Trustees name charity after ancestor Henry Freeman, the Whitby lifeboatman
Lesley Jackson, a fisherman’s daughter from Bridlington who overcame tragedy at the age of 23 to become a successful businesswoman, has launched the Freeman 1st Foundation with Stuart Sanderson and Leanne Brewis, to help talented young people achieve their potential.
The co-founder and co-owner of Hudson Contract has named the charity in honour of her ancestor Henry Freeman, the famous lifeboatman and sole survivor of the 1861 Whitby lifeboat disaster who saved more than 300 lives at sea.
F1F will provide financial and practical support to people aged up to 25 from Bridlington, Scarborough and the surrounding areas so they can develop their talents into careers. Beneficiaries to date include golfing prospect Matthew Raybould from Bridlington who is being assisted with living expenses during his golf scholarship at university in the United States.
Lesley Jackson, née Freeman, said: “We want to give a leg up to talented young people. We hear so many stories of teenagers with a special gift for the arts, academia, business or sport who cannot pursue their dreams because they lack the right support at the right time. Our east coast area is filled with talented young people with so much to offer. We want to help unlock opportunities for them. This fits in with the government’s levelling up agenda because we are promoting opportunity.”
F1F is working with schools, colleges and business to help identify people who would benefit from financial or practical support. Trustees include family members Leanne Brewis and Stuart Sanderson. The family will meet all of the running costs to ensure donations are spent entirely on beneficiaries.
Lesley Jackson said: “I have a strong personal reason for launching the Freeman 1st Foundation. I have always remembered the small acts of charitable kindness I received when I became a widow at 23 after my husband, a fisherman, was lost at sea. I have since been very successful over the years and now I want to give something back by giving young people with talent a leg up to succeed as well.
“Henry Freeman was my great-great uncle. He was a strong, courageous and determined man who was very forward looking for his time. We want the Freeman 1st Foundation to help lift up talented young people and create such stories of success.”
L-R Trustees Leanne Brewis, Lesley Jackson, Stuart Sanderson. Painting depicts Henry Freeman.