A CHARITY has been given a £56,000 boost – thanks to the former Mayor of Hebden Royd.
John Beacroft-Mitchell set up the Mytholmroyd and Cragg Vale Fund when he was Mayor of Hebden Royd in 2009 to 2010.
He raised more than £56,000, by digging up dormant Victorian trusts and attracting donations from a few pence to thousands of pounds.
In his mayoral year over £25,000 was raised and an agreement was reached to unlock £28,000 from dormant charitable trusts.
It has taken 12 months to finalise the details but the fund is now up and running and preparing to make its first grants.
It will be managed by The Community Foundation for Calderdale and the annual interest from the fund will be used to provide grants and support for community groups working in Mytholmroyd and Cragg Vale.
Coun Beacroft-Mitchell said: “It was an opportunity to put something back into the community that welcomed me and my family with open arms.
“With the help of the local churches and the Community Foundation for Calderdale we were able to bring thousands of pounds of dormant money back into community use.
“And with the generous donations of local people, the fund will start handing out grants in the coming months.”
The two dormant church trusts had been set up by local dignitaries in the 19th century to provide poor relief such as blankets and coal to families in the area.
Local vicar Canon James Allison said: “It is good to see that the money from these trusts continues to work for the community as the original benefactors intended, albeit in a more modern fashion.”
Steve Duncan, chief executive of the Community Foundation, said: “We work locally to encourage people across Calderdale to invest in their own communities.
“Allowing people to see the difference their donations are making to the communities of Calderdale is what we do.
“Philanthropic and charitable giving is not just for the well-off, but for everybody.”
Coun Beacroft-Mitchell said he hoped it would be a lasting legacy for the area.