Our founders, Patrick

and Frances Connolly

Patrick and Frances Connolly are from Northern Ireland, Patrick from Belfast and Frances from Strabane. They have three grown daughters and three wonderful grandchildren. They moved to Hartlepool to work in 1990, planning to stay only a few years but stayed 25, their twin girls were born in the town and two of their daughters still live in the north east of England. Despite their love of their adopted home their roots are firmly in Northern Ireland therefore, when the couple had the good luck to win the lottery, one of their first acts was to begin setting up this charity to give something back.

Caroline Clarke

“It was an incredible honour when Frances invited me to become a trustee in the charity she was planning to establish in her mother’s memory. Its focus/direction is a true manifestation of the generosity of spirit that always epitomised these two ladies. Its benefits will be far reaching.”

Michelle O’Neill

“I have worked in the community sector for 25 years, with community projects to developed trust and relationship building and conflict transformation in. I volunteered and worked as an advice worker for citizens advice bureau for the last ten years. I have always had a strong belief in helping and supporting people who have been marginalised by society and need support to get back on their feet which I hope to continue to do through the work of the trust.”

Ann O’Neill

I met Frances during our secondary school years as we travelled together on the school bus. Over these years we became close friends and spent many hours of fun times together. We kept in touch and soon after her lottery win she asked me to be a trustee in this new charity. I am now chairperson and feel humbled and privileged to be part of a trust which can have a positive impact on people’s lives. As a teacher for thirty three years I have always led charity initiatives and now look forward to doing the same in the community.

Ann Floyd

I’m Francis’ sister Ann. Frances rang me one afternoon and said can you come to a meeting in Belfast on Wednesday in regards to the charity. I didn’t ask any questions and went to the meeting. Since then we have had a few more meetings and are making great progress. I’m glad Frances made that phone call and I’m delighted to be part of the team. Mum was such a generous person and it’s great Francis and Paddy are going to continue this in memory of our mother Kathleen.

Throughout the Pandemic we worked closely with the community delivering meals, groceries and fuel for the vulnerable over nine weeks.
Brian Meehan, Mark Lynch

Castlederg GAA