In 1979 the Dudley and Geoffrey Cox Charitable Trust (regd. charity no. 277761) was founded by the Cox family, associated with the Haymills group of construction and property companies. Its focus is on helping young people, medical research, welfare and poverty relief, with particular sympathy for geographical areas where the Haymills group had a presence, and projects with a technical training aspect.
In a typical year the Trust awards over £200,000 in grants.
The trustees formerly administered this themselves with no paid help. It had become a significant burden.
Our help grew
Initially the trustees turned to the Merchant Taylors’ Company for help with administration and being the Trust’s correspondent for the public and regulators. Over time this role grew as they appreciated what the Company could offer. When trustees retired, the board was happy for the Merchant Taylors’ Company to provide replacements with top-level business and professional experience.
Merchant Taylors’ Charity Management now provides day-to-day administration, including managing the grant-making process, as well as thorough briefings and papers for board meetings.
The board has worked with Merchant Taylors’ Charity Management to refine its grant-making approach. This has resulted in achieving greater impact and securing the Trust’s longevity. We seek opportunities where the Trust can combine grants with other managed charities, which substantially increases its strength and impact on the lives of people in need.
The Trust only funds registered charities. It does not accept applications from or on behalf of individuals.
Information for charities seeking funds from the Trust
In principle the Trust funds things in the following categories, (subject to the policy preferences below):
- Category 1 – medical research projects; or
- Category 2 – things of benefit to young people; or
- Category 3 – ‘welfare’ in the sense of improving the well-being, living conditions, comfort or general flourishing of particular groups of people who are burdened in some way. In principle this category is very broad, but obvious examples would be homelessness, being in prison, isolated elderly people, people in financial hardship, etc; or
- Category 4 – costs of formal education.
Sometimes we receive applications from charities whose main activity is to help people living with a particular illness, disability or developmental condition, typically by providing advice, advocacy services, caseworkers, etc. We would treat this as a Category 3 application, except for the rare cases where such charities also conduct medical research and the application specifically relates to funding that research.
Core and non-Core charities
In each of the Categories above, the Trust has longstanding relationships with certain charities whom the trustees regard as ‘Core’ charities. The trustees will consider such charities for a grant every year, even if they have not lodged an application. It does not mean they are guaranteed to receive a grant.
Periodically the trustees review the list of Core charities. A charity might be removed if, for example, the trustees felt that the scale of its income meant that the Trust’s donation would be a drop in the ocean, or if they felt the charity was likely to raise the funds whether or not the Trust donated. Removal from the list does not imply criticism of the charity.
In a typical year, about half of the Trust’s grants are given to Core charities. The rest are given to Non-Core charities – ie, unsolicited applications from charities with whom the Trust has no longstanding relationship.
Policy preferences for unsolicited applications: all Categories
The Trust does not fund:
- applications from individuals (This includes where the application is to fund the individual’s cost of participating in a charitable activity, eg, environmental work outside the UK); or
- unsolicited applications relating to beneficiaries outside the UK; or
- unsolicited applications relating to environmental work, or animal welfare.
Policy preferences relating to education and training
The Trust does not accept unsolicited applications in Category 4 (costs of formal education). Hence the Trust never funds requests for help with particular individuals’ school, higher education or professional training fees. Its Category 4 funding is exclusively centred on a list of educational establishments where there is a long established link either with the late Dudley and Geoffrey Cox, or the Haymills group of companies, or with the construction industry generally. The Trust has no plans to extend the list. Category 4 funding tends to be in the form of scholarships or prizes for individuals . Current examples are:
- Funding bursaries and prizes at Merchant Taylors’ School, Northwood
- Funding prizes for students on construction or engineering courses at a small number of UK universities.
However, in Category 2 (Youth) and Category 3 (Welfare) the Trust has a preference for applications relating to some type of training or education in the broadest sense of the term, even more so if it relates in some way to construction or engineering or any type, and more so again if most beneficiaries are likely to be drawn from backgrounds of financial hardship.
Policy preferences for Category 2 (Youth) and Category 3 (Welfare): geography
The Trust’s strongest preference as to geography is for work which mainly or exclusively benefits London boroughs with a postcode starting with W, SW, or NW. This is due to the historic connection between the Haymills group of companies and West London.
The second preference is work which benefits the whole or a part of Greater London, but is not covered by the first preference.
The third preference is the South East of England.
National charities only have a chance of receiving funding in these Categories if it is for a particular project which falls within the first geographical preference above.
Policy preferences for Category 2 (Youth) and Category 3 (Welfare): type of work you ask us to fund
Our first preference is to fund either projects with a clear outcome, or a proposal which in some way will help your charity become significantly more resilient, or more efficient, or better at achieving its charitable purposes, or which will seed a beneficial knock on effect beyond your particular charity’s beneficiaries.
However, we are open to funding general running costs (‘core costs’). If that is what your charity really needs, we would much prefer you to tell us straightforwardly than to try and shoehorn your application into the preference above.
Policy preferences: size of grant
In Category 1 (medical research), the Trust rarely makes grants exceeding £5,000.
In Categories 2 (Youth) and 3 (Welfare), grants are often in the range £5,000 – £20,000 in a single year. However, we are open to requests for more where an applicant’s proposal in some way will help their charity become significantly more resilient, or more efficient, or better at achieving its charitable purposes, or will seed a beneficial knock on effect beyond their particular charity’s beneficiaries.