great believers in giving something back to the community, whether this is directly through our own involvement in projects or by supporting those who are best placed to help those in need.”

The Sage Gateshead was given a £500,000 grant from the Foundation.