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Celebrating 20 years of charitable giving

Charities across the region have joined leading independent law firm for business Muckle LLP to celebrate the 20th anniversary of its Community Fund, which has helped hundreds of charities, community groups and not-for-profit organisations across Tyne and Wear, Teesside, Northumberland and Cumbria.


Established in 2002, the Muckle Community Fund at the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, has awarded £603,370 in 662 grants to charities and organisations across the North of England.

As well as donating one per cent of its annual profits to the fund, Muckle also gives up to £140,000 worth of free legal advice to charities and community organisations annually.

Senior partner Hugh Welch is a driving force behind the firm’s philanthropic efforts and a trustee for several North East charities.

He says: “We are delighted to achieve this milestone in the same year as winning the Heart of the Community Tyneside and Northumberland Award.

“Through the Community Fund, we have built lasting relationships with local charities making a huge difference.

“We look forward to the next 20 years of working together to improve the region for everyone.”

Since the fund’s creation, the Community Foundation has used its local knowledge and expertise to match Muckle’s giving with important community causes.

Some of those local charities joined Muckle to celebrate the 20-year milestone and share stories of how they have benefited from the fund.

Success4All received around £9000 for projects including the conversion of a double-decker bus into a digital learning hub, which helps disadvantaged people gain skills and qualifications.

Caroline Afolabi-Deleu, founding director, says: “Working with Muckle gives us important access to their contacts and wider relationships, which helps us network and fundraise further.”

Over the years, Muckle has helped Oasis Community Housing with grants, fundraising and volunteering, and has won the charity’s silver, gold and platinum Shared Value Awards in the last three years.

Hazel Ditchburn, corporate relationships manager, says: “Muckle is deeply passionate about making a positive impact on our communities, and our relationship goes beyond the typical corporate/charity partnership.”

Muckle has also offered grant funding, legal support and networking to The Recruitment Junction, a recruitment agency connecting ex-offenders with employers. Beverley Brooks, founder and director, says: “Muckle is a force for transformation and genuine good in our region.”

The Country Trust is among the local charities benefiting from Muckle staff volunteering, which has seen members of the agriculture, estates and rural property team use their extensive network to support the educational experience.

Sue Thompson, senior fundraiser, says: “We’re so grateful to the Muckle volunteers for taking the time to get involved and spread the word.”


Looking to the future

Hugh adds: “We recently launched our five-year plan to move from a corporate social responsibility (CSR) model, to a more sustainable and accountable environmental, social and governance (ESG) framework, and we are aiming to achieve B-Corp status too.

“We are putting our values right at the heart of what we do.”