Our History

Raymond Lawson was born at the turn of the 20th century and became a successful business man with his wife Blanche at his side. In their later life they formed the Raymond and Blanche Lawson Charitable Trust which went on to become an incredible legacy of the Lawsons. Today The Lawson Trust remains firmly rooted in Kent with friends of the couple and descendants of the Lawsons' friends guiding the work of the trust.

Raymond's family ran an antiques business in Tonbridge, Kent and for many years he continued the family business whilst also establishing Worrin & Lawson, an estate agent, with a business partner. In 1932 Raymond and some associates formed Tonbridge and District Properties Ltd, a property investment company.  This company became a very successful endeavour with a growing portfolio of properties.

Raymond was married to Blanche and they were both prominent members of the Tonbridge community, involved with the Rotary Club, their local church and many other community organisations. In 1980 they created the Raymond and Blanche Lawson Charitable Trust, born out of a desire to help people in need within their local community.

Both Raymond and Blanche died in the 1980s, bequeathing most of their estate to the trust, including their investment in Tonbridge & District Properties Ltd. This company together with Worrin & Lawson continued to be managed by John Banks, a trusted colleague until his death in 2010.

John and his family were trustees of the trust, annually distributing the income in accordance with the terms of the trust and the Lawsons' aims.  In 2015 Tonbridge & District Properties Ltd was sold and the The Raymond and Blanche Lawson Charitable Trust received substantial proceeds from its shareholding.

The current trustees have formed, for ease of administration, The Lawson Trust CIO as the successor of the Raymond & Blanche Lawson Charitable Trust, transferring all the assets into the new CIO. As the trust moves forward the trustees are developing new grant making and investment policy to safeguard the aims laid down by the founders and settlors.

Get to know some of our grantees...

Image Courtesy of Tall Ships Youth Trust

Lawson Trust

Social and Economic Disadvantage

Tall Ships Youth Trust

Tall Ships is the UK’s oldest and largest sail training charity, helping young people redefine their horizons through adventure learning at sea.

They take young people aged 12-25 on residential youth sailing voyages on board tall ships. Out on the water, under sail, they learn lessons that set them up for life and help them realise their own potential.

 

Health & Wellbeing

MERU

MERU is a charity that creates unique, assistive products for disabled children and young people.

The Lawson Trust supported MERU with its delivery of the free Bugzi Loan Scheme in Kent. Bugzi is a very small powered wheelchair suitable for children under 5, providing young disabled children the chance to move independently, often for the first time.

Image Courtesy of Meru

Image Courtesy of Louie’s Helping Hands

The Llewellyn School Jan 2020

Education

Louie’s Helping Hands

Louie’s Helping Hands is a charity which raises funds to support The Llewellyn School.  The charity raised funds to build this much-needed school for children with complex needs.

The Llewellyn’ School’s mission is to provide a high quality, holistic, therapeutic, effective and meaningful educational experience for all of our pupils.

 

Arts and Heritage

Create

Create is a leading national charity aiming to empower lives, reduce loneliness and enhance wellbeing through the creative arts.

The Lawson Trust awarded a grant to their Creative Voices project where 15-20 isolated adult carers from Care for the Carers East Sussex collaboratively explored their creativity and self-expression alongside professional artists.

Image Courtesy of Create Arts

Image Courtesy of Green Salts Nature Reserve

Gazen Salts

Environment

Gazen Salts Nature Reserve

Gazen Salts Nature Reserve is a charity run by volunteers, working hard to preserve the nature reserve for the wider community to enjoy.

The Lawson Trust provided funding towards the restoration of paths, enabling better access for people with physical disabilities; installation and repair of fencing along paths and around the lake; provision of information boards and litter bins; and habitat provision for Kingfishers and water voles.

Covid-19 The Lawson Trust's response The Lawson Trust is not currently making grants in response to Covid-19. The trust has co-ordinated with Kent Community Foundation and Sussex Community Foundation to support these organisations with their emergency response to the crisis. Further updates may be provided on our website as the situation develops. KCF Emergency Coronavirus Fund https://kentcf.org.uk/ SCF Sussex Crisis Fund https://sussexgiving.org.uk/apply-for-grants/how-it-works/ Read More Lawson House The Lawson Trust awarded a grant to Rapport Housing & Care, a registered charity that provides care and housing to over 400 over 55s at various locations across the south east. The charity operates a number of supported homes, residential homes, extra care housing schemes and a domiciliary care service. The Lawson Trust funding has funded... Read More Coastal view from Hastings Endowment with Sussex Community Foundation The Lawson Trust is excited to announce an endowment collaboration with Sussex Community Foundation (SCF). We have entrusted SCF with a donation of £2.5 million which will be invested as an endowment for Sussex. Our fund with SCF will make grants in each of SCF’s three grant-making rounds and the first deadline for applications is Friday... Read More An encouraging story to begin 2018 with! Back in November I attended The GAP Project’s annual general meeting. As well as covering the formalities of the project’s operations it was an engaging celebration of the project’s achievements over the past year. Kent Community Foundation connected The Lawson Trust with this dynamic project in February 2017. The organisation plays an active role in the... Read More Spotlight on St George's Community Project St George’s Community Children’s Project One of the organisations recently funded through The Lawson Endowment for Kent is St George's Community Project, a wonderful example of how Kent Community Foundation connects The Lawson Trust to impactful grass roots organisations. Ellie Stewart, fundraising and development coordinator from St George's explains what the project is all about. "St George’s... Read More Serve On Changing Lives – The Lawson Trust by Martin Phillips Serve On is extremely grateful to the Trustees of The Lawson Trust for entering into a unique partnership with us to support our humanitarian international response work abroad. With the... Read More Most recent awards! May's trustee meeting saw another batch of amazing organisations receive funding from The Lawson Trust. Launch and recovery exercise of the Dungeness Shannon class lifeboat The Morrell 13-02. Breast Cancer Care British Polio Fellowship Chailey Heritage Foundation ClearVision Combat Stress Compaid Crossways Royal National Lifeboat Institution Fields in Trust Interact Let's Face... Read More February awards! February 2017 grant making The trustees met on 9th February to assess applications received between October and December 2016. A total of 21 grants were awarded, totaling £95,000, to some fantastic charities including Demelza Hospice, Coram Adoption Services and Music in Hospitals. Read on for the full list of grantees. Action for Sick Children Alzheimer's &... Read More

Slide Josephine McCartney, Chief Executive, Kent Community Foundation “Since 2016, The Lawson Endowment for Kent has made a huge impact on the lives of local people and volunteers, benefiting many local communities across Kent and Medway. The Lawson’s generous donation will provide a lasting legacy for generations to come.” Slide The Lawson Trust Chairman, Philip Thomas "We know that the Lawsons would have wanted their legacy to work hard for local people in need. We are pleased to be partnering with Kent Community Foundation who can help us reach these grassroots groups, who so often operate out of the spotlight." Slide Charles Dickens The most important thing in life is to stop saying 'I wish' and start saying 'I will.' Consider nothing impossible, then treat possibilities as probabilities.
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