New Fund: The Lawson Endowment for Kent

In Lawson Trust News by The Lawson Trust

New Fund to Support Kent Charities and Community Groups


The Lawson Trust has donated £5,000,000 to Kent Community Foundation to set up a new grant-making Endowment Fund for local charities in Kent .

The trust now wants to increase its support to local community groups, and has chosen Kent community Foundation to manage its new grant-making fund because of the foundation’s extensive networks and experience working within the local voluntary sector.

The new fund will be called the Lawson Endowment for Kent. Grants (typically up to £5,000) will be available to charities and community groups addressing genuine needs in the local community – for instance, those supporting socially isolated elderly people, creating opportunities for vulnerable families and young people or assisting those furthest from the workplace to find meaningful employment.

Priority will be given to projects that engage local people, especially local volunteers. Given the provenance of the funds, projects relating to homelessness and/or housing will be particularly welcomed.

The Lawson Trust Chairman, Philip Thomas, said:

“We wanted to do more for smaller community projects making a difference at the grassroots level. A little can go a long way for these organisations and 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.”

Chairman of Trustees at Kent Community Foundation, The Lady Colgrain, said:

“We are so thrilled to be establishing such an important partnership with The Lawson Trust. The Lawsons have left such a fantastic legacy, and the Lawson Endowment for Kent will support hundreds of local charities for generations to come. It is wonderful news for local communities.”

The Lawson Endowment for Kent

About the Kent Community Foundation

KCF helps individuals, families and organisations establish and administer their own charitable funds to support the causes that mean the most to them in Kent. Setting up a fund can otherwise be a complex and costly undertaking that can significantly eat into the resources intended for beneficiaries.

Established in May 2001, KCF has distributed over £26 million in grants and now provides financial support to hundreds charities and deserving causes throughout the county each year- particularly small, local charities, where a modest sum of money can make a significant impact. The Foundation’s endowment funds now stand at over £16 million- more than doubling over the past 3 years.

Key themes include:

  • Children, young people and families (from parenting classes to youth groups to carers support – and specifically helping children facing disadvantage who may miss out on opportunities)
  • Vulnerable and elderly adults (from befriending schemes to transport initiatives to homeless shelters or ‘men’s shed’ projects – and specifically combating social isolation)
  • Employment, skills and enterprise (from a variety of training schemes, including woodland management, mechanics and boat-building, to supporting social enterprises – and specifically supporting those furthest from the workforce; such as offenders, people with mental health issues, those with disabilities) along the pathway into work.