A CHARITY which has supported good causes for over a decade is finishing on a high note with one final act of generosity.

In December of last year, former Middlesbrough footballer Colin Cooper and his partner Julie decided to end fundraising for the Finlay Cooper Fund, set up in memory of their little boy who died in 2002.

For 13 years the fund has raised hundreds of thousands in donations and have supported children’s causes across Teesside.

After taking the decision to cease fundraising at the end of 2018, the trustees of the Finlay Cooper Fund have been working hard to identify projects that they hope will leave a lasting memory of Finlay.

The fund will mark its time with three substantial donations to local charities, including a donation of £100,000 to Middlesbrough-based children’s charity MAIN, which will help the charity buy its own premises – a new centre which is to be named ‘The Finlay Cooper Centre’.

Mr Cooper said: "With the funds we have left we wanted to use that to go out with a bang.

"We have supported so many good charities and causes over the years and we wanted something to create that legacy we were aiming for in Finlay’s name.

"When MAIN told us they wanted to dedicate the building in Finlay's name, that really just struck a chord with us."

The Finlay Cooper Fund will also be donating to two other projects, the provision of a new sensory suite at Daisy Chain, and the purchase of a caravan at Filey by Middlesbrough and Teesside Philanthropic Foundation, suitable for the use of disabled children in the region to experience a holiday.

Mrs Cooper said: "What we feel the most is pride.

"The people of the North-East have always been so supportive and generous.

“Straight after we lost Fin people were sending us lots and lots of supportive messages. People were just organising events off their own back.

“We are immensely proud and grateful that so many people have wanted to help this cause. We feel very lucky and blessed to have been able to help so many people and organisations because of everyone's generosity."

Helen Jaques, charity manager at MAIN, said: "When we found out we were just dumbstruck.

"It's fantastic for us to be aligned with a charity with the same values as us and we want to keep our work going in its honour."