The GF Community Foundation

The GF Community Foundation is Granting Wishes with Charitable Donations

Kicking off their work within the local community, the GF Community Foundation has been granting wishes to primary and secondary schools within the local area.

Gifting a generous total of £10,497.45, The Foundation is working on a one-to-one basis with key members of staff to provide the much-needed funding for developments and improvements.

Tom Lavender, Group Foundation Manager, said: “The GF Community Foundation is excited to begin their work supporting these underfunded, local areas. We have been working directly with headteachers to ensure they have everything they need to support vulnerable children and teenagers with the purchasing of equipment and instruments and the development of their sensory spaces.”

One of the primary schools receiving a generous donation of £2,463.25 is Hetton Lyons Primary School, who will be using their funding to purchase indoor and outdoor games, sports equipment, football kits and outdoor furniture.

Speaking of their donation, headteacher Val Wilson, said: “Never more so than in the current climate has the outdoor play space been more important for children of all ages.  This money will provide essential resources across the spectrum and will ensure that every child at Hetton Lyons has something to engage, excite and energise them at key points throughout the school day, ensuring maximum play and learning opportunities”.

Other schools receiving grants from the GF Community Foundation are Dene Academy, Seaham High School and Easington Lane Primary School.

Sarah Nordstrom, headteacher at Easington Lane Primary School, is using their donation of £3,264.57 to develop and expand their indoor and outdoor sensory areas. “To receive this cheque from the GF Community Foundation, an organisation that is as passionate about our community as we are, will make a substantial difference to the lives of some of our most vulnerable children. We can’t wait to get started and plan to have the project ready for when the kids return to school this Autumn term.”

Tom Lavender added: “This is just the beginning for The Foundation. It will continue to invest in local people to revive communities by restoring hope, encouraging people to make positive changes and reigniting the community spirit within underfunded areas.”

Find out more about the Foundation and the great work they do in the community.

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Paul JohnsonGroup Financial Director

Paul Johnson is very much a home-grown talent.

He joined Great Annual Savings Group in its infancy, fresh from a youth career as a professional footballer with Hartlepool United.  He quickly established a reputation within the business and aced all required accountancy qualifications in the space of four years to become the Group’s Management Accountant.

Several successful projects later, Paul was promoted to Head of Finance.  When the former FD left GAS, he took on the mantle of the business’ most senior finance professional; boasting a string of incredible achievements all under the age of 30.


“I have witnessed phenomenal growth at the Group over the many years I’ve worked here and I’m looking forward to guiding the Group into an exciting new chapter.”

Interesting fact:

Paul made his professional debut for Hartlepool United against Bournemouth in the Football League.  Some say Danny Ings still resides in his pocket to this day.