Essex Community Foundation

Fund biographies

Total funds:

Acorn FundAcorn Fund

The Acorn Fund was established in the early years of our history and enables us to utilise this discretionary funding to respond to our communities most immediate needs. As we grow so to must the Acorn Fund. Donations from companies and individuals who want to support us and the work we do are pooled into the Fund. The Acorn Fund is used exclusively for charitable purposes and the Foundation’s Trustees have full discretion to ensure funds are directed where they are needed most.

AJWAJW Charitable Fund

Created in 2009 by a family who wish to remain anonymous, this fund will support charitable projects and organisations across Essex with a preference towards the Epping district.

AlstonAlston Family Charitable Fund

Nicholas Alston CBE and his wife Philippa established the Alston Family Fund with ECF in November 2014. 

Nick was born and brought up in Essex moving around the county before he met Pippa in 1968 when her father retired to Chelmsford from the Army. They married in 1974 as Nick graduated from Cambridge and then embarked on public sector careers, Nick as a Naval Officer and then senior civil servant and Pippa as a physiotherapist.  They have two children, Lt Col Robert Alston MBE who serves with the Royal Artillery and Victoria Clayton who is a teacher.

After 30 years working in national defence and security Nicholas was awarded a CBE in 1997 and in 2012 he was elected as the first Essex Police and Crime Commissioner.

Nick's role as Police and Crime Commissioner has given both him and Pippa an insight into the importance and vital role of the voluntary sector across Essex in addressing needs that exist in so many local communities.  Through their family fund with ECF they want to increase their understanding of local issues and give support to where it is needed most.

AlveyNicki Alvey Bazlinton Trust

Born in Guernsey (Channel Islands), Nicki Alvey moved to Dulwich (London, England) when she was four, with her recently single Mother. After secondary schooling in Bexhill-on-Sea (East Sussex) and central London, and eager to start work, Nicki took a business qualification at a London Polytechnic.

A career in a variety of marketing roles in both the private/commercial and not-for-profit sectors, included Nicki working for the trade body for housing associations (National Housing Federation), where she met her husband Chris Bazlinton. They got married in 1995 and bought a house together in a rural Essex village.

Moving from Wimbledon in London, Nicki embraced rural life and became an active member of the community and a Parish Councillor in 1998 (until 2008). In 2002 Nicki broadened her social endeavours when she was appointed a magistrate for North West Essex (Harlow and Epping).  Now sitting in Chelmsford, Nicki continues to volunteer for the magistracy.

Unable to have any children of her own, and sadly losing one of her three Bazlinton step-children in a tragic pedestrian crossing rail accident (Elsenham 2005), Nicki decided to establish a Named Fund in her joint maiden (Alvey) and married (Bazlinton) names in her lifetime. Wanting to support vulnerable members of the wider Essex community, Nicki decided that the work of the Essex Community Foundation fitted perfectly with her own giving objectives, and is happy that the Named Fund will continue to do so in perpetuity.

ArthurArthur J. Gallagher Community Fund

Arthur J. Gallagher , an insurance broking company based in Feering, Essex, specialises in arranging commercial insurance programmes for businesses as well as private insurance for company directors. In July 2007, they established their Community Fund to give long-term support to local charities.

"We wanted to show our commitment to Essex and in particular Essex children and youth groups. We were keen to be involved with the amazing amount of charitable activity that takes place here and establishing a Fund with Essex Community Foundation aligns well with our corporate strategy. I also wanted my staff to be involved in deciding how the money is distributed, thereby engaging them with the great value that our Community Fund can bring to local people." Peter Blanc,Group Chief Executive

AsquithAsquith Family Fund

Anthony Asquith was born in Yorkshire but, at an early age, moved to Stratford with his family. Growing up in the East End of London, he was educated at Plaistow Grammar School and later at the North Western Polytechnic. 

Anthony’s interest in “all things on wheels” began when he started work with British Road Services in Hampstead as a management trainee.  British Road Services was renamed National Freight Corporation in 1969, and in 1982, the company was sold to its employees in one of the first privatisations of state-owned industry.  Career progression saw Anthony manage haulage depots in Barking, Silvertown, Dagenham and Stratford.

A change of direction followed when Anthony was appointed Express Services Manager at Grey Green Coaches in Stamford Hill, North London, responsible for managing the company`s services between Victoria and the towns of Romford, Brentwood, Chelmsford and Colchester, as well as the coastal resorts of Essex and East Anglia.

Early retirement gave Anthony an opportunity to devote more time to his interest in model railways and road vehicles, and he began to make models of the lorries, buses and coaches that had been so much a part of his career.  Before long, he was producing model kits for sale – a hobby that resulted in the formation of two small businesses known as Roadscale Models and Little Bus Company. 

Anthony has now returned to his homeland of West Yorkshire but retains strong links with Essex.  His charitable fund will keep that connection alive through the grants awarded in his family name.

BaileyBailey Family Fund

Created in 2012, this fund will support charitable projects throughout Essex with a strong preference towards pre-schools and the education of younger children in the Maldon area and surrounding district.

Bartella Charitable FundBartella Charitable Fund

Robert Bartella is a businessman and hotelier who owns the Heritage Leisure Group. In 2004 he asked his solicitor to set up a family charitable trust. His Solicitor suggested that a better alternative would be to establish a Fund with Essex Community Foundation who would have the knowledge and expertise to work with Robert and his family to give support to local charities. The Bartella Charitable Fund was established and gives support to organisations working with vulnerable children and their families.

"We have a fantastic relationship with ECF, they are kind, caring, informative and efficient. A Community Foundation should be a MUST everywhere in the UK and worldwide. I wanted to know that the money put into a Fund would be used here in Essex. My family and I have been delighted to see how our Fund has benefited local people and charities. Our family name will live on and our Fund will go on helping Essex charities for years to come" - Robert Bartella, Heritage Leisure Group

Bartleet Bartleet Family Fund

Ann and Anthony have lived in the parish of Great Tey for more than 50 years.  They chose to settle in north east Essex because they could commute to London whilst at the same time enjoy living in the countryside. 

Anthony retired as a marine underwriter 20 years ago.  Ann used to run a small business from home for a number of years, but has dedicated most of her time to working with local and national charities associated with the environment, historic buildings, landscape and access to the countryside.

For many years, the couple have supported a wide range of charities, providing their support through a family Trust with the Charities Aid Foundation.

Recently, however, Ann and Anthony decided that they would like a more local focus to their giving and transferred their Trust to ECF.  They will continue to make donations to their nominated charities and work with ECF to support voluntary organisations and projects in Essex that are in line with their charitable interests.

“It is increasingly apparent that the wellbeing of individuals and communities depends, among other things, on easy access to beautiful countryside close to home.  This, combined with its wealth of historic buildings, villages and towns, is what makes living in Essex such a pleasure” said Ann.

Ann and Anthony hope that their fund can, in a small way, help to ensure that this continues to be the case.

Belinda Starling Memorial FundBelinda Starling Memorial Fund

Belinda Starling Trim, lived in Wivenhoe, and died on 11 August 2006 following an operation to remove a cyst on her bile duct. She was 34 and left a husband and two small children.

English Literature, Drama and Music were Belinda's great loves and one of her happiest times was teaching Romeo and Juliet to teenagers in KwaZulu. Belinda's letters, sent back home that summer, clearly showed how much she enjoyed sharing her intellectual gifts with others less fortunate. Belinda died knowing that Bloomsbury would publish her first book, The Journal of Dora Damage. What she did not know was what a success it would be and the reviews it would recieve.

Now, in her memory, Belinda´s family have established the Belinda Starling Memorial Fund with ECF, to help young people in Essex, whose literary, drama or music ambitions cannot take root without  encouragement and money.

"It would have made Belinda very happy to know that a fund in her name was giving young people opportunities to realise their full potentia. We are so pleased to be working with the Foundation and feel very much a part of the team." - David Starling (Father)

BeresfordBeresfords Foundation

Paul and Joanna Beresford both grew up in Upminster and have lived in Essex all their lives. In the 1990’s they moved to Ingatestone with their three children, Vicky their eldest who is 33 and lives in Canada, Sarah 31, who works in London, and their youngest, Alex, who is 28 and manages the Chelmsford City office for the family business.Beresfords was set up by Paul’s parents in 1968 with the first office based in Upminster. Paul joined in 1975 after spending two years training in London at a surveying practice.

Today, Paul is Chairman of the Beresfords Group, which has over 25 offices and departments throughout Essex, Greater and Central London and provides services in sales, lettings, surveys and valuations, and mortgages.Paul, Joanna and their family have contributed to the work of many charities over the years and the team at Beresfords is always finding innovative ways to get involved in supporting many local and regional organisations and activities, as well as national fundraising events. Recently they raised money for the British Heart Foundation to thank them for the support given to Alex after he was diagnosed with a condition that required him to have open heart surgery in 2014.

Paul said, “Establishing a charitable fund in the name of the family and the business will allow us to bring all our giving together. Working with ECF means that we can support some of the less well-known local charities whilst having confidence that the money is being used efficiently and effectively.”

Birketts Charitable FundBirketts Charitable Fund

Birketts is a top 100 law firm with offices in Chelmsford, Ipswich, Cambridge and Norwich. Our charitable giving is focused on providing support to a wide range of voluntary and community groups in Essex which do not always have access to government or other large scale charitable funding and whose primary aim is to improve the quality of people's lives.

The main aims of the grant programme are to: Support local solutions to meet local needs; Promote community cohesion; Develop sustainable and supportive communities; Tackle disadvantage; Promote health and wellbeing. Grants of between £250 and £2000 are awarded by a committee comprising a cross-section of staff and partners of the firm.

Blanc Family Charitable FundBlanc Family Charitable Fund

Blanc Family Charitable Fund was established in 2008 and aims to support small, local voluntary and community organisations that are active in Essex.

Booth Charitable Fund Jerome Booth Charitable Fund

Dr. Jerome Booth is a well-known commentator on emerging markets and global economic events, and was part of the MBO creating Ashmore Investment Management in 1999.  He retired from Ashmore in May 2013.

Jerome’s private office is called New Sparta, and is based in Covent Garden.  He is also Chairman of the UK phone company New Call Telecom, Chairman of the investigative news journalism company ExaroNews, a Director of Lloyds broker CBC, and Chairman of Walpole Publishing which produces Moving On Magazine for school-leavers.

He is also a Visiting Professor at Cass Business School, a Governor of Anglia Ruskin University, Chairman of the Fitzwilliam Museum Development Trust and on the board of the Britten Sinfonia. 

BradwellBradwell Windfarm Community Fund

This fund was created in 2013 following the building of the windfarm near Bradwell. It provides grants to support a broad range of issues and charitable projects in the specific areas of Bradwell on Sea and Tillingham

Braintree & Greenfields Community FundBraintree District & Greenfields Community Fund

The Braintree District and Greenfields Community Fund was established in 2009 and provides voluntary and community organisations in Braintree district with the opportunity to apply for funding to support projects which help to either improve health and wellbeing, increase aspirations and opportunities, or develop skills through training.

Britvic Community FundBritvic Community Fund

Britvic Soft Drinks was founded in the mid-nineteenth century in Chelmsford and was known then as The British Vitamin Products Company. The Britvic range of juices were first produced in 1938, but it wasn't until 1949 that the Britvic brand was formally launched. Since then, the company has gone from strength to strength acquiring various well known brands, including Robinsons and Tango. The company also holds the UK franchises of Pepsi and 7UP.

As part of their overall policy on corporate responsibility and long-term corporate vision of supporting local communities, they established the Britvic Community Fund. The Fund will focus on supporting charities and voluntary groups in Essex, initially with a particular focus on those working with families in the Chelmsford area.

BrooksBrooks Family Fund

The Brooks family were brought up in Canning Town in London’s East End.  Frank was an entrepreneur who set up his own commercial art and photographic business in the 1950s, which proved to be very successful.  Charles joined the firm as it grew, and Ann had her own successful career in the City as a legal secretary. 

As the business continued to grow, they moved out to Woodford and then on to Theydon Bois.  The family has always supported charitable causes in the East End including a local Youth Club, and their descendants are keen to continue this legacy across West Essex and East London.  In particular they want to support voluntary organisations which are providing help to people suffering with poor mental health, the elderly and the arts.

Butler Family FundButler Family Fund

Sir Richard (1929-2012) and Lady Butler (1930-2015) were born in Essex and have lived most of their lives in the Halstead and Braintree area. Sir Richard was the first born son of Richard Austen Butler, better known as Rab, and Sydney Elizabeth Courtauld.  Rab Butler had a long and distinguished career in politics in which he held positions of office which included Under Secretary of State for India, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Home Secretary, Foreign Secretary and Lord Privy Seal.  Sir Richard studied at Eton and, following in his father’s footsteps, went on to Pembroke College, Cambridge where he read Agriculture.  After returning to Essex in 1952, having served 2 years national service with the Royal Horse Guards based in Windsor and Germany, Richard married his childhood sweetheart, Susan Walker.  His commitment to the National Farmers’ Union both as an Office Holder and then as President earned him a Knighthood for Services to Agriculture in 1981.

They established the charitable Fund in the family name to support local charities and to keep the Butler name alive forever.

Cherry FundAlan and Fay Cherry Fund

A Vice President of Essex Community Foundation Alan Cherry CBE DL, who sadly died in 2010, was a strong supporter of our work and an advocate for the community foundation model.  Alan was the Founder Chairman of Countryside Properties Ltd.

We are now honoured to be working with Fay to ensure we achieve the family’s charitable objectives of supporting voluntary and community activity in Essex with a focus on conservation, rural community issues and education in these areas. 

ChrysalisChrysalis Fund

The Chrysalis Fund was established to support voluntary organisations working to tackle issues surrounding mental health and those working with young children in areas of deprivation.

The donors, who wish to remain anonymous, have lived and worked in Essex for many years.  They feel strongly that their charitable giving should improve the lives of people who are struggling to cope with mental ill-health and help disadvantaged young children to maximise opportunities for the future.

Clark Family FundClark Family Fund

The Clark Family Fund was established in 2009. Charles and Sue have long been supporters of our work and Charles was our Chairman of Trustees from 2003-2009, he now remains active as a Vice President and a trustee of our national membership organisation, UK Community Foundations.

The aim of the Clark Family Fund is to support voluntary and community activity and in particular organisations supporting young people.

Colchester FundColchester Fund

The Colchester Fund was established as part of the strategic objectives of the Colchester Town Partnership in July 2003.  Tony Hales was Chairman of the Town Partnership from 2003 – 2004.  His vision was to establish an endowed fund and through fundraising initiatives and Town Partnership membership subscriptions, build the fund to create a lasting legacy for Colchester. 

Although the Town Partnership ceased to operate in 2007 the Colchester Fund, which now incorporates the Royal London Community Fund and the Mersea Island Fund, continue to support charitable activity across the Colchester District. 

Colne Community Builders FundColne Community Builders Fund

Colne Community Housing, who provides more than 3,000 homes in the north of the county, is working with ECF, using our experience of channelling funds to local organisations, to make their grant-giving programme more effective.

During the year, £20,000 will be distributed to voluntary organisations that are tackling a social need in their community.  Colne does not restrict its funding to particular themes, believing that local people have the best knowledge about what is needed in their neighbourhood.

“We invited ECF to help us develop Colne’s grant-making scheme further, because we recognised their unique understanding of the local voluntary sector landscape and ability to leverage additional resource from other the charitable funds they manage.”  - Alistair Heron, Colne’s Partnerships and Business Development Manager

Comic ReliefComic Relief

Comic Relief was set up 25 years ago and has raised millions of pounds through Sport Relief and Red Nose day to tackle poverty and social injustice in the UK and some of the poorest areas of the world. www.comicrelief.com

ECF has been distributing grants for Comic Relief and Sport Relief to local voluntary organisations in Essex since 2005. To date, over £160,000 has been distributed to help the most disadvantaged people in our communities and to provide sporting opportunities to people who would not otherwise be able to take part.

CommunityCommunity Resilience Fund

The Community Resilience Fund is a collaboration between Essex County Council, The Police and Crime Commissioner of Essex and Essex County Fire and Rescue. Already a significant fund, it is designed to grow year on year to provide grants to voluntary organisations across Essex to develop the ability of communities, family and individuals to help themselves and each other.

Coode-Adams Firstsight Charitable FundCoode-Adams Firstsite Charitable Fund

Sonia and Giles Coode-Adams moved to Essex in 1961, first to Little Baddow and then in 1978 to Feering near Colchester. They married in 1960, have two children and four grand-daughters. They share a love of art, sculpture and horticulture all of which have woven their way into every part of their lives.

Giles, who worked in the City for 40 years, has held many charity Trustee appointments and non-executive roles. He was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant in 1992 and awarded the OBE in 1998. From 1991 to 1997 he was the Chief Executive of the Kew Foundation and was one of the Founders of the Millennium Seed Bank.  Latterly he was President of the Royal Horticultural Society and was awarded the Victoria Medal in 2012. 

Sonia, who studied at The Byam Shaw School of Art, has been very involved with Essex charities including the Friends of Essex Churches and is President of The Royal British Legion, Women’s Section in Essex.  She was Chairman of the Trustees of Firstsite in Colchester in 1993 and has been very involved ever since.

Sonia and Giles have both been great supporters of Firstsite and strongly believe that everyone in Essex should have access to the best and most exciting art. They established their charitable fund with ECF to give on-going support to the gallery and they hope that their love of art will be enjoyed by others for many years to come.

Coombewood Amenity FundCoombewood Amenity Fund

Essex Community Foundation took over the administration of the Coombewood Fund in 2003 from Essex County Council. The fund had grown from money raised by the sale of leather goods made by people with mental health problems at the Coombewood Centre sheltered workshop. When government implemented changes in mental health policy, the Coombewood Fund was transferred to ECF to assist others with mental health problems gain employment.

Courtauld Educational FundMarion Ruth Courtauld Educational Fund

Marion Ruth Courtauld was born on 6 August 1866 and died nearly 100 years later on 14 January 1966. She was one of the seven daughters of George Courtauld of Gosfield: part of the wealthy, but radical, family who had factories and farms in Essex and later, throughout the world. The sisters were a formidable force in the progressive world of female emancipation. Between them they founded - or helped found - organisations such as the Women’s Suffragette Movement, the Allotment Holders Association and the Women’s Farm & Garden Union; additionally one served throughout the First World War as a doctor, being awarded both the Croix de Guerre and the White Eagle of Serbia; another was one of the earliest female farmers and founded a college which eventually gave birth to the Women's Land Army.

Ruth's life was more sedentary than those of most of her sisters, but she was a great influence in the background, and having the fortune to be extremely well off, her philanthropy, although generally unrecognised, was of enormous benefit to the people of Essex.

In appearance, she was small and alert, with very bright blue eyes; in later years she wore her snow-white hair cut short. Even in her last year her mind was sharp, humorous, considerate, but cynical (perhaps not surprising for someone who lived for 100 years); and she was always interested in what was happening with family, friends and the community as a whole.

She never married, but her influence lives on, through her goodness, her kindness and her generosity. Now as fund within Essex Community Foundation, The Marion Ruth Courtauld Fund will continue to support educational and cultural opportunities for young people from Braintree.

Courtauld Medical FundWilliam Julien Courtauld Medical Fund

Born in 1870 in the family that founded Courtaulds Limited, William Julien Courtauld inherited his family’s puritan ethics of sharing one’s good fortunes with the community. He bequeathed a charitable fund to help those in need of medical support in his home district of Braintree.

As a Baronet, county councillor and High Sheriff, he appeared to be an austere and reserved man, but he showed many acts of kindness. During the Great Depression, he hired a large gang of workers to widen the road up Sloe Hill in Halstead, completely unnecessary, but giving employment. He also paid for, among many other things, the building of the William Julien Courtauld Hospital in Braintree, Braintree Town Hall and a large part of the County Hall in Chelmsford.

Later in life, William had tuberculosis, which caused him to use very dark glasses. According to his great nephew George Courtauld, these alarmed those brought before him in the Magistrates Courts, and he was known throughout the criminal fraternity as "Black-eyed Bill".

"My gratitude and admiration for the work of Essex Community Foundation has steadily increased over the years, and I am particularly impressed by the Foundation’s ability to combine compassion with efficiency" - George Courtauld, OBE DL.

CrixCrix Charitable Fund

The Crix Charitable Fund was created in 2014 to support Essex based charities and voluntary organisations. Its primary source of income is from the Essex Dog Day and other events held at Crix in Hatfield Peveral.

CrookMalcolm and Beryl Crook Charitable Fund

Malcolm and Beryl Crook met during the war when Malcolm was serving in the RAF in Bomber Command and had been badly burnt. They married in 1948 and lived in Buckhurst Hill until 1956 when they moved to Shenfield.

Malcolm worked in London as a Chartered Secretary to a firm of Solicitors whilst Beryl worked for Brentwood Council, firstly in the Treasurers Department, then as assistant to the Parks and Cemeteries Manager until she retired in the early 1970’s.

After Malcolm died in 2005 and Beryl become too ill to look after herself, she moved to Bognor Regis to be near the rest of her family. Both Malcolm and Beryl were avid golfers and were Founder Members of the Warley Golf Club, where Malcolm’s ashes are scattered.

Thanks to their generous bequest, we can ensure that their memory lives on in Essex.

DaveyJean and Peter Davey Charitable Fund

Jean Davey (nee Usher) was born at Great Bradfords Farm in Braintree in 1927.  She spent many of her childhood years there and, later in life, returned to the farmhouse to share it with her husband Peter.

Jean’s parents were dairy farmers and in 1948 went in to business with the Magnus family from Chelmsford to set up the dairy company Magnus & Usher Limited.  Jean worked for the company from the 50s until the business was sold to Dairy Crest in the late 1980.  She also worked with her husband running the Braintree division of the business known as Usher & Sons Limited.

Jean met her husband Peter while working at Courtaulds in Bocking and took over the running of the family business when her parents retired.  Jean and Peter were excellent ballroom dancers and ran dance classes for the milkmen they employed in the small social club that belonged to the business.  Sadly Jean’s dancing was curtailed by the onset of multiple sclerosis whilst she was in her 20s and she lived with the illness for over 50 years.  One of Jean’s other passions was her dogs and Jean and Peter made loving homes for many different dogs during their married life.

Jean and Peter had a bungalow built in the gardens of Great Bradfords Farm and made that their permanent home.  Sadly Peter was by this time in poor health and died very soon afterwards.  Jean lived in the bungalow until her death in November 2012. 

Following the building of the bungalow, Jean and Peter decided that they wished to gift the old farmhouse and adjoining land to Abbeyfields for a Sheltered housing complex.  After extensive refurbishment and building work, this was opened in 2007 and now provides 34 units of assisted sheltered housing.  This was one of the many generous bequests made by Jean and Peter during their lifetime.

Jean and Peter were a very devoted couple and despite being very private, they were extremely generous to family, friends and both local and national charities. When Jean sadly passed away in 2012 she kindly divided her residual estate between 12 different charities.  Most were national organisations, but she was also interested in supporting local charities and by leaving a bequest to ECF, voluntary and community organisations in Essex will continue to receive support in her name, in perpetutity.

The Fund also benefited from matched funding from the Government’s Community First programme which enhanced the value of the Fund by 50%.   

Diana Tinson FundDiana Tinson Fund

Diana Marks was born on 18 May 1927 and lived in South Woodford.  She attended boarding school in Kent and then went to horticultural college.  Diana had a great artistic talent so when she finished college she attended St Martin's School of Art in London for three years followed by the Frobel teacher training college.  In 1954 she married Jack Tinson and moved to Colchester where she taught Maths at Great Tey Primary School until leaving to have her daughter, Penny.

Diana was always involved in helping others, such as funding a number of young students to help them through college, sending vitamins to poor communities overseas, volunteering as a counsellor with the Samaritans and setting up a cancer support group. In 1984 she bought premises in Colchester and established The Trinity Centre, which offered a range of complementary therapies, medicines and nutrition advice to clients.  

Diana established a charitable trust with her husband Jack called the Chiron Trust, following the sale of the family business, Trebor, through which they supported many charitable activities. When the management of the Trust became increasingly difficult, they transferred it to the Foundation's management. Sadly Diana died in 2012, but the Fund continues to support the work of charities and voluntary organisations addressing issues which both she and Jack have always had an interest in.

DuetThe Duet Fund

Establised in 2012 by the Reverend Christopher Courtauld (1934 - 2014), the Duet Fund enables young people, particularly those who are disadvantaged to gain personal development through the challenge and adventure of life at sea on the sailing vessel Duet.

Duet is a fine example of a gaff-rigged yawl retaining the features of an Edwardian classic yacht and celebrated her 100th year in 2012. She is managed by the Cirdan Sailing Trust who celebrated her centenary year by sailing around the UK with young people as crew.

History of Duet

Duet was built in 1912 and is believed to be Britain’s longest serving sail training vessel. Since she began this role in 1960 she has sailed more than 250,000 miles and provided a sailing adventure for more than 8,000 young people.

Her involvement with the Courtauld family began in 1931, when the arctic explorer Augustine Courtauld, always known as August, virtually buried alive under snow in Greenland, kept himself together by designing a possible future boat which would turn out to be Duet.

He was there for five months, cut off with no communication to the outside world, the last six weeks of which he was actually trapped and buried in his tent under the snow with only a breather pipe for air and running out of food and fuel.

During his ordeal two plans occupied his thoughts, the first to marry his future wife Mollie and the second to design a yacht.

He was eventually rescued and after his safe return to England and to his bride-to-be, he scoured the country looking at boats for sale, until he found one at Burnham-on-Crouch, which was so similar to the one he had designed in his mind that he bought her.

He renamed her Duet in honour of his forthcoming marriage to Mollie. They lived in Essex and brought up their six children in the county. August, who served on the County Council and as High Sheriff of Essex, sailed Duet until 1955 and died in 1959. His widow, Mollie, subsequently married Rab, later Lord, Butler and they continued to live in the house where Christopher spent his childhood and where Mollie eventually died aged 101.

August’s son Christopher inherited Duet and in 1960 co-founded the Ocean Youth Club with her thereby making her available for young people to enjoy the experience of sailing.

Duet remains in the ownership of the Courtauld family who came over from France as Huguenot refugees in the 17th Century, originally setting up as silversmiths in London and as textile manufacturers in Essex.  ECF also manages the Marion Ruth Courtauld Educational Fund and the Willam Julien Courtauld Medical Fund.

e2v Foundatione2v Foundation

e2v, a leading developer and manufacturer of high-technology electronic components and sub-systems headquartered in Chelmsford celebrated its 60th birthday in 2007. As part of the birthday celebrations, e2v committed to long-term support for local charities by establishing the e2v Foundation with the Foundation.

The charitable fund will form a key part of the overall charitable activities of the company, which includes support for charities local to, and affecting, its employees in all of its global facilities, and encouragement for employees to become involved in local fundraising activities by match funding against their individual efforts.

EarlsEarls Hall Farm Community Benefit Fund

This fund has been created following the building of the windfarm at Earls Hall Farm near St. Osyth. It will provide grants to support charitable organisations and projects benefitting the community in the area of the St. Osyth Ward (especially Row Heath, St Osyth Heath, St Osyth Village), Bockings Elm Ward and the area of Little Clacton west of the A133 (Meadow View Park)

ECF Team FundECF Team Fund

In 2008 the Essex Community Foundations team decided to establish their own fund which we could use to support local organisations. 

EssexEssex Education Fund (Inc. Southend and Thurrock)

This fund was created following the transfer of a number of small trusts and dormant monies from Essex County Council in 2013. All of the funds previously had educational objectives so ECF combined them to create one significant grantmaking resource. Grants can be provided to increase the opportunities for Essex residents, including Southend and Thurrock, of any age, to take the next step in their personal or professional development by accessing educational and vocational training and learning.

Essex & Suffolk Water Community FundEssex & Suffolk Water Community Fund

Essex & Suffolk Water established their Community Fund with the Foundation in 2003 to give support to a wide range of local projects and organisations now and in the future. Grant applications are considered by an employee committee, and projects requiring funding must be related to either the environment, health and well-being or community support.

"Water is one of the most important commodities in our lives, and although our main function is as a business we are very aware of the essential service we offer to our customers. We fully recognise our responsibilities to the environment and the communities that we serve and by launching the new Essex & Suffolk Water Community Fund we will be able to help many different organisations throughout the local area. The charitable income from the Fund will encourage people to participate in local activities and create a resource to support the local community where they live and work, now and in the future." John Devall, Director for Essex & Suffolk Water

Essex and Southend Sports Charitable FundEssex and Southend Sports Charitable Fund

The Essex and Southend Sports Charitable Fund is the brainchild of businessman and entrepreneur Peter Butler and his lifelong friend, Joe Sims, who have teamed up with Essex Community Foundation (ECF) with the aim of distributing grants to individuals and voluntary organisations to make sport flourish at grassroots level around the county.

Peter, who lives in Chelmsford, founded the Essex and Southend Sports Trust (EASST) in 2002 to improve sports facilities and equipment, help talented youngsters in Essex and encourage disabled people to compete in sport at the highest levels.

Peter and Joe set their sights on expanding the support given to sporting activities in Essex by launching the fund with a generous donation of £25,000 from EASST, which has been used to match other donations, on a £1 for £1 basis.

Local people and companies who are interested in providing grassroots sporting opportunities across the county, can contribute to the fund and boost the amount available for distribution. Grants are given through the fund to talented individuals and to voluntary and community organisations in Essex in an all-encompassing bid to encourage sport and make it more accessible to everyone. Peter said, “I am immensely proud of being from Essex and I want to see more and more of our young people participating in sport and having access to quality facilities and equipment".

Essex County Council Chairman’s FundEssex County Council Chairman’s Fund

The Chairman's Charitable Fund was established within Essex Community Foundation in December 2006. The Fund supports voluntary and community organisations and charitable activities that enrich the lives of young people by increasing their awareness and participation in activities exploring culture and heritage.

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service Charitable FundEssex County Fire and Rescue Service Charitable Fund

Essex County Fire & Rescue Service is an active community partner throughout Essex. As well as their vital role in fighting fires and saving lives, Essex County Fire & Rescue is involved in educating vulnerable young people and elderly members of the community, about the dangers of fire, keeping safe in the home and reducing road traffic accidents. They wanted to find a way of supporting the less well-known, smaller charities, which, through their own activities, are complementing the work of the Fire Service so they established the Essex County Fire & Rescue Service Charitable Fund in 2007.

Essex Millennium FundEssex County Council Millennium Fund (excludes Southend and Thurrock)

As a way of celebrating the Millennium, Essex County Council had the vision to create a lasting legacy and gave a gift of £1m to the people of Essex by establishing an endowed Fund – The Millennium Fund. The fund has the following four priority areas: Carers, Community Support, Enhancing the Environment and Young People.

Essex Rural FundEssex Rural Fund

Rural Community Council of Essex (RCCE) was set up in 1929 and has actively supported rural communities in the county ever since. It is well known today for helping villages carry out parish plans and develop projects to improve key facilities such as affordable housing, village halls and community transport. It also runs the annual Essex Village of the Year competition.

The RCCE joined forces with Essex Community Foundation to create the Essex Rural Fund. Nick Shuttleworth, RCCE's Executive Director, said, "Many Essex villages present a picture of tranquillity which masks the poor access to services and isolation experienced by many rural people today. We wanted to develop the Essex Rural Fund to help local groups find their own answers to these problems".

Essex Young Musicians' TrustEssex Young Musicians’ Trust

The Essex Young Musicians Trust (EYMT) started life in June 1984 as The Friends of the Essex Youth Orchestra and in 1995 changed its name to EYMT. 

For many years, funds were raised by a group of Essex Youth Orchestra parents in the Chelmsford area. However it was felt, by those involved in the group at the time that more should be done to help those young musicians in the county who were denied the opportunity of taking advantage of the facilities available, on the grounds of cost.

EYMT raised money through events, donations, subscriptions and sponsorship to provide Full Fee Bursaries, Tour Bursaries and occasional Discretionary Awards and “Top Ups” for young musicians in Essex who showed that they had the ability and/or the potential to follow a musical career. These awards enabled young people to take advantage of an outstanding musical education, through the tuition given and experience gained, as members of the Essex Youth Orchestras.

Essex Youth Philanthropy FundEssex Youth Philanthropy Fund

Established in 2011 to encourage young people to become involved in philanthropic activities. The fund aims to support projects that benefit young people with a particular focus on activities that will facilitate training opportunities, enterprise and skills improvement resulting in learning outcomes acknowledged by formal or informal recognition and projects that support practical skills for young people. Grants of up to £1,000 will be considered to support organisations working with young people 11-18 years of age.

EWAG (Essex Women & Girls) FundEWAG (Essex Women & Girls) Fund

Established in 2010 the object of this fund is to support voluntary and community organisations working in Essex that support young girls, women and their families.

FFW Charitable Fund

The FW Charitable fund has been established to support charities and voluntary organisations in Essex.  The donors, who wish to remain anonymous, have lived in Essex for nearly 40 years and feel strongly that they would like to give something back to their local community.

Firebird FundFirebird Fund

In 2011 we were approached by Trustees of The Phoenix Agency, which had been operating in Southend from 1992, as a mental health charity. Changes in the organisation resulted in its staff being transferred over to a new provider. The Trustees decided the best way forward was to close the Phoenix Agency and use the remaining assets to establish the endowed fund with ECF. The established Firebird Fund support those with mental ill-health in Southend and South East Essex and is a lasting beneficial reminder of the hard work of The Phoenix agency. 

George George Courtauld Educational Charity

The George Courtauld Educational Charity continues to support young people under the age of 21 who live, or whose parents live, in Braintree District. George Courtauld was born in Pebmarsh in 1830.  After being educated at University College London, George became a partner in the firm of Samuel Courtauld & Co, a textile manufacturing company that had been established by his grandfather in 1798.

George was very much a member of the local community, holding appointments such as Justice of the Peace and High Sheriff of Essex in 1896.

In December 1878, he was elected as the Liberal MP for Maldon, a position that he held until 1885.  He was married three times and had 13 children.

“I am delighted that the trustees have chosen to transfer my great grandfather’s Trust into the safe hands of ECF so that his legacy can continue to benefit young people in Braintree.” - George Courtauld DL (Great Grandson)

Gepp Charitable FundThomas & Evelyn Gepp Charitable Fund

Thomas Christopher Gepp was born in 1919. He grew up in Essex, spending his childhood at Hill House in Hatfield Peveral. He was educated at Sunningdale, Eton College and at New College, Oxford, where he read law. The Second World War interrupted his studies and at nineteen years of age, he volunteered to join the Essex Yeomanry. Time was spent training in England before being involved in the landing on Gold Beach on D Day, 6th June 1944. The Essex Yeomanry was attached to 8th Armoured Brigade, part of 30 Corps. Tom was a Battery Captain throughout the Campaign, finishing up in Bremen. He was de-mobilised in 1946. After which he immediately set about taking his solicitor’s exams. Having passed these, he joined the family firm of Gepp and Sons in Chelmsford. Tom was the sixth generation of his family to be involved in the firm. He served as Under Sherriff for 25 years retiring 1988.

Evelyn Phillips Castle was born in 1917 in Suffolk. She was educated at Benenden School in Kent. At the start of the Second World War, she joined the F.A.N.Ys (First Aid Nursing Yeomanry), spending time in Colchester, driving Staff Cars and Ambulances. Later she transferred to the W.R.A.C. (Women’s Royal Army Corp) where she was involved in training drivers. She ended her service with the WRACs in Keil, Germany. Although Tom and Evelyn both started their War Service in Colchester and ended it in Keil, it wasn’t until a few years later that they finally met.

Tom and Evelyn married in 1951 and had three daughters. They lived in Margaret Roding, moving to Saffron Walden in 1995. Evelyn died in 1996 and Tom in 2011. There were a number of voluntary and community organisations throughout Essex in which they were deeply interested, and by setting up this fund, their passion for supporting local communities will be continued.

Golbourn Family FundGolbourn Family Fund

With a background in magazine publishing since 1985 the Golbourn Family has a long association with the County of Essex. Carole was a long serving Trustee of the Foundation and both she and her husband Alan continue to make an enormous contribution to our success. They established their named fund with us in 2008 and support voluntary and community organisations working on some of the county's tougher issues such as substance misuse.

Harlow Education TrustHarlow Education Trust

The Education Trust was established in 1991 by Harlow Council to advance the educational skills of young people in the district. The fund was re-launched in May 2007 under the management of Essex Community Foundation.

Harlow Recreation TrustHarlow Recreation Trust

The original Harlow Recreation Trust was established in 1981 and transferred to our management in 2011. The fund continues to provide funding for charitable projects undertaken by voluntary and community organisations which support the development of recreational skills, knowledge and talent for the benefit of people living in Harlow. Funding will generally be for one year, however for exceptional projects funding for more than one year may be considered.

Harwich Peninsula Education Support TrustHarwich Peninsula Education Support Trust

An established trust that was transferred to our management in 2008 the fund continues to support school activities in Harwich over and above those provided by the local education authority.

HealthwatchHealthwatch Essex

The Healthwatch Essex Fund aims to make a lasting impact by helping organisations improve the provision of information, advice and guidance to people in the community. The organisation’s ethos is that health and wellbeing can be improved when people are given good access to both information and services.

Heath Charitable Fund Roger and Jean Heath Charitable Fund

Established in 2003, the Roger and Jean Heath Fund supports a diverse range of voluntary and community activity in Essex.

Henry Smith CharityHenry Smith Charity

ECF has been working in partnership with The Henry Smith Charity since 2008.  Smith’s can trace its origins back to the 17th century; Henry Smith was a London salt merchant who died in 1628.  During his lifetime he bought land around the country and established a number of charitable trusts to give “relief of the poor”.  When Henry died he left his Trustees the sum of £2,000.  Today, the Charity distributes around £25 million a year and continues to honour the wishes of Henry Smith by supporting charities which are addressing the challenges and opportunities facing people in need throughout the UK. Smith’s approached ECF to ask if we would provide them with local knowledge of voluntary organisations that apply to Henry Smith for funding.  Organisations interested in applying to the Henry Smith Charity should contact them directly.

High Sheriffs’ FundHigh Sheriffs’ Fund

It is estimated that nearly 400,000 people undertake some form of charity or voluntary work in Essex. This dedication and devotion to our communities makes for a healthier and safer society.  An important part of the role of the High Sheriff is to recognize and promote the voluntary sector, with particular emphasis on those organisations, which support law and order, and tackle crime and social problems in their communities.

The Office of High Sheriff is an independent non-political Royal appointment for a single year. The High Sheriff receives no expenses and the role comes at no cost to the public purse, therefore he or she can be counted as a volunteer as well.

View the profile of the current High Sheriff

The High Sheriffs’ Award Scheme was established in Essex in 1993 to recognise community initiatives, which address crime and anti-social behaviour.
Applications are received once a year usually in Sept - December. 

History of the High Sheriff

There have been High Sheriffs for at least 1,000 years. The original ‘Shire Reeves’ were Royal officials appointed to enforce the King’s interests in a County, in particular the collection of revenues and taxes, and the maintenance of law and order.

High Sheriffs had extensive powers.  They were in effect Judge, Justice of the Peace and Jury before the development of the Justices and Assizes system. Sheriffs are mentioned throughout Magna Carta (1215) and by 1254 the High Sheriff supervised the election to Parliament of two Knights of the Shire.  It was also the Sheriff’s responsibility to ensure the safety and comfort of the Judges.  This is the origin of their modern day duty of care for the well being of the High Court Judges.

As Sheriffs had to collect unpopular taxes and were personally responsible for any short fall, there was some incentive to avoid appointment.  Accordingly, the Monarch pricked through vellum the High Sheriffs’ names on the roll. This was an early form of document security as no official could disguise a hole pierced through the vellum against the appointee’s name.

In 19th century Sheriffs’ responsibilities for police, prisons and Crown property were transferred to statutory bodies.  Their surviving powers were codified in the Sheriffs Act of 1887. This Act remains in force today and it confirms the historic process of nomination by the Sovereign.

Today the High Sheriff’s role is as follows:

Hodgkinson Charitable FundElspeth Hodgkinson Charitable Fund

Established in 2008 to support general charitable activity across Essex.

Holmes Charitable FundChristopher Holmes Charitable Fund

Chris Holmes OBE DL (1943-2010) was a highly respected family lawyer having worked as a solicitor for Birkett Long for 48 years. In 1962, uncertain as to what Chris was going to do with his life, his parents sent him to meet Ronald Long, the Senior Partner of Smith Morton and Long, solicitors in Halstead. “Put on a suit and pretend to be interested” was his mother’s wise advice. Chris was passionate about supporting his local community and was a trustee of various local voluntary and community organisations. He was also a Trustee of ECF and prior to his untimely death from a brain tumour he decided to create a fund within the Foundation.

HonaleeHonalee Fund

The Honalee Fund was set up by Cathryn Fox to celebrate the approaching 30th anniversary of her company, Objective Computing. The Essex software development and data analytics company was founded by Cath in 1987. The aim of the Honalee fund is to allow Objective Computing and its staff to give something back to the community where they live and work.

The name Honalee is a tribute to Cath’s father, Jerry Owen, who supported the development of Objective Computing in its early years. As a successful businessman himself – as well as a musician, writer and artist – Jerry spent much of his career in Malaysia and is recognised as one of the founding fathers of ‘corporate Malaysia’. Before he moved there in 1973, Jerry had been Finance and Overseas Managing Director at Trebor.The Honalee Fund aims to help improve the lives of those living in the local community, particularly people who are affected by dyslexia or lung cancer.

Hutton CharityHutton Charity

The Hutton Charity was originally set up in 1977 in memory of Dr Patrick John Hutton and his wife Ann Elizabeth, who both tragically died on 3 March 1974 in the Paris Air Disaster. Dr and Mrs Hutton were both scientists who worked at Harwell in Oxfordshire, which was once the HQ of the UK civil nuclear research programme. When he died, Dr Hutton was the principal scientific officer at the British Atomic Weapons Research Establishment (AWRE).

Patrick Hutton was born on 18 January 1931. He lived with his family in Chelmsford and attended the King Edward VI Grammar School (KEGS). He was an A Class student who excelled in maths, physics and chemistry and he was also a Sergeant in the school Cadet Corps. Patrick left KEGS in 1949 to study at Oxford where he gained a 2nd class Honours degree in Science Moderations.

The surviving Trustees wanted to ensure the future of the Charity and contacted the Charity Commission for advice. The Commission suggested the Boost Initiative might be able to help and so contact was made with Essex Community Foundation. The transfer was completed within five months and The Hutton Charity will now continue giving support to medical care and research within hospitals across Essex.

KoinoniaKoinonia Charitable Fund

The Koinonia Trust was founded in 1973 by two Baptist Ministers working in Southend-on-Sea and stemmed from their recognition of the needs of those being discharged from Runwell Mental Hospital into the community. 

The objects of the Trust were to support people with a history of mental illness by providing permanent, temporary or periodic care and accommodation to aid their recovery. Over the years the Trust’s activities extended well beyond Essex to reach as far as Cornwall.

In recent times, the practical assistance tended, in the main, to be provided by other charities and organisations.  The Trustees decided that it would better serve the objects of the Trust to pass over their substantial property assets to those organisations, close the Trust’s operational activities and transfer the shell of the Trust to another charity.

Mindful of the Trust’s volunteer roots and small beginnings, it was also thought appropriate to set up a permanent fund to provide grants to smaller organisations in the locality, and the Trustees felt that ECF was perfectly placed to provide the relevant expertise and administration.

LaingJohn Laing Charitable Trust

The fund awards grants of up to £1,000 to groups tackling issues such as homelessness, education or community regeneration, and projects such as those targeted to the elderly or disadvantaged young people.

Sir John Laing, founder of the John Laing Group plc, was a man who believed in ‘giving back’ as well as looking after his company’s employees and their families. He was one of the first to set up a company benevolent fund; generosity that was later extended to the community through the foundation of the John Laing Charitable Trust in 1962. The Trust’s objectives remain the same today: to provide for former and existing employees of the company who are experiencing hardship, and to make grants for the benefit of the public.

Leeze Leeze Charitable Fund

The Leeze Charitable Fund was set up by Russell and Celia Edey OBE.

Most of Russell’s working life was spent at global finance and investment companies based in South Africa, Australia and London.  He has served on the Board of Anglia Ruskin University and as a trustee of Marks Hall.  Celia, who received an OBE in 2015 for her services to higher education in Essex and Suffolk, has had a long association with the criminal justice system; a Magistrate for 25 years, she was chairman of the Essex Magistrates Courts Committee, Deputy Chairman of the Chelmsford Prison Visitor Centre and a member of the Essex Probation Board.

For the past 40 years the couple have lived in the village of Coggeshall, during which time they have been involved in supporting many charities and community activities across Essex and Suffolk.

Russell and Celia’s Fund took advantage of the Proceeds of Crime Matched Funding Scheme.  It will be used to support voluntary organisations and projects that contribute to community safety and crime reduction initiatives in Essex.

LinkLink-ed Mike Williamson Memorial Fund

Link-ed was a company that provided training and education for young people to prepare them for employment. When the company closed in 2012 they decided to use their remaining assets to create a charitable fund in memory of one of their directors, Mike Williamson, who had recently passed away. The fund will provide grants to support organisations working with young people in the fields of education, skills and employment throughout Essex.

LittleLittle Braxted Community and Educational Fund

This fund was originally a trust created following the sale of a Victorian school room and house in Little Braxted. The trust was transferred to ECF in 2012 and will provide grants to support a broad range of issues and charitable projects in Little Braxted. Grants can also be provided to support the promotion of education in the parish of Wickham Bishops.

MaltonAnnabel and Gerald Malton Charitable Fund

Gerald and Annabel Malton live in Little Waltham.  They decided to set up their named fund with ECF with the specific aim of helping young people who are unable to fulfil their dreams due to a shortage of money.

Annabel said: “Both of us have a strong musical background and our daughter used to be involved in athletics at quite a high level.  We realised that there are many young people in both of these areas who have great potential, but can’t move forward or compete with others because of what can be relatively small sums of money for such things as travel and equipment.

“We had got to the stage in our life when our two children were both at university and we were in a position financially to do something. The question was how to find a vehicle to do this in the most efficient way, without having to set up and run a trust ourselves.  Gerald did some research and found out about ECF which has the infrastructure to get the money out there to people who need it. We are both very much involved in the community and wanted the fund to benefit people in Essex.”

The couple were married in 1987 and have lived in the county for all of their married life. Their strong wish to help the community comes from their own background. Gerald, who works in the residential development industry, was born in Grays. He moved with his parents to Shenfield and later attended King Edward VI Grammar School in Chelmsford. He and Annabel first met at university, after which Gerald returned to live in Essex.  Annabel came to Essex to take up her first teaching post in Southend following post-graduate teacher training in London. She later taught at Boreham Primary School and at a pre-school group in Great Baddow.

Margaretting FundMargaretting Fund

Established in March 1999, the Margaretting Fund awards grants to voluntary and community groups, working in the Chelmsford and Margaretting areas, which are offering support to people who are in need, hardship or distress.

Marks Charitable FundIan and Angela Marks Charitable Fund

Ian Marks is a local businessman and philanthropist. Ian was responsible for establishing the Community Foundation in Essex, his vision was to create a permanent financial resource which would support voluntary and community groups in Essex forever. They established the Ian and Angela Marks Charitable Fund in 2007 and grants are distributed at the discretion of the Foundation’s Trustees.

Marks Charitable FundJohn and Wenna Marks Charitable Fund

John Marks lived in Essex all his life and was educated at Oundle. Sadly he died in 2012.  John completed his National Service in the Royal Engineers where, he said "I reached the dizzy heights of second lieutenant!”. He then went on to Cambridge to study Law. In 1957 John married Morwenna Simpson, who came from the West Country, and they have four sons. 

Following the sale of the family business, Trebor, in 1989, John and Wenna set up their family charity, The Mulberry Trust, through which they support many charitable activities.  However, they were well aware that there are far more charitable needs than they can keep track of and established the John and Wenna Marks Charitable Fund with ECF to support their charitable giving in Essex.

MaypoleMaypole House Charitable Fund


The Maypole House Charitable Fund was set up with ECF following the transfer of money raised in the Saffron Walden area by an organisation called RESCU.

The initial aim of RESCU’s fundraising was to build a respite care centre, which would have been called Maypole House. But when it was realised that this could not be achieved RESCU took the decision to close the charity and put the money to use in a way that would honour their original objectives and build on all they had achieved.

Grants awarded from The Maypole House Charitable Fund will support the provision of respite services for children and adults with disabilities and their families and carers.  

“We are very pleased that we have been able to establish the Maypole House Charitable Fund with ECF.  A lot of hard work went in to our original fundraising and we are very grateful for all the support we received. It was not easy to have to make the decision that building a respite care centre was no longer feasible or sustainable, but being able to set up the fund with the help of ECF means that we have been able to stay true to the spirit of our earlier aims. Through the fund we will be able to give support now and into the future to those giving respite to people who need it most.” Jill Elms, RESCU

Mersea Homes Charitable Fund Mersea Homes Charitable Fund

As part of Mersea Homes' sustainability strategy and company policy to support local communities, the property development company which specialises in providing quality, bespoke homes as well as larger developments has established an endowed charitable fund with us. The company will grow The Mersea Homes Charitable Fund over time to create a long-term sustainable source of funding which will support Essex based charities long into the future.

Stuart Cock, Managing Director of Mersea Homes, said, "Being a local family run business we are committed to supporting charities and community projects close to home.  We are pleased to join forces with Essex Community Foundation so that we can gain from their knowledge and expertise which will help us to ensure that the funding we give will be doing the best job possible".

Milsom Charitable Fund Milsom Charitable Fund

Gerald Milsom discovered Le Talbooth in 1952 when it was just a simple tearoom with a superb location by the river Stour. The business, now run by Gerald's son Paul and his wife Geraldine, includes Le Talbooth and Milsom restaurants in Dedham and The Pier in Harwich. With a reputation for providing top quality food and service, Milsom Hotels are viewed as some of the best places to eat, drink and stay in the Stour Valley.

Gerald sadly died in 2005. He was a larger than life character and was a great supporter of charitable activity. Paul and Geraldine wanted to carry on his legacy by setting up the Milsom Charitable Fund in Gerald's memory.

Minter Family FundMinter Family Fund

The Minter Family has farmed in North Essex for nearly a century. Since his retirement from the City ten years ago, Jonny Minter has taken over the management of the family farm and established this family fund with us in 2011. The fund aims to support organisations who share his passion for conservation, wildlife and rural life plus it also has a focus on community safety.

Pennington FundHumphrey Pennington Fund

Established in 2010 the fund was established to support the activities of talented young people in Southend and in particular to further the work of Southend Boys’ and Girls’ Choir.

Police Property Act FundPolice Property Act Fund

Following changes in national policing policy in 2012, the Essex Police Authority agreed the time was right to leave a legacy for their work and established this fund. The fund supports charitable activities across Essex, Southend and Thurrock.

Poter Family FundPoter Family Fund

Established in 2009 the Poter Family are local Essex business owners who wanted to start their fund the with aim of supporting local voluntary and community organisations across the county.

Pratley Charitable FundMichael Pratley Charitable Fund

The Michael Pratley Charitable Fund was established by the Pratley family in 2008. The Foundation works with family members to support general charitable activities across Essex, with a preference for learning and education.

ProvideProvide Foundation

Provide is a leading provider of integrated health and social care. They have created the Provide Foundation to provide grants to promote and support charities who work in community health and social care primarily in Mid Essex i.e. Braintree, Chelmsford and Maldon. Applications are accepted in June-August each year and the decisions are made by Provide's members.

PudneyWilliam and Gladys Pudney Memorial Fund

William and Gladys Pudney were farmers who lived in Roxwell, near Chelmsford. William was born in 1905 in Ingatestone. On leaving school, he became a builder and worked in partnership with his brother, Arthur.  Over time, William developed an interest and passion for farming and around 1940 he bought The Orchards, a farm which, as its name suggests, had an extensive number of fruit trees.  

When the war started, many of the men who worked on the farm were called up to join the war effort.  To keep the farm running and harvest the fruit, members of the Women’s Land Army (WLA) were sent to help William.  Among them was a young woman called Gladys Cooke.  

Gladys was born on 2 November 1919 in Stratford. She had three sisters and one brother and her father worked on the railway.  Just before WWII the family moved to Laindon to enjoy the peace and quiet of the countryside. Before she joined the WLA in 1942, Gladys worked as a Court dressmaker in London.  She was billeted in Writtle and sent to work at The Orchards, where she remained until January 1946.  During this time prisoners of war were also sent to work on the farm and William and Gladys kept in touch with many of them after the war ended.

Life on the farm suited Gladys, and over time romance blossomed between her and William.  They were married on 5 April 1947 and spent the next 26 years running a successful agricultural farm and fruit business, supplying produce to retailers across the UK.  After Britain joined the Common Market in 1973, fruit farming declined, and William and Gladys decided to retire. 

They spent many happy times together, touring abroad in their car and on cruise holidays that took them around the world.   William loved cars – particularly Jaguars.  His first car in 1951 was followed by a further 26 models! The couple were married for 50 years until William’s death in 1997. Gladys passed away in 2014 at the age of 95. With no children of their own to inherit their estate, they left instructions that a charitable foundation should be set up to support the elderly and disabled, particularly those from Writtle and Chelmsford, where they had spent much of their lives.

After considering many options, the executors decided to set up a charitable fund within ECF.  In this way they could meet the wishes of William and Gladys and give support, in perpetuity, to local people in need.

William and Gladys were known for their concern about the welfare of others.  It is fitting that the fund, managed by ECF in their memory, will continue their caring legacy.

Rickard Luckin Community FundRickard Luckin Community Fund

An independent firm of chartered accountants, tax specialists and business advisers based in Chelmsford, Basildon and Southend.  Rickard Luckin were formed in 1870 and supports the small and medium sized business community throughout the Essex Region.

“As a team we’ve always enjoyed organising fundraising events and supporting local causes,” says Rickard Luckin Manager Michael Breame, one of a number of staff who sit on the company’s Community Fund Committee. “Working with Essex Community Foundation has really helped us to be more effective. The Foundation is able to handle all the grant applications and help us to find organisations that we know will really benefit from our support.”

RiverRiver City Fund

The endowed River City Fund was created by a philanthropic couple in 2014. It supports a broad range of charitable objectives across Southend, Essex and Thurrock

RSM Community FundRSM Community Fund

RSM (formerly Baker Tilly) is the 7th largest accountancy and business advisory firm in the UK, based in 31 locations and also worldwide in a 110 countries.  Several RSM offices around the country have established funds with their local community foundation and the partners and staff in the Chelmsford office felt it was time they did the same and established the RSM community fund.  “We wanted to do something that involved our staff, which enabled them to have some fun whilst creating something which would have a lasting effect and support for  the smaller, less well known charities in our community.  Working with the foundation was the perfect solution.”

Saffron Building Society Community FundSaffron Building Society Community Fund

As part of Saffron Building Society's commitment to its members and its local community, the regional mutual company established an endowed charitable fund with ECF in 2010 to support local charities.

The Society was established in 1849 by Rev'd John Martin who was a member of Hill Street Baptist Church and Manager of the local gas company. 

SalterSalter McKinlay Charitable Fund

Ron Salter met Iris McKinlay in Gosport, Portsmouth during WWII when he was in the Royal Navy and she was a WREN. He was from London, she came from Liverpool and they married in Dartmouth, Devon. 

After the War, they moved to North London and Ron began a career in the Civil Service working for the Department of the Environment. During his distinguished career, he held a variety of senior posts and spent time in Malaysia and Singapore, where he was responsible for the  decommissioning of military bases. He retired as Assistant Secretary in 1972 and was awarded a CBE in 1973.

Ron and Iris had two children and their son, who has lived in Essex since 1988 says he has "grown to appreciate its vibrancy, coastline and countryside".

The Salter McKinlay Charitable Fund has been established with ECF in memory of Ron and Iris. The aim of the fund is to help young people to learn new skills, build confidence or gain qualifications.

Searle TrustSearle Trust

In 1956 Emily Searle made a will leaving her bungalow in Debden, Saffron Walden to her daughter Florence to live in until her death and then "to the Parish Church of St Mary and All Saints Debden, never to be sold, and to be let at 25 shillings per week or sixty five pounds per annum to good church people only".

Emily Searle died in 1959 and her daughter Florence lived in the house until her death in 2004. A High Court order in 2005 allowed the property to be sold with the majority of the proceeds going to the Parochial Church Council (PCC). The PCC decided to establish a trust, to be known as The Searle Trust, for the benefit of the whole parish of Debden. 

SebrightSebright Fund

The Sebright Fund was created by a family who have spent their lives in North West Essex. The fund supports a broad range of charitable organisations across Essex.

Smith FundDennis and Kathleen Smith Fund

Originally established in 1983 and transferred to our management in 2011. Dennis and Kathleen have long been supporters of charitable organisations and this fund will continue to support local activity across South Essex.

Southend Community FundSouthend Community Fund

The Southend Fund was established by Howard Briggs in 2001/02 to become a focus for local charitable giving, with the potential to grow over time and to offer voluntary organisations working in Southend a unique resource to help them fund their charitable activities, now and in the long-term.

"There is a great sense of community spirit and generosity in Southend. Our aim in setting up the Southend Fund was to harness this spirit and generosity to support local charities which are providing support for so many people in Southend, all with differing needs, now and for generations to come". Howard Briggs

Visit the Southend Fund website

Spence Family FundSpence Family Fund

Established in 2010 this family fund supports organisations working with disadvantaged or disengaged young people across Essex.

Stacey Family FundW G Stacey Family Fund

William George Stacey was a devoted family man who lived and worked in Essex all his life. June, his wife, worked alongside him and in 1980, from their home in South Woodham Ferrers, they built a successful disposable supplies company called DCS Ltd which distributes catering disposables, food packaging and hygiene products across the UK. 

All of William and June’s children have been involved in the company. Their daughter, Jane, worked with her parents until she married and had her own family. Their sons, Paul and James, then joined and were encouraged to learn all aspects of the business. Since William’s death from cancer in 2012, Paul and James have run the business with fellow director, Gary Connolly. William was a generous man who believed in giving something back. He supported various charities and always wanted to help people less fortunate than himself. 

"My dad was a character that no one would forget, but everyone noticed when he entered the room. He would have been proud to have a charitable fund set up in his memory" - Paul Stacey.

Stewart Charitable FundAlastair and Patricia Stewart Charitable Fund

Although Alastair and Patricia Stewart were not born in Essex, (Alastair in Cheshire and Patricia in Bombay), from the moment they bought their un-renovated house in 1953, where they still live, they became involved in local Essex life. Alastair set up his export packing business, Stewart and Harvey, in Dagenham and Patricia, who had qualified as a chartered architect, ran her own architectural practice of work mainly within the county.

All their four children, three born in the house, return frequently, as do their five grandchildren.

In appreciation of all that Essex has given them, Alastair and Patricia chose to support Essex Community Foundation, who they feel are the professionals who will know which Essex charity needs helping at helping now and far into the future.

Stour Valley Environment FundStour Valley Environment Fund

The Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and Stour Valley Project has established the Stour Valley Environment Fund (SVEF) to support charities and voluntary groups working to enhance the environment in the Stour Valley. 

Sullivan Charitable FundGary Sullivan Charitable Fund

Gary Sullivan OBE Gary is an example of the entrepreneurial spirit that is often associated with Essex. On leaving school, Gary joined the Army.  It was during his time with the Armed Forces that Gary learned about planning, command, strategic and tactical organisation.   When he left the Army in 1986 he returned to South Essex and worked freelance in a variety of industries including petrochemical, pharmaceutical, event management and construction. In the early 1990s he joined the United Nations High Commission for Refugees as part of the team that set up humanitarian aid and logistics in war-torn former Yugoslavia.

On his return from Former Yugoslavia, Gary joined forces with Mark Dobson to form Wilson James Ltd, specialising in logistics for large or complex projects, and security for blue chip organisations.  Wilson James Ltd is now regarded as an industry leader, employing over 2,000 people nationwide.  The company, with its headquarters in Southend, has a strong ethos of providing training and development opportunities for its staff, something which Gary is very keen on.  

“Our business has always had a strong sense of family and community”, said Gary, “Its success has allowed me to invest further in our community and for some time I had been considering the idea of establishing a charitable fund so that I could give something back.  When the Foundation talked me through the Grassroots initiative, which challenged local people to invest in their local community, I knew the time was right to make that investment for the future".  

Taylor Family FundTaylor Family Fund

The Taylor Family Fund was established in 2011 by Keith and Margaret Taylor and aims to support local voluntary and community organisations that are active in Essex.

Thriving Third Sector FundThriving Third Sector Fund

The Thriving Third Sector Endowed Fund was set up with funding from the county's Local Area Agreement Partnership (LAA) to provide a sustainable source of funding for voluntary and community organisations in Essex.

This Fund welcomes proposals that set out new ways of working, such as partnerships and secondments, as well as developing skills in strategic thinking, negotiation, business development or marketing. 

Thurrock FundThurrock Fund

A fund committed to supporting voluntary and community activity in Thurrock was established during our management of the Grassroots Programme, a £130 million nationwide drive by the Government's Office of the Third Sector to support thousands of voluntary and community groups throughout England. A lasting legacy of an innovative programme, organisations in Thurrock now have a fund just for their area. Donations can be added to this fund at anytime.