A charity that transformed a derelict pub in North Wales into a community hub got the royal seal of approval during a visit by the Duke of Cambridge.

Brighter Futures supports people in Rhyl, Denbighshire, and has been awarded £56,800 from the Steve Morgan Foundation.

Steve Morgan and his wife Sally joined staff and volunteers at the charity to meet Prince William for the hour-long visit.

The duke said he was hugely impressed at how a derelict space had been given a new lease of life and hoped the partnership model could be rolled out elsewhere.

Shane Owen is the chairperson of Brighter Futures and said the royal visit had massively raised the profile of the facility.

“The support we’ve had from the Steve Morgan Foundation has been absolutely vital,” he said. “It’s not just the funding but the advice and guidance they’ve given us as we’ve grown.

“There’s a real feel-good factor around Rhyl and the royal visit has really helped lift our profile.”

Explaining how Brighter Futures came about Shane said: “From 2013 onwards there were lots of groups in Rhyl doing good work but they were scattered all over the place.

“There was a parent and toddler group, a men’s and women’s shed, a youth group and a disability group for example but we were wasting money because we were all paying out on rent and running costs.

“Rhyl has had its challenges and in 2018 we decided to come together under one roof and formed a consortium while we tried to find a building that we could share between us.”

At the same time a local pub called The Liverpool Arms was forced to close and Brighter Futures was given a 10-year lease.

Charitable status was achieved last year and the Steve Morgan Foundation provided funding for a caretaker as well as match-funding a Welsh government award to help purchase the freehold.

Shane explained: “Through a huge community effort we completely gutted the building and then brought it back to life. Now it’s the hub of the community.”

The charity has been supported by the local police and has been credited with helping reduce anti-social behaviour in the area though partnership working.

The Steve Morgan Foundation recommended Brighter Futures to The Royal Foundation, which prompted the visit by Prince William.

Shane said: “When we were contacted to say Prince William wanted to visit we thought it was a bit of a joke at first. We were in shock. However as soon as he arrived he put everyone at ease.”

The duke was given a tour of the charity’s hub, which includes a sports pitch, allotment, workshop and café.

Shane said: “Prince William had a real interest in people and seemed really impressed. He loved the model and wanted to see it emulated elsewhere. He even planted an apple tree.

“There was a really funny moment when we were showing the duke around the men’s shed and he found a pink watering can that had been left by someone in the youth group. He picked it up and said ‘every men’s shed within the UK should have one of these’ and everyone laughed.

“The visit was reported by the BBC, ITV and various newspapers. Without the support of the Steve Morgan Foundation I think we would have remained as separate groups.”

Steve Morgan said: “It was wonderful to see Prince William take such a genuine interest in the work of Brighter Futures. The Steve Morgan Foundation has been delighted to play a part in its creation and see it go from strength to strength.”



A Liverpool charity that helps former homeless people get their lives back has bought two new flats thanks to the Steve Morgan Foundation.

Imagine If Trust received £60,000 from Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and a similar amount from the Steve Morgan Foundation as part of the Community Match Challenge (CMC) Fund.

The charity provides practical and emotional support to people committed to getting their lives back on track and used the £60,000 from the DCMS to fund a new support worker role and meet service delivery costs.

They used an identical award from the Steve Morgan Foundation to help buy a couple of two-bedroom flats to help people integrate back into the community.

Chief executive James Sloan said: “We currently have a four-bedroom house for men and a three-bedroom property for women which provide supported living between hostel care and having a place of your own.

“We only take people who are really ready to move forward with their lives and we’ve seen people move on to have their own tenancies, reconnect with families and overcome addictions.

“We call ourselves a place of change. If you just want to watch daytime TV we’re not for you. However if you want to get back into employment then we can help.

“The £60,000 from Steve Morgan Foundation meant we could put down a deposit on two flats in Wavertree. They’re literally on our doorstep and give us more flexibility. They will be aimed at people who have been in our shared houses and want to take the next step towards independence.

“Our support is tailored to our tenant needs and the new flats give those in the shared houses something to aspire to. The flats have more space, privacy and their own bathrooms.

“We couldn’t have done it without the Steve Morgan Foundation and the help from the DCMS has also been invaluable. This will change people’s lives for the better.”

Imagine If Trust was founded in 2012 and works to bring about transformation through a range of community projects. It aims to relieve poverty, promote education and strengthen families.

Since opening its first property in 2016 Imagine If Trust has housed 55 tenants with the longest tenancy being just over 18 months.

Steve Morgan, founder of the Steve Morgan Foundation, said: “We were delighted to partner with the DCMS as part of the Community Match Challenge (CMC) Fund.

“In total we handed out £20m in 59 days and supported more than 125 charities, including Liverpool-based Imagine If Trust, who are doing some amazing life-changing work in the community.”


A Liverpool mum has spoken of her joy after discovering her son was a major inspiration for a £300m charity foundation – 23 years after he died of cancer.

George Hulme – known as Georgie – was only four when he lost his battle with acute myeloid leukemia.

Just before he died the youngster had his photo taken with Redrow founder Steve Morgan ahead of the entrepreneur’s attempted 365-mile Guinness Book of World Records’ trek across the Pyrenees in aid of a new oncology unit at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.

A smiling George was pictured wearing the businessman’s builders boots and the photo has had pride of place in his mum Janet Hulme’s house in Speke ever since.

Tragically he died shortly after the photo was taken but Mr Morgan never forgot the meeting and said George was a major inspiration for the creation of the Steve Morgan Foundation in 2001.

The entrepreneur has donated assets totalling £300m in that time and has spoken about George’s influence in his life in interviews.

Janet had been unaware of her son’s involvement until the article appeared in the Liverpool Echo on April 10 by disability champion Tom Dowling in which Mr Morgan recounted his meeting with George.

She said: “I couldn’t believe what we were reading. My two daughters read the Echo with me and said ‘they’re still talking about our Georgie mum’. It would have been his 27th birthday on April 12 and I said ‘it’s a sign’. It’s so lovely and it really lifted me up.

“I’ve never forgotten that photo and how much it cheered Georgie up. Steve and three of his friends were about to embark on a charity trek from the Mediterranean coast across the Pyrenees to the Atlantic coast. The team popped into the ward before they left.

“Georgie was in bed and Steve said to him ‘do you want to try my boots on?’ He jumped out of bed and absolutely loved it. Georgie and Steve were both made up and it gave everyone a boost.”

The Pyrenees trek raised £365,000 for the new oncology unit but despite the best efforts of doctors Georgie died at home after suffering a relapse.

Janet recalled: “Georgie was my first child. I was 22 when he was born and he was such a big character.

“His father Ady is a Cockney and I’m a Scouser so there was always lots of banter flying around. Georgie used to love it. At the age of three he started getting sticky eyes which the doctors thought was conjunctivitis

“However his eyes started to swell and his stomach was swollen and as a mum I knew something was wrong. The consultant at Alder Hey decided to check his bone marrow and Ady said ‘they’re going to see if he’s got cancer’. A few hours later we were told he had acute myeloid leukemia.”

However things quickly went from bad to worse.

“The consultant explained it was a very aggressive cancer and said Georgie only had a 20 per cent survival rate,” recalled Janet. “Because he didn’t have any siblings we couldn’t go down the route of a bone marrow transplant so he started chemotherapy.

“It seemed to be working and the cancer went into remission but as soon as the treatment stopped he relapsed. The doctors tried everything but there was nothing they could do.”

Tragically Janet and Ady’s next child – a daughter called Gemma – was stillborn in June 1999.

Janet, now 49, said: “It was an emotional time but now I’m a very proud mum to 20-year-old Rosie and 12-year-old Caoimhe. Despite the fact they never met Georgie we talk about him all the time.”

Explaining how she came to see the article in the Echo she said: “April 10 was the day of the Grand National and it was one of Georgie’s favourite days of the year.

“After the race Caoimhe’s dad pulled up outside the house and told us he had seen the article in the Echo and handed it to Caoimhe to show me.  I couldn’t believe it.

“I’m involved in the Home is Where the Heart Is initiative, which is part of Everton in the Community and has been one of the beneficiaries of the Steve Morgan Foundation.

“Lots of people would like to walk in the shoes of Steve Morgan and I’m proud to say my little boy did just that.”

Steve Morgan said meeting George encouraged him to become a philanthropist.

“George was a special little guy who became our mascot for the trek,” he said. “One of the nurses told me before we set off for the Pyrenees how seriously ill he was and that he only had days to live.  That news upset us all so very much, I don’t mind admitting that I cried.

“On the second day of the walk it was freezing cold and a driving blizzard, we were between 1,000-2,000m high that day. We started our trek at 5.30am and walked through to about 6pm or 7pm that night. It was relentless.

“The weather was relentless all day and one or two of the guys said ‘why don’t we just ease off today?’ and I just said ‘let’s do it for George’.  Without doubt, it was George who took us through that day.

“When I came back, I was determined to do more to help others and set up something special for charity.

“I stepped out of Redrow in November 2000 and within six months I set up the Foundation. 20 years later I still have that photo of George on our wall.”

An initiative aimed at getting more people in Liverpool to cycle has been given a £147,000 windfall by the Steve Morgan Foundation and the  Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

The Liverpool Wheels for All project will be based at Springfield Park, alongside the world-leading Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.

The scheme is open to everyone and will also provide inclusive and accessible cycling equipment facilities to make sure that disabled people don’t miss out.

It’s hoped that patients at the nearby Alder Hey Children’s Hospital will also be able to take advantage of the facilities as part of their rehabilitation.

The project has the backing of Liverpool City Council, as part of their plan for better cycling routes across and their goal of creating a city that is inclusive for everyone.

The scheme has been awarded  a total of £147,842 by the Steve Morgan Foundation and the DCMS as part of the Community Match Challenge (CMC) Fund.

Steve Morgan said: “I know the value and benefit of regular exercise and by providing the best facilities we hope to open it up to everyone.

“Wheels for All is exactly that. It will make cycling more accessible to more people and I’m absolutely delighted that they’re partnering with Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.

“This is exactly the type of initiative the Steve Morgan Foundation and DCMS came together to support as part of the Community Match Challenge (CMC) Fund.”

The £147,842 Community Match Challenge Fund has been used to buy a range of bicycles, trikes, specially adapted bikes  and a container to store them in that will be based at Springfield Park.

Ian Tierney is the charity director of Cycling Projects, which is behind the Wheels for All project.

He said: “Wheels for All will be open to all ages and abilities. We want to ensure that disabled people have the skills, knowledge and awareness that cycling is available and accessible for everyone in the city and we’ll be building strong partnerships with many of Liverpool’s disability support organisations and delivering regular inclusive cycling activities across the city.

“One of our key partnerships will be with Alder Hey Children’s Hospital to create a cycling offer for patients, their families, staff and volunteers connected to the hospital services. We have chosen Springfield Park as it is an ideal setting for introductions to cycling for people of all abilities.”

The organisers are also in talks with Sustrans about using the 11-mile traffic-free Liverpool Loop Line for cyclists wanting to go further afield.

People will be able to pre-book a bike for a small charge.

Sioned Haf Davies, children’s physiotherapist at Alder Hey Children’s  Hospital, said: “Now more than ever it is important to us all to keep physically active and look after ourselves and our family.

“Cycling is a great way of keeping fit and healthy and a great social activity for children with learning or physical needs, making it an accessible activity for all. Cycling has many health benefits: for example, improving physical fitness, self-confidence and physical skills, while also improving mental well-being. Wheels for All for accessible cycling is a fantastic initiative at Springfield Park for all families to enjoy.”

Councillor Pam Thomas, Liverpool City Council’s cabinet member for an inclusive and accessible city and herself a wheelchair user said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to create a place where those with a range of disabilities can access the health benefits of cycling with specially adapted cycles.

“The fact that the new hub is located in the emerging new Springfield Park alongside our children’s hospital also provides potential for new approaches to therapy and rehabilitation for those undergoing treatment in Alder Hey.”

A Wrexham woman born with a rare genetic order that means she’s only 3ft 4ins tall says she’s been given a new lease of life after the Steve Morgan Foundation bought her a £15,000 state-of-the-art wheelchair.

Eleanor Taraborelli is 23 but says she regularly gets confused for being a child because she has a condition called Morquio syndrome, which is a type of dwarfism.

The condition affects a sufferer’s bones and spine, organs and physical abilities and means Eleanor is unable to walk so is very reliant on a wheelchair.

However her old wheelchair was unable to support her body so she applied to the Steve Morgan Foundation for help in buying a top-of-the-range model costing £15,000.

She said: “It’s gives me more independence and it doesn’t hurt my back like the old one because it’s made to measure and has a special support. I’m so grateful to the Steve Morgan Foundation.

“Because of my size people stare at me all the time.  Despite being 23 they think I’m a little girl. It makes me feel a bit rubbish.”

Mum Dawn said her daughter wasn’t diagnosed with Morquio syndrome until she was two but she already suspected something was wrong.

“I’ve got two older children and Eleanor couldn’t sit with her legs in front of her because she has no balance,” she said.

“They did a blood test and the consultant pointed to a photo in a book and said ‘this is what your daughter is going to look like’.”

Eleanor needs round-the-clock care and her mum said her wheelchair is the only way she can get about.

“Eleanor spends long periods of time in her wheelchair but the back support in the old one was uncomfortable and she couldn’t recline,” said Dawn.

“The occupational therapist recommended a customised one but that cost £15,000 and there was no way we could afford that.”

They applied to the Steve Morgan Foundation and were awarded the money from their Enable Fund.

Dawn said: “It’s brilliant. Eleanor has had to shield because of Covid but when she’s able to get out and about this will change her life.”

Steve Morgan said: “I’ve always said it’s not the amount of money you give out but the difference it makes to people’s lives. Last year we gave out a record-breaking £27m to support charities impacted by Covid-19 but it’s rewarding to see £15,000 can make such a difference to someone’s life.”

Little Meghan Kewley has been given the gift of walking thanks to a grant from the Steve Morgan Foundation.

Nine-year-old Meghan has a rare condition called cardiofaciocutaneous syndrome and regularly suffers from seizures.

The condition causes vision impairment, uncontrolled epilepsy and a list of other issues relating to digestion.

Although she can’t communicate in any way she can understand gestures.

Meghan attends Springfield Special Needs School in Crewe but because of Covid-19 she and her family have been shielding at their home in Nantwich, Cheshire, since March 2020.

Although the youngster can sit independently and crawl she needs full support from specialist equipment. Meghan is a wheelchair user and has a standing frame and a correctional device to stretch her knees.

Meghan had been given a pacer walking frame by the NHS but had outgrown it and there wasn’t a budget for a new specialist £3,000 Jiraffe walking pacer.

When the youngster used the Jiraffe pacer and adjustable saddle seat for a trial period it allowed her to move more independently, which she’d been unable to do during lockdown.

Meghan’s parents Amanda and Michael Kewley applied to the Steve Morgan Foundation and were awarded an Enable Grant so they could get their daughter her very own Jiraffe walker.

Proud dad Michael said it was emotional experience seeing his daughter take her first steps with the walker.

He said: “Neighbours have been coming up to us and saying how smiley and happy Meghan is. Seeing Meghan make other people happy makes us happy.

“Having been confined to the house because of Covid-19 it’s so lovely to see her out and about.

“We can’t thank the Steve Morgan Foundation enough. They have given Meghan the gift of walking.”

Delighted mum Amanda said: “Because she can’t speak, routine is very important to Meghan. If I got her leg supports and coat out she would know she’s going on her walker and she gets so excited.

“When the lockdown is over a couple of local children have invited her to go to the park at the bottom of the road and we will be with her of course. It’s something that Meghan has never done. She has become so nosey! She watches everything that is going on. Even the regular delivery drivers and postman acknowledge her and wave to her.

“We could never have afforded the £3,000 ourselves but it’s priceless to Meghan. We’re so grateful to the Steve Morgan Foundation. Words can’t sum up how we feel.”

Steve Morgan said: “When we set up the Steve Morgan Foundation in 2001 it was to change the lives of people like Meghan. Last year we gave away £27m to support charities impacted by Covid but we know the £3,000 grant awarded to Meghan has changed her life too. It’s very humbling to know.”

Philanthropist Steve Morgan has pledged that the charitable Foundation that bears his name will continue changing lives for ‘centuries to come’.

The founder of Redrow was talking on the 20th anniversary of the Steve Morgan Foundation and said he was more determined than ever to keep helping improve the lives of vulnerable people in Merseyside, Cheshire and North Wales.

In 2020 the Steve Morgan Foundation handed out a record-breaking £27m to hundreds of charities struggling with the impact of Covid-19, helping more than 2.2 million people in the process.

Mr Morgan said: “I’m incredibly proud that we’ve reached our 20th anniversary. The Steve Morgan Foundation is about the millions of people we’ve been helping for two decades and will continue to help for centuries to come.

“2020 was the biggest year in our history because of Covid-19 and I’d like to think it was a case of ‘cometh the hour, cometh the Foundation’.”

In total the Foundation distributed a record-breaking £27m  – including £10m from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport as part of the Community Match Challenge Fund – but Mr Morgan said it was the pace at which the money was distributed that was so crucial.

“We allocated £20m to more than 125 charities in just 59 days,” he said. “I don’t think any other Foundation came close to giving away that amount of money so rapidly. It made a massive difference to some of the most vulnerable people in society when they needed help the most.”

It was back in 2001 that Mr Morgan set up the Steve Morgan Foundation soon after leaving Redrow for the first time.

He recalled: “Before leaving Redrow I gave my last three years’ salary to the Alder Hey Hospital where they were raising funds for a children’s oncology unit.”

In 1998 he helped raise a further £365,000 for the appeal by leading a trek across the Pyrenees, attempting to be included in the Guinness Book of Records. One of the patients in the existing oncology ward was a four-year-old cancer patient called George who ended up changing the direction of his life.

“On the day we were setting off for the Pyrenees a group of children came to Liverpool Airport to wave us off,” he explained. “The ward sister pulled me to one side and said, ‘I’m not sure that George is going to be with us by the time you get back’. On the second day of the walk it was driving a blizzard. It was freezing cold and it was thinking of George that took us through that day.”

George tragically died but was partly the inspiration behind the entrepreneur founding the Steve Morgan Foundation in 2001. The Foundation supports charities that help people with physical or learning disabilities, the elderly, and the socially disadvantaged in Merseyside, Cheshire and North Wales.

Five years later Mr Morgan was watching the 2006 FA Cup final between Liverpool and West Ham United at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff when he had a tap on the shoulder.

“I turned around and it was George’s dad,” recalled Mr Morgan. “He said he was so proud of everything we’d done for George. That meant so much.”

Since 2001 the philanthropist has gifted over £300m to the Steve Morgan Foundation to secure its long-term future.

As well as helping thousands of charities the Foundation is the largest donor in history of the type 1 diabetes charity JDRF, having donated £7m.

The Steve Morgan Foundation has also built a new Maggie’s Centre in Clatterbridge Merseyside and will build a second Maggie’s Centre at the Royal Liverpool Hospital at a cost of more than £5m.

“We’ve also funded over 90 minibuses which has enabled thousands of vulnerable people to get out and about,” he said.

“Sometimes you look back and think how quickly the last 20 years have gone but the Foundation is well placed and well funded to help those that need it for centuries to come.”

A charity dedicated to eradicating type 1 diabetes has said the support of the Steve Morgan Foundation is changing lives.

The Foundation is the biggest donor in the history of JDRF having given £7m, including £3m in Community Match Challenge funding.

As well as funding life-changing research it’s helped the charity deal with a £2m shortfall in its fundraising caused by Covid-19.

The Steve Morgan Foundation’s association with JDRF began after Sally Morgan’s son Hugo was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was seven.

JDRF’s spokesperson Allan Sutherland said: “Finding a cure for type 1 diabetes is just a matter of time and the Foundation’s continued investment in our research is bringing us one step closer to this, enabling us to accelerate vital clinical trials and boost our research portfolio.

“In addition to funding our life-changing type 1 research, we have been fortunate to receive a significant grant through the Community Match Challenge Fund, in collaboration with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

“It has been a lifeline at a time of great uncertainty for the future of the organisation, our research and community engagement work.

“It is allowing JDRF to recover from the financial impact of the pandemic, protecting the organisation and our staff in the short to medium term.

“It is also providing a unique opportunity for us to rise through the unprecedented challenges we face during the pandemic – it enables us to adapt and grow so we can respond to the changing needs of people with type 1 diabetes.”

JDRF was founded in the US in 1970 and opened in the UK in 1986.

Type 1 diabetes is where your immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing beta cells. When the body isn’t able to produce its own insulin, the level of glucose in your body becomes too high and requires regular doses of insulin to be injected.

Currently, scientists think that type 1 diabetes is caused by a combination of your genes and other, non-genetic factors.

Even in identical twins, who share the same DNA, one twin may develop type 1 and the other may not.

Type 1 diabetes can affect anyone, at any age, and it is not caused by poor diet or an unhealthy lifestyle.

Around 90 per cent of people with type 1 diabetes have no family history of the condition.

Allan Sutherland said a significant amount of the £7m received from the Steve Morgan Foundation had been spent on vital research.

 £4m of the funding is being spent directly on medical research to help people with type 1 to better manage their condition until we find a cure,” he said.

“The Steve Morgan Foundation funding has enabled research into how people with diabetes can avoid low blood glucose levels (known as hypoglycaemia or hypos) which can lead to complications.”

The remaining £3m is being spent on advocacy and information support on behalf of people with type 1, with a particular focus on the impact of Covid-19.

As part of this programme, digital resources and data systems are being improved to provide a more personalised engagement for people with type 1.

Core organisational costs are also being covered which helps to focus fundraising effort on providing funds for type 1 research.

Allan Sutherland said Covid-19 had left a ‘huge hole’ in the charity’s ability to raise money.

“Lockdowns and social distancing have led to the cancellation or postponement of in-person fundraising events, such as marathons, cycles and walks, which has deeply affected the way we raise funds,” he said. “In the last 12 months alone, Covid-19 has impacted our fundraised income by £2m.”

He described the charity’s partnership with the Steve Morgan Foundation as ‘transformational’.

“Through their personal experience of type 1 diabetes, Steve and Sally Morgan are also helping JDRF to raise awareness of the condition and empower thousands of people to be freer from the demands of their condition,” said Allan.

“Working in partnership with an influential family who also understand the impact of type 1 diabetes has been a fantastic way to reach even more people and make a greater impact.

“The support we have received from the Steve Morgan Foundation has been truly extraordinary and we are extremely grateful to Steve and Sally for their continued interest and commitment in our work.”

Sally Morgan said: “Hugo’s diagnosis with type 1 diabetes when he was seven was a bolt out of the blue. Anybody who is aware of type 1 diabetes will know it is a 24/7 365 day-a-year constant challenge.

“It is the only condition where the medication that keeps you alive can also kill you if it’s not administered properly.

“Having type 1 diabetes does not limit Hugo at all but it’s a life-long condition and the hope is that JDRF will find a cure.”


A brand-new Maggie’s Centre in Wirral is set to start helping its first cancer patients from early spring 2021.

Maggie’s Merseyside is being built within the grounds of Clatterbridge Health Park and will support people living with cancer across Wirral, Merseyside, Cheshire and North Wales.

The Steve Morgan Foundation is building Maggie’s Merseyside and a new Maggie’s at the Royal Liverpool Hospital at a cost of more than £5m.

The Steve Morgan Foundation is a long-term supporter of Maggie’s having committed more than £8m to the charity including £3m in 2020 from the Community Match Challenge Fund alongside the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS).

Kathy Wright, centre head of Maggie’s Merseyside, said: “Building work on Maggie’s Merseyside has continued to develop well despite the challenges of the current pandemic and we hope to be providing support from our new centre in the spring 2021. 

“The builders are Carroll Ltd and they’ve shown dedication and enthusiasm to ensure our centre progresses and we’ve had ongoing communication with both them and the Steve Morgan Foundation throughout.

“The new centre is much bigger than the current facility so will enable us to provide much more support to more people.

“Everyone is really excited about the opening of Maggie’s Merseyside.  It will be wonderful to have a permanent centre here on the Wirral.  We’re all extremely excited as we  wait for the moment we can start supporting people from the new centre. 

“The centre visitors, local hospital teams and the community are eager to access the new facilities as well as receiving support in the surroundings of a truly uplifting and inspiration building.”

All the Maggie’s centres are based alongside NHS hospitals and provide free support without the need for an appointment or a referral.

They’re run by expert staff who help people live well with cancer.  

During the pandemic Maggie’s centres have remained open to see people by appointment and limited drop-ins for those who are visiting hospitals, while following all guidelines.

The architecture of the Maggie’s building is vital and has been designed to feel like a home from home rather than like a hospital with a kitchen table at the heart.

The existing interim facility at Clatterbridge, which will be replaced by the new building, was built in 2014 for 3,000 visits a year but has been attracting more than 17,000 as demand has soared. 

Kathy said: “The new purpose-built centre will provide more space, which means when possible our professional staff will be able to deliver more of core programme, courses and support groups.  

“There are 18,000 new cancer diagnoses every year in Merseyside and Cheshire alone, Maggie’s Merseyside is hoping to be everyone’s home of cancer care across Wirral, Merseyside, Cheshire and North Wales, not only for the new diagnoses but for people living with and beyond cancer, along with their friends and families.”

Maggie’s Merseyside is being built in the same way as all 24 Maggie’s across the UK and the three abroad.  

Kathy said the support of the Steve Morgan Foundation has been critical.

“Our partnership with the Steve Morgan Foundation is hugely important,” she said. “Their support is allowing us to build two brand new Maggie’s centres in Merseyside, the first to replace the much used and much loved Maggie’s Merseyside interim centre on the grounds of the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, Wirral site and the second to be developed on the grounds of the New Royal Liverpool Hospital in the city centre, ensuring our support can reach as many people as possible.

“However, we are also incredibly grateful for the £3m from the Community Match Challenge Fund as this has allowed us to ensure people across England have the psychological support, they need now more than ever.” 

Steve Morgan CBE, chairman of the Steve Morgan Foundation, and his wife Sally attended a socially-distanced topping out ceremony at the centre in September.

He said: “I’m really excited by the opening of the new centre and our involvement goes far beyond funding. We’ve also been responsible for the planning, design and construction, which is very unusual for a Foundation.”

A second Maggie’s centre funded by the Steve Morgan Foundation will be built in the grounds of the new Royal Liverpool Hospital in the city centre and it’s hoped construction work can begin in 2022.

59 days. That’s all the time it took for the Steve Morgan Foundation to completely allocate the £20m Community Match Challenge Fund.

The fund consisted of £10m from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and £10m in match-funding by Steve Morgan. 

The £10m from the DCMS came from a £85m Community Match Challenge Fund and formed part of the Government’s £750m support package to support charities impacted by Covid-19.

Steve Morgan CBE, chairman of the Steve Morgan Foundation, said: “I’m really proud of Foundation’s work in the last two months, which has meant we’ve been able to distribute £20m of match-funding with the DCMS to more than 125 charities, predominately in the North West.  

“These were charities that were desperately in need of funding. The team worked hard to get the money out in such a short space of time. I’m very proud.”

It’s estimated that the Community Match Challenge Fund has benefited more than 850,000 people.

The charities to receive awards include cancer support  organisation Maggie’s, type 1 diabetes charity JDRF UK and Stick ‘n’ Step, which has been helping children with cerebral palsy for nearly 20 years.

Brunswick Youth and Community Centre, which opened its doors in Liverpool in 1947, is another one of those to benefit.

The organisation provides a broad range of services, including two youth clubs, pensioner yoga groups and awareness raising in areas such as social media and knife crime.

Centre manager Keith Lloyd said: “The match-funding has enabled us to continue to provide emergency support to children, young people, vulnerable families and the elderly in Bootle, who have been disproportionately affected by Covid.  

“We were going to have to stop providing this support at the end of October but now can continue over the winter months and Christmas up until March 2021, which gives our community a reassurance that this weekly support will be there during the winter months.  

“The funding will also enable us to kickstart a programme of wellbeing and early intervention work in support of our children and young people and address some of the impact Covid has had on our community.  

“Without this funding this would not have been able to happen and will support our community to become more resilient again.”

Blackburne House, which supports vulnerable women in Liverpool, has also benefited from the Community Match Challenge Fund.

Executive director of operations Andrea Rushton said the grant will be transformational. “We will scale up our counselling and wellness provision to support 465 women over two years,” she said. “We offer a trauma informed reactive and responsive service.  

“We will be able to provide our service to many more women over the coming two years and provide them with connection, support and strategies that will help them through times of crises.”

The Steve Morgan Foundation has given out a record-breaking £27m to hundreds of charities in 2020 and helped more than 2.2 million people in the process.

The money includes over £6m handed out as part of the Covid-19 Emergency Fund and the £20m Community Match Challenge Fund with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS).

The Steve Morgan Foundation has also committed to build Maggie’s Merseyside and a new Maggie’s at the Royal Liverpool Hospital at a cost of more than £5m.

Steve Morgan CBE, chairman of the Steve Morgan Foundation, said 2020 was a year that nobody would ever forget.

“Covid-19 has a had a devastating impact on the world but I’m proud of the way that the Steve Morgan Foundation responded,” he said.

“The pandemic was always going to hit the vulnerable first because of the impact it had on the ability of charities to raise money,” he said.

“Our initial Covid-19 Emergency Fund swung into action in a matter of days, making more than 600 awards and directly helping more than 1.4m people across Merseyside, North Wales and Cheshire.”

As soon as that finished it was replaced with a £20m Community Match Challenge Fund, which saw Morgan match-fund a £10m award from the DCMS to help keep hundreds of charities open.

The full £20m included £3m to the type 1 diabetes charity JDRF UK and £3m to cancer support charity Maggie’s and was allocated within 59 days and directly benefited another 850,000 people.

The Steve Morgan Foundation was founded in 2001 and the previous highest amount awarded in a single year was £10m.

Morgan said: “£27m is a huge sum of money but the 2.2 million people directly benefited is even more significant.

“These include people suffering from social isolation, loneliness, mental illness, cancer and the victims of domestic violence.

“Charities couldn’t afford to wait months for an award so our team turned applications around and got the money paid into charity bank account in a matter of days.

“We’ve made a real difference in 2020 and will continue in 2021 in the year or our 20th anniversary.”

Morgan also pledged up to another £1m in match-funding to Cheshire Community Foundation’s Covid-19 Response Fund and paid for 45 Enabled grants for people in need of specialist equipment and eight new Smiley Buses.

Philanthropist Steve Morgan, who has given over £27m this year to charities impacted by Covid-19, has spoken out about having the virus himself.

The founder of the Steve Morgan Foundation has decided to share his experience of coronavirus because he says people can’t afford to be complacent now that a vaccine roll-out is imminent.

Morgan, 67, said: “We read a lot about people having the virus and being asymptomatic. I’m not here to scare people but that definitely wasn’t my experience.

“I lost 10lbs in weight, lost all my energy and was tired all the time. I was surprised at how badly it hit me.

“Having Covid definitely gives you a new perspective. As we approach Christmas people can’t afford to be complacent about catching it.”

The founder of housebuilder Redrow and his wife Sally were diagnosed in early November but have no idea how they caught the virus.

He said: “I’ll be honest, when I was diagnosed I thought ‘I’m a tough lad so let’s get on with it’. I consider myself to be a fit guy but Covid knocked me for six.

“Thankfully Sally had it milder than I did.  What I didn’t realise at the time was that all the research shows that statistically it hits men harder than women and that was our experience.

“I completely lost my appetite and couldn’t eat a thing. I lost 10lbs in weight. The big thing for me was the tiredness. I had no energy or motivation. I kept sleeping. My experience really brought Covid home to me.

“I hope by speaking out it will remind people that the best way of dealing with Covid-19 is not to catch it in the first place.”

Earlier this year Morgan launched the Covid-19 Emergency Fund and gave out £7m to support charities working with vulnerable people that have been affected by Covid.

The Steve Morgan Foundation partnered with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) in October to help hundreds of charities stay open and have allocated £20m to 125 charities in just 59 days.

Morgan said: “There is still much more work to be done. As well as the impact Covid is having on health it’s decimating business especially in the hospitality sector. A lot of small businesses won’t survive.”

  • The photo of Steve Morgan that accompanies this story was taken the day after he was diagnosed with Covid-19.