about the foundation


Photograph of Peter HarrisonThe Peter Harrison Foundation was founded by Mr Peter Robert Harrison in April 1999.

In October 2000 Peter completed a Deed of Gift under which he and his family gifted £30 million as a capital endowment to the Foundation.

Peter Harrison was born in Cheadle, Cheshire. After leaving school at 16, he qualified as a chartered accountant in 1959. His early business career included appointments with the Ford Motor Company, Firth Cleveland and Crest Nicholson Group PLC.

Peter Harrison acquired Chernikeeff – one of the companies in the Crest Nicholson group – in 1978 and, as Chairman and Chief Executive, he developed Chernikeeff over twenty-two years into the largest privately held computer networking and "internet" integration company in the United Kingdom.

In 1999/2000 Peter sold his shares in Chernikeeff to Dimension Data Holdings Plc, a global networking and e-commerce company. In October 2000 Peter completed a Deed of Gift under which he and his family gifted £30 million from the proceeds realised from the sale of Chernikeeff as a capital endowment to the Peter Harrison Foundation.

In 2009 the Foundation celebrated its 10th anniversary.  At this point over £19.6 million had been distributed to 375 charities throughout the United Kingdom.  In the Queen's Birthday Honours List 2010 Peter Harrison was made a Commander of the British Empire (CBE).

In recognition of his philanthropic work, Peter was knighted (Knight Grand Cross of the order of the Nation) on 24th April 2013 by Her Excellency Dame Louise Lake-Tack, Governor General of Antigua and Barbuda at a ceremony in Government Office in the capital, St John's.

The Objects of the Foundation provide that these funds:

“Be applied for such charitable institutions or such other objects which are charitable in accordance with the laws of England and Wales as the Trustees may in their absolute discretion select”.

The net annual income of the Foundation - approximately £1 million, depending on investment returns - may be made available for distribution each year.

Initially the Foundation had four Trustees: Peter Harrison (Chairman); Joy Harrison; Julia Harrison-Lee and Peter Lee.  Sadly, Joy Harrison died on 8th September 2012.  She had always shown a kindly, dutiful and sincere commitment to the beneficiaries of the Foundation and is very greatly missed.    Nick Harrison, son of Peter and Joy, agreed to join the board in May 2013.

As a keen and active sportsman throughout his life, Peter Harrison believes that education and sport provide the key stepping stones to self-development, creation of choice, confidence building and self reliance. A pioneering and successful businessman, entrepreneur and sportsman himself, Peter wishes to share his success by making these stepping stones more readily available to those who may be disabled or disadvantaged and who may not otherwise have the opportunity to develop their self potential.

The creation of the Foundation is the means by which Peter hopes that this may be achieved. In the first few years since its formation, the Foundation has distributed over £10 million and has made grants to over two hundred and fifty charities.

To see an interview with Peter Harrison in which he explains the background to the foundation please click here.

The Trustees wish to support those charitable activities that demonstrate an existing high level of voluntary commitment, together with well planned and thought out projects.


The Foundation is a Registered Charity, number 1076579, and is a member of the Association of Charitable Foundations.



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