History of TVCF

Although rooted in the local community, it can be suggested that Tees Valley Community Foundation came to be following a call-to-action from the Mott Foundation of Flint Michigan.

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.

More information on the Mott Foundation can be found here www.mott.org

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 throwing down of the gauntlet, Sqn Ldr Ken Kime OBE set up the Cleveland Charities Trust - his ambition was to harness the successes of local businesses to help the community across the area. 

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

One other willing volunteer was 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 Community Foundation.

Fundraising began in earnest!


Cleveland Charities Trust formed its original slogan ‘Keep it in Cleveland’.
Jenny Hopper becomes director. Geoffrey Collins, Peter Gowland, Ron Norman, James Grierson & Malcolm Bainbridge become Trustees.
Name changed to Cleveland Community Foundation. Lady Gisbrough becomes a Patron.
Tees Hartlepool Port Authority pledges £150,000. Alan Kitching appointed as Trustee.
Ron Norman becomes Acting Chairman.