Former Global Benefactor

Peter Cruddas was the International Award Foundation’s first Global Benefactor, supporting the Award in this capacity since 2005. His generous financial support and his personal commitment to the ethos of the Award, continues to make an enormous difference to the work of the International Award Foundation throughout the world. 

Peter tells us why he set up The Peter Cruddas Foundation:

"I set up The Peter Cruddas Foundation three years ago primarily to help young people. I really feel passionate about giving money away and helping others. It is something I feel compelled to do.

I invest in charities I feel passionate about. For example, I really like the Award because I left Shoreditch Comprehensive School at 15 and never had the chance to go on to further education even though I was smart enough and apparently have an IQ of 155 - whatever that means! I had to help feed the family so the decision to leave school early came down to money.  I was born in 1953 and grew up on a council estate. Dad was a porter at Smithfield meat market while Mum worked as a cleaner and did a brilliant job bringing up three boys; during the war she stayed in London to look after her mum and could have been killed on many occasions.

I genuinely believe that when you hit a certain limit with money the only way you can improve your life is by getting involved in charity. I say to any top business people: no matter how much money you have, a new yacht or new car will not give you happiness.

There is a big secret to being a philanthropist and the secret is this: giving is one of the most selfish things anyone can do because whatever I’ve put into a charity I’ve got back a thousand times.

When I was looking at good causes – and there are many – I wanted to find a good cause that was mature, with a proven infrastructure, that helps young people. And if you look at the Award, it’s got a lot of history, it’s got a very well organised structure, it’s international, and you can be sure that if you contribute to the Award, then the money will be used wisely."

Peter chose, after six years, to move aside as the Global Benefactor to make way for someone else who was willing to contribute significantly to the Award on a global scale. Peter remains associated with the Award and continues to support our Peter Cruddas Social Innovation Initiative and Special Projects work.