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Since its founding, the charity has awarded:

  • Over £52 million
  • In 1,762 grants
  • To 1089 charities

Set up by computer entrepreneur Peter Harrison in 1999, the family Foundation has been bolstered by financial contributions from his children. Today, the charity awards around £1.5 million annually to transformative projects across the UK.

The Harrison family share a love of physical activity. They firmly believe in the transformative power of activity as a catalyst for self-development and self-reliance. The nationwide Active Lives programme provides grants to projects that foster participation in the life-enhancing opportunities that physical activity provides, especially among those who face physical, mental, economic, or social disadvantage and who live in the top 10% of areas of deprivation. The Foundation supports projects that remove barriers to participation for disabled or disadvantaged people and use participation in grassroots sport/physical activity as a catalyst to develop personal and life skills, assisting individuals in discovering and fulfilling their potential. The Active Lives programme supports charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs across the UK.

The Harrison family has also made a long-term commitment to providing support for the care of children and young people with a wide range of disabilities, special needs, and those who face significant disadvantage. The Positive Futures programme embodies Peter’s belief:

“We want to find ways of unlocking the potential in young people growing up in disadvantaged communities where opportunities in life can seem limited. We want to help give them confidence and self-belief to take on wider challenges.”

Through the Positive Futures programme, the Foundation provides grants across the South East of England, including Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Kent, Oxfordshire, Surrey, East Sussex, and West Sussex.

Peter Harrison was a self-made man. Born in Cheadle, Cheshire, he was the son of a Manchester bus driver and a seamstress. Despite leaving school at 16, Peter went on to qualify as a chartered accountant. In the early stages of his business career, Peter held positions at the Ford Motor Company, Firth Cleveland, and Crest Nicholson Group PLC. In 1978, Peter acquired Chernikeeff, a company within the Crest Nicholson group, and served as its Chair and Chief Executive. Under his leadership, Chernikeeff evolved into the largest privately held computer networking company in the UK. In 1999/2000, Peter divested his and his family’s shares in Chernikeeff to Dimension Data Holdings Plc of South Africa and established the Foundation with the proceeds. Beyond his business endeavours, Peter was a passionate sailor, former rugby player, and devoted Chelsea fan. Peter passed away on 18 June 2021, but his legacy endures through the Foundation’s continued embodiment of his generous spirit.