The North East public have the opportunity to win a £17,000 car whilst supporting the Open North Foundation, helping it turbo-charge the prospects of companies in the North East that have been ravaged by Covid-19.

The not-for-profit company has linked up with Charity Escapes and its Great Northern Raffle, to raise much needed funds to support small and medium sized businesses.

Charity Escapes is the brainchild of entrepreneur and philanthropist Jeremy Middleton, who was one of the first businesspeople to pledge support for the Open North Foundation, which launched in July.

The free to enter Great Northern Raffle provides the option of donating £5, £10 or £20 to The Open North Foundation by texting OPENNORTH to 70215 for more information. Prizes range from month to month and for November and December include a £17,000 Hyundai i10, donated by Bristol Street Motors.

The Great Northern Raffle was created in response to the Covid-19 pandemic to help the region’s charities at a time when all traditional ‘live’ fundraising events could no longer take place in large numbers. The November/ December raffle is now live and runs until 9pm on December 31st. The winner will be announced on Monday 18th January.

The Open North Foundation, was launched this summer and is a wholly business-led response to the pandemic. Its directors, ambassadors and supporters all provide their time free of charge, with the main aim being to raise funds that are then awarded as grant support for small to medium sized businesses across multiple sectors. In addition to financial support, beneficiaries can also benefit from a range of in-kind mentoring such as marketing, HR, finance and law.

Richard Swart, chair, Open North Foundation, said: “We believe this is an excellent cause and entry is free and easy with exciting prizes. Donations are optional but ultimately support a wide range of great charities, now including the Open North Foundation, as a social enterprise.

“Jeremy Middleton is a founding supporter of the Open North Foundation and has pledged funding to support us. So, we have common cause to promote both the Great Northern Raffle and the Open North Foundation in the best interests of our brilliant, but challenged, North East community.

“We are working closely with leading business figures and others in the North East business community to raise money at all levels to help those most in need to recover from this awful challenge and are delighted to further cement the relationship with somebody of the calibre of Jeremy and his brilliant charities. He has welcomed us with open arms as a social enterprise charity to all intents and purposes. We are expecting to make further exciting announcements in the near future as others prepare to join with us in our mission. Donations large and small are most welcome and can also be done by completing the pledge form on

Jeremy Middleton said:  “We’re delighted to have the Open North Foundation on board and would encourage other good causes to follow suit. The Open North Foundation is supporting the region’s businesses at an incredibly challenging time, I am proud to be personally involved and pleased that it will benefit from the Great Northern Raffle fundraising.”