Marking the launch of the Wales in London Philanthropic Fund
Wales has long had a strong connection to London, embodied by ‘Wales in London’, who work hard to provide myriad opportunities for Welsh people new to the city, and to foster a community ethos amongst those with Welsh connections who may have lived in London for many years.
In March 2015, Wales in London established the Wales in London Philanthropic Fund at the Community Foundation in Wales. This endowment Fund will provide a sustainable source of funding to support enterprising students, entrepreneurs, and the people of Wales, at the beginning of their careers in achieving their ambitions. The Fund will help support post graduate studies, scholarships, business bursaries, work experience and career development.
To mark the establishment of this Fund, Wales in London held a special launch reception in central London on March 25th. Guests at the event, all early donors to the fund, heard from guest speaker Harry Bingham, the highly successful author whose lead narrator, Fiona Griffiths, lives and works in Cardiff. Harry spoke frankly about his childhood memories of holidays in Wales and the inspiration the country provides his writing. Fittingly, he told the audience of his desire to see the “levelling of the slope” that can sometimes prevent Welsh talent from travelling along the M4 to London.
Thanks to several private clients of the Community Foundation in Wales, a number of people have received funding to support their studies and development opportunities in London. Young people like Megan, a student, who, thanks to a grant from one of our clients, has been able to pursue the necessary training to achieve her goal of working in the legal sector. The benefits of living in London have, for her, been numerous, “being located somewhere that can really benefit my career has been fantastic”.
Another young student, Fiona, suggests that “Without financial support I don’t know if I would have been able to ever take this career path, it is such an expensive course and hugely demanding of your time which makes working alongside the course very difficult. I would have ended up working for many years to save enough to pay for the course myself, then being much older qualifying, if I would have managed to do it at all”.
Wales in London supports and enhances the link between Wales and London with a strong history of fundraising and supporting community groups in Wales. It recognises the Fund for Wales as an excellent vehicle for furthering the scope of Welsh philanthropy, whilst providing a means for those who care about Wales to give to the people of Wales.
Huw Hampson-Jones, Chairman of Wales in London, said that “the idea is for successful Welsh individuals to help support the next generation and give something back to Wales. We hope that when individuals who have received support become successful, then one day they too will contribute to the fund themselves.
“The initiative has been received very well and has attracted generous support. We are looking forward to seeing the fund go from strength to strength over the next five years.”