About Freeman 1st Foundation
About the charity
Our registered charity is named in honour of our ancestor Henry Freeman, the famous lifeboatman and sole survivor of the 1861 Whitby lifeboat disaster. He was strong, courageous, forward-looking and determined, saving more than 300 lives in his career.
We want the Freeman 1st Foundation to give a helping hand to talented young people and create new stories of success in Yorkshire and the Humber region.
Meet the people behind Freeman 1st Foundation
Lesley Jackson – Chair
Lesley has lived in Bridlington all her life. She and husband David are parents to four married children and have eight grandchildren. Lesley has working-class roots and was educated in a convent.
Lesley was married at 17 and then widowed at 23 when her first husband drowned in a fishing accident. Alone with young children, Lesley has never forgotten the small acts of charitable kindness she received at that time. It gave her an awareness of how a leg up at the right time can be life changing.
She first gained experience in business when she founded and ran children’s nurseries in Bridlington in the 80s and 90s.
Lesley said: “There were no such childcare facilities here at the time – nothing for mums who wanted to work outside the home, including me. So I set up the first full day care nursery, which after much hard work became an award-winning enterprise. I then went on to found a second award-winning nursery.
“Nowadays I am the co-owner and director of a very successful national company which provides services to the construction industry. My passion over the years has become property development and interior design and I have built up a good property portfolio along the way. I have always had a keen interest in politics and I am fully engaged both locally and nationally. Outside work, I love spending time with my children and grandchildren.”
Stuart Sanderson – Trustee
Stuart is from Bridlington but has lived in Manchester since 2014 . He has a strong interest in education, social mobility and equality of opportunity. Stuart holds a first-class BA (Hons) degree in education and received a tuition fee reduction after achieving two academic excellence awards. His degree spurred his interest in politics and while at university met with Justine Greening, then Education Secretary and now founder of the Social Mobility Pledge. Stuart believes no one should be prevented from fulfilling their potential by the circumstances of their birth.
Stuart completed a press internship at IPSE in Westminster and community engagement research for Trafford Council before joining Hudson Contract in 2018. He was promoted to Marketing and PR Manager in 2019, taking responsibility for the rebrand of the company’s online and print presence. Day-to-day he is responsible for how Hudson is seen and heard by managing its e-newsletter, social media accounts, marketing campaigns and press activity, ensuring the company has strong brand awareness within its sector. Recently he designed and launched a website about construction apprenticeships for employers and aspiring apprentices whilst studying digital marketing part-time at London Business School.
Leanne Brewis – Trustee
Leanne attended Scarborough College Independent School where she gained 8 GCSEs at A* to C and completed up to Grade 6 in Singing. She moved on to Yorkshire Coast College, where she gained an overall Merit in Performing Arts, BTEC National Diploma.
Leanne’s love for singing saw her perform on the stage around the country before her passion for working with children led her in another direction. After gaining a BA (hons) degree in English, she moved on to complete a Postgraduate Certificate in Education – Advanced Early Years.
Leanne has taught in primary schools across East Yorkshire, including schools with extra challenges, and has always taken her love for music and the arts into the classroom. She is passionate about using music and the arts to help children express themselves.
Leanne is excited about her role in the Freeman 1st Foundation and helping to open doors for talented young performers in the area.