Edward Fairthorne Memorial Trust

Over many centuries local trusts were established for various reasons to benefit local communities by benefactors who lived in them . The sole surviving trust for Brightwell-cum-Sotwell is the Edward Fairthorne Memorial Trust, named for the individual who was a great philanthropist within the village of Brightwell. All the other bodies of this type associated with the (joined) village – which were many in number but largely without funds - disappeared in the 1990s in a programme of consolidation into this single trust.

This Trust exists to help people in Brightwell and about who are “in need, hardship or distress”. What does this mean? The Trustees have a wide discretion to assist people who they believe can benefit from the Trust helping them and have always interpreted the “need....” provisions widely.

The Trust has some assets to use for these purposes and can make gifts or loans to or pay for goods, services or facilities for people it helps. Probably because of the notion of “charity”, individuals have not always felt comfortable with approaching the Trust for assistance: but it is an organisation specifically devoted to helping those in Brightwell and around. Over the years we have aided local people in a quiet and discreet way. The Trustees are all associated with the village and understand the importance of discretion. They feel that they could do more with the resources they have and would very much like individuals who have a need to come forward so that they can be helped if they qualify.

Examples of how we have helped individuals in the past include the payment for trips organised by village bodies, supplementary educational assistance and supporting other village functions. The resources available to the Trustees are not great but they can make, and have made, a significant difference to those who have benefitted from the Trust.

The Trustees would very much like to see more applications for assistance and we would welcome readers applying themselves but also bringing us to the notice of others whom they feel might benefit. We cannot always agree to provide funds for every applicant, but we always try to help where we can.

All applications and communications are treated in the utmost confidence. If you feel that you might need the Trust to help you then please contact the Secretary at Michael Drury below.

Michael Drury