As Chairman and founder of the Philip Green Memorial Trust (PGMT), Cyril Paskin was not only the driving force behind the hugely successful charity that achieved so much in terms of helping literally tens of thousands of disadvantaged children, Cyril was the PGMT. He was a remarkable man and anyone who was fortunate enough to get to know him knew that he had a heart of gold and fierce hatred of injustice.
The Philip Green Memorial Trust was formed in 1985 by Cyril following the death of his close friend and fellow philanthropist, Philip Green. Supported by a group of Phil's close friends, they pledged to continue the good work Phil had begun in the East End of London where he grew up. Phil's daughter Rosalind died at a very young age from meningitis, so it was decided that the majority of the Trust's efforts would be directed to helping children.
Some would say that Cyril was obsessed with raising money for charity but he knew that there were too many children to help but he was going to help as many as possible. His aim was simple - to make their lives better or a bit more comfortable.
However, whilst he was one of the most kind-heartened and caring people you could ever have the pleasure of meeting, he was also one of the most forceful and focussed. Occasionally you needed the skills of a bomb disposal expert to defuse him especially if he thought you could do more for the charity.
This determination and resolve resulted in Cyril, through the PGMT, raising literally millions upon millions of pounds for great causes, such as:
The Trust not only responded to the needs of large projects but to the daily exasperation of individuals and smaller organisations for whom a little money can change lives. For instance, a holiday for Mencap children whose hard earned funds were stolen by thieves.
When Cyril died on November 2011, it was the unanimous decision of the remaining committee members to honour this quite remarkable man. After 27 years of dedicated service to the PGMT, it was deemed fitting to incorporate his charity into the new charity formed in his honour.
His primary focus was “Helping children who simply wish to be healthy”; the PCT is therefore focussed solely on supporting children who are disadvantaged through no fault of their own. With no independent source of funds the PCT has taken on Cyril’s battle cry “It’s for the children”.
With virtually no overheads, the PCT intend to continue Cyril’s outstanding work and enrich many young lives.