Halifax Foundation for NI appoints its first ever patron
The Halifax Foundation for Northern Ireland has appointed Jim McCooe as its first Patron to continue to foster close links between the business community and the third sector.
The Portadown man, who holds a senior leadership role in Lloyds Banking Group in NI, has been a key supporter of the Foundation for 11 years and is a strong advocate for the grant funding body’s work with grass roots organisations helping the most vulnerable in society.
He said: “I am so proud of the work of the Foundation and the good causes that it funds. In this newly created role of Patron of the Foundation, I will offer support at every opportunity. I speak regularly to politicians and business leaders about the need to help disadvantaged communities and my new role will help cement relations between decision makers and the third sector.”
Brenda McMullan, the Foundation’s Executive Director, explained that Mr McCooe’s roles as Lloyds Banking Group’s Regional Ambassador and long-standing Trustee of the Foundation has strengthened the relationship between the bank and the Foundation.
“Jim shares our passion to support our grantees not just financially, but strategically. He was instrumental in helping the Foundation to tap into the skills and expertise that exist in Lloyds Banking Group and connecting colleagues with the community and voluntary sector. I am thrilled that Jim has agreed to become the first ever Patron of the Foundation, and that he will stand with us as we support the sector in the challenges ahead,” she explained.
Mr McCooe has been employed by the bank for almost 35 years, beginning his career as a cashier with Halifax Building Society. He is also currently Head of Customer Contact for Lloyds Banking Group in Belfast and a member of its national Senior Leadership Group. In 2010 he joined the Foundation as a Trustee and immediately loved the role.
He believes firmly in the importance of business supporting the third sector and feels that Lloyds Banking Group has fostered this ethos among its 2000 strong team in Northern Ireland.
He continued: “I couldn’t believe how much good work the Foundation was doing. I was so honoured and humbled to be able to offer my support.
“Our bank colleagues have a massive sense of pride in the work that the Foundation does and how we are able to contribute as an organisation. As patron I will be looking at new and innovative ways to strengthen this partnership.”
The Halifax Foundation for Northern Ireland is entirely funded by an annual donation from Lloyds Banking Group. Over the past 35 years, it has given £39 million to charities in NI.
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