Leading timber specialist, James Donaldson & Sons Ltd is celebrating 150 years in business this year. To mark the company’s sesquicentennial, James Donaldson & Sons Ltd has decided to leave a 150th anniversary legacy for the benefit of the community. Mr Neil Donaldson, Chairman and CEO of James Donaldson & Sons Ltd explains:
“For a company to survive 150 years is incredibly rare, and is something which we within the firm are enormously proud of. The Directors and I did not want this amazing milestone to go unrecognised and gave much thought about how to celebrate the achievement.”
Two years ago, the Directors of James Donaldson & Sons decided to start a charity in recognition of the 150th anniversary. Rather than waste money in short term revelry, the company donated £150,000 to the new charity, and so The Donaldson Leadership Academy was launched.
The purpose of the charity is to help children who have not had an easy start in life to realise their true potential. These young people often have very low expectations for their future, so the aim of the Donaldson Leadership Academy is to challenge that perception.
The children are taken to social enterprise Columba 1400 on the Isle of Skye, which is devoted to leadership development. Here they develop team skills, self worth and confidence, and most importantly, enjoy themselves.
For the last two years the charity has sent 32 young people from the Levenmouth area where the company was founded to Columba 1400. Mr Donaldson explains the results:
“Seeing the effect this experience can have on children is incredibly moving. My wife and I have participated with the children on Skye in each of the last two years and not only have these visits been inspirational they have also been life changing.
“I hope that through the generosity of our shareholders and suppliers, we will be able to double the figure we have already invested in the Donaldson Leadership Academy.”
The Donaldson Group, which comprises Donaldson Timber Engineering Ltd, James Donaldson Timber Ltd, MGM Timber Ltd and Parker Kislingbury Ltd, began in 1860, when James Donaldson started selling timber from Tayport in Fife.
In the last 150 years, James Donaldson & Sons Ltd has grown to become one of the UK’s leading independent processors, manufacturers and distributors of timber and engineered timber products.
From one small branch in Fife, Donaldson’s has become a nationwide group with 21 operating branches across the UK.