Dame Catherine became a multi-millionaire following her success. She donated over £1 million to medical research examining vascular diseases, including that conducted by the University of Newcastle with particular focus on detection of deafness in children. She also helped the university fund its Hatton Gallery and library. Furthermore, financial support went to less fortunate writers.
Today the Catherine Cookson Trust continues to make donations to worthy causes in the UK, especially to young or disadvantaged people in North East England, where Dame Catherine grew up.