This small home-grown organisation aims to encourage current College Members in their support of charitable causes – with an emphasis on deprivation and youth. It was founded by concerned undergraduates and former members of the College and has been supported by Magdalen students, past and present, for more than 85 years. It is overseen by Trustees, and by a Committee comprising senior members, former members, and both current graduates and undergraduates.
Magdalen College Trust: conversion to CIO
The Trust has recently completed its conversion to a Charitable Incorporated Organisation. It is successor to the Magdalen College Mission, founded in 1884 and working first in Stepney, and from 1908 in Somers Town (Euston), but which ceased activities in 1940. The best-known Missioner was Fr Basil Jellicoe, in the 1920s. A Trust had been set up in 1920 to fund the work of the Mission, and in 1948, after several years of discussion about whether it was feasible to revive the Mission, a new constitution was adopted, and the name changed to ‘The Magdalen College Trust’. The objects of the Trust were ‘to provide, promote, assist and encourage on Christian principles, social, education and benevolent work and the means of recreation for the people of St Mary’s, Somers Town or elsewhere as the occasion may arise’. A clubhouse in Somers Town continued to operate until the 1960s, with a resident Warden, and opportunity for visits by members of College. Provision for young people in the area was increasingly taken over by local authorities, and by 1966 the Oxford Committee of the Trust was beginning to look nearer home for worthwhile projects to support. The clubhouse was demolished, and although the Trust continued to support similar ventures in London, notably Oxford House, Bethnal Green, it turned increasingly to social and educational projects in the Oxford area, and others that had the active participation of College members, increasingly in developing countries.
The new CIO Constitution echoes the original terms of 1948, and defines the objects of the Trust as: “advancing education for the public benefit by making grants to support charitable activities in which…Members are involved”; and “advancing education and relieving financial hardship for the public benefit by making grants to support young people, underprivileged people and the people of the Parish of St Mary, Somers Town, London”.
These days we only occasionally make grants to social or educational work in London, though we always have in mind the historical focus of our activities and do make donations on that basis to London-based causes.
- J.S.T. Garfitt (Chairman of the Executive Committee)
- R. Gilbert (Secretary and Treasurer)
Magdalen College Trust Report for 2014-15
We currently meet three times a year, in each of Michaelmas, Hilary and Trinity terms, to make awards. This year we have donated to the following organisations:
- Hindu Vidayapeeth UK
- Oxford Development Abroad
- Les Repits de Gaby
- HCPT Group 124
- Restless Development
- It Gets Brighter
- ICS and YCare
- Dhira Women’s Empowerment
- Root and Branch
- Lifebox Foundation
- Sticky Rice Love
- Oxford Pro Bono Publico
- OU Amateur Boxing Association (for charitable/outreach work in London)
- Music Plus
- My Life My Choice
- ACE Centre Advisory Trust
- Asthma Relief
- The Karen Hilltribes Trust
- Oxford Association for the Blind
- Amadeus Explorer Scout Unit
- Schools Plus (History)
- Oxford Gargoyles (for charitable/outreach work in Japan and China)
- Young Women’s Music Project
- The Invisible Faculty
- The Broken Spoke Co-op
Students and Fellows make a small annual subscription to the Trust unless they decide to opt out. The great majority of Magdalen people have contributed to this worthwhile enterprise in the past, and we hope that you will follow them by not opting out. Any College member can learn more about the Trust, and influence its policy making, by attending the Annual General Meeting. This is usually held on a Saturday morning in early May and will be advertised a week or two in advance.
Any College member who is actively involved in some charitable project is welcome to contact the Trust, which may be able to help with funds. Please write to the Chairman of the Executive Committee, Dr J.S.T. Garfitt, or the Trust Secretary, Dr Robert Gilbert. Should you wish to make a donation to the Trust, of any size, you can do this by filling in the Bankers Order and Gift Aid Form (PDF). It will be greatly appreciated, and will be well used.