When most of us think of philanthropy, they think of huge financial donations made by celebrities and multi-millionaire business people to national and international charities. But philanthropy also happens locally, and in incredibly impactful ways.
Philanthropy can be traced back over hundreds of years in Calderdale. Many will be familiar with the generosity of the Crossley Brothers, who in the 1800’s took over the Dean Clough carpet mills after the death of their father, John Crossley. They spent many busy years building up the business until it was a huge concern, employing some 4,000 workers in its heydey.
The Crossleys seemingly felt a strong desire to ease living conditions of their less fortunate townspeople. In addition to building a public park – People’s Park, they also built a row of almshouses on Arden Road in Halifax.
Other local philanthropists have also left their mark on Calderdale including Edward Ackroyd who inherited “James Akroyd & Sons Ltd” from his father in 1847.
Mr Akroyd was concerned about the fortunes of Halifax and the poor social conditions that grew out of the industrial revolution. He funded and supported a local allotment society and many institutions for the working classes, a school for child labourers, a workers’ pension scheme, several churches and a cemetery.
Today the Community Foundation for Calderdale a local philanthropic service provider and grant maker is celebrating its 25th anniversary. It has successfully continued the tradition of making a difference locally by working with philanthropists across Calderdale to direct funding to where it can make the greatest impact on local lives.
Since the Community Foundation first opened its doors, they have collaborated with generous donors who live and work locally, each of whom has their personal reasons for wanting to give back to the local community. To date, they have given over £25m to over 8,000 local charities and individuals in crisis.
By working alongside well know local businesses and families such as The Harveys, who own the Harveys Department Store in Halifax, they can direct funding to local causes which are in need of vital funds, to provide much-needed services.
Most recently Harveys Department Store donated £25,000 to the Community Foundation, which will be added to their existing fund and used to increase life chances for young people across Calderdale.
Managing Director Tracy Harvey said “The team at Harveys are absolutely delighted to be able to present this cheque for £25,000 to the Community Foundation For Calderdale. As an independent local business, we depend on our local community for our livelihoods, and it is incredibly important to us that we put back as much as we can. There are so many fantastic charities and organisations doing so much good in our area, and we find that the Community Foundation is a great way to ensure that our donations are used where they are most needed”.