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.
- Church Army – working in Kent
- Citizens Advice Bureau – North and West Kent (Tonbridge)
- Crossways Community – Tunbridge Wells
- Consulting Centre – Tunbridge Wells
- League of Friends – Tunbridge Wells Hospital
- St Georges Community – Tunbridge Wells
- Ambitious about Autism
- Brain Tumour Research
- Lupus UK – Kent Branch
- Muscular Dystrophy
- South East Cancer Help Centre
- Teenage Cancer Trust
- Marlowe Theatre Development Trust – Canterbury
- Trinity Theatre – Tunbridge Wells
- Foreland Fields School
- The Royal National College for the Blind
- Fields In Trust
- Woodland Trust
Image courtesy of Music in Hospitals & Care