Lord-Lieutenant of the West Midlands, John Crabtree OBE, has been welcomed as a new president of the Heart of England Community Foundation.

Until 2003, John was senior partner of Birmingham-based solicitors Wragge & Co, now Gowling WLG, and is a former President of the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

He was voted West Midlands Businessman of the Year in 2003 and UK Lawyer of the Year in 2004, and has also received a life-time achievement award from Birmingham Law Society.

John, who has variety of community and charitable interests, said he is pleased to support the Foundation.

John said: “I have known about the Foundation and the excellent work it does for some time, so I am delighted to join as a president.

“Community foundations are vital to small groups and organisations which make a huge difference at grassroots level, but have little or no access to government funding.

“They also provide a vehicle for businesses and individuals who want to donate funding to help those in their local area, but do not know the best way to go about it.

“Heart of England Community Foundation is an extremely well-run and well-governed organisation which has expanded from its Coventry, Warwickshire and Solihull remit to support causes across Birmingham and the Black Country.

“I look forward to offering my support and helping promote this fantastic organisation in any way I can.”

Foundation Chief Executive, Tina Costello, added: “We are thrilled to have such an influential person joining the Foundation as our new president.

“He has connections right across the West Midlands and will be a wonderful addition in terms of introducing us to the right people and the right businesses.

“We look forward to working with him as we look to support even more amazing community projects across the area.”

Photo: Lord-Lieutenant John Crabtree OBE, Sir Dominic Cadbury, Tina Costello.

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