STEVE MORGAN CBE, chairman of the Steve Morgan Foundation, reflects on another memorable year for the Foundation– and looks forward to another exciting 12 months . . .

2019 has been another record year for the Steve Morgan Foundation, taking our total giving in the last five years to over £32 million.

We have continued to distribute a range of major grants, regional grants, Enable funding for specialised equipment and Smiley Buses to so many different charities and community groups which have such a positive impact at the grass roots level of society.

It is always difficult to pick out highlights, because for all of the trustees and staff of the Foundation, the importance of what we do is knowing that every single grant – whatever its value – is going to help to change the lives of those people who will benefit.

It is always worth remembering that what sets us apart from a lot of other charities is the care and attention we give to our funding programme, not only during the application phase but right the way through the process.

No multi-year grant is awarded without us having made a personal visit to the applying organisation, and trustees and staff will then remain in close touch with that charity or community group both during the lifespan of the funding and to receive feedback at its conclusion.

We believe that is hugely important, because we are also there as a sounding board to offer advice or any other potential help to our supported charities who are doing such wonderful work, often with very few members of staff or volunteers, and limited resources.

The enthusiasm and creativity    shown by so many of those working    in the Third Sector can never be underestimated, and that is why we decided to bring back the Steve Morgan Foundation Awards this year, which made for an inspirational end to our second annual conference staged at Carden Park in September.

Our Awards and Conference was another truly magical day, with an incredible buzz and atmosphere around the room as people were able to share ideas and best practice and go away refreshed and re-invigorated to continue to develop and progress at their own respective charities.

We head into 2020 with so much to look forward to, not just with continuing to distribute funding in our four supported regions, but also to see further progress with major initiatives such as the new Maggie’s Centre at Clatterbridge and an exciting new project involving several major agencies from the world of education.

On behalf of everyone at the Foundation, we wish all the readers of  All Together Now a very happy and peaceful Christmas, and say thank you to all of those we have worked with during 2019.

Our Children’s Christmas Party at Carden Park is another magical way to mark the festive period, and has provided so much fun and entertainment for everyone over so many years. It is always a fantastic afternoon which makes so many wonderful memories.

May I also wish you a Happy New Year and all the very best for 2020.

STEVE MORGAN CBE, Chairman, Steve Morgan Foundation