Michael Ashcroft has given millions in recent years to support charities specialising in crime prevention, education and child protection. He wishes that many more businessmen would to do the same. “In the past, successful entrepreneurs funded schools and hospitals, public parks and libraries. We need to rekindle that spirit”.
In 1988 Michael Ashcroft formed the Community Action Trust, a three-way partnership between the business community, the police and the media. Based on models he had seen in the United States, the CAT provided an anonymous, free telephone line to members of the public who wanted to give information about crimes. Rewards were also offered if charges followed.
In 1995 CAT became the Crimestoppers Trust: the only UK charity that helps to solve crime.
Since Crimestoppers began it has received over 1,014,000 calls leading to over 87,400 arrests and the recovery of stolen property worth more than £103 million. At the same time illegal drugs to the value of £159 million have been seized and removed from UK streets. Over 800 people have been charged with murder or attempted murder as a result of information reported to Crimestoppers.
Retired former Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Lord Imbert, is one of many experienced people who serve on the Board of Trustees chaired by Michael Ashcroft.
Another of Michael Ashcroft’s passions is education. After leaving school, he worked for a HND, Higher National Diploma, in Business studies at Mid–Essex Technical College, now Anglia Ruskin University. Determined that other young people should have a similar chance to succeed in life, in 1999 he gave £5 million towards the building of the new Ashcroft International Business School at the University. Officially opened by the Earl of Wessex in 2003, it is now one of the largest business schools in the UK, with more than 3,000 students and 80 full-time staff. Michael Ashcroft has also created a $1.5 million scholarship programme for up to nine students a year from Belize to study for a three-year business degree at the school. Lord Ashcroft is the Chancellor of the University.
Ashcroft Technology Academy
Eight years earlier (in 1991) he founded ADT City Technology College, now Ashcroft Technology Academy (ATA), in south-west London to provide a free education for more than 1,000 inner city children of all abilities and backgrounds. The schools conversion to ATA as part of the new Government backed Academy programme, will enable it to continue building on the highly successful reputation of ADT College. With £13million pounds of new buildings and refurbishment ATA will offer new and wider opportunities to its pupils and their families allowing them to achieve the highest possible results and assist in the regeneration of their community. As Chairman of the College Trust Michael Ashcroft continues to support the school and its many accomplishments.
Michael Ashcroft also supports education, health, arts and sports charities in the Caribbean and Central America through the Michael A Ashcroft Foundation. In 1993 he endowed The Ashcroft School in the Turks and Caicos Islands in the British West Indies.
Significant support has also been given in the UK to the NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children), the Victoria Cross and George Cross Association, the Disability Foundation, RAFT (the Restoration of Appearance and Function Trust), Cliff Richard Tennis Foundation, The Stroke Society, and in the US to The Carter Center and Cleveland Clinic.