28th Jun 2022

Leaving a gift in a Will to the Community Foundation is a way for people to support the places, communities and causes that have been close to their hearts during their lifetime. Many named funds at the Community Foundation have been set up in this way, But a growing number of funds have been set up with other meanings of ‘legacy’.  

Some funds have been set up in memory of a lost loved one. The Emma Newton Fund, which marked its 10th anniversary in 2021, is an example. It was set up by family and friends of Emma who, aged 18, was tragically killed in a car accident during a heavy storm. Through fundraising efforts over the years, the endowment now stands at £100,000. As it has grown, the Fund has supported young people to take up opportunities in the arts, especially in music and dance – reflecting Emma’s own talents and passions. Robbie and Peggy Newton are Emma’s parents. “The fund at the Community Foundation has really helped us over the last ten years,” they explain. “We know Emma would have been thrilled to see the impact it’s made. She was a very caring person and always gave her time to others, often teaching friends how to dance after school. It’s fitting that the Fund is providing opportunities to other young people who, like Emma, love performing. We would like to thank the people of Hexham, the North East and all around the world, who have supported the fund since the beginning and helped us make a lasting impact on so many young people’s lives.” 

Professor Sir Laurence Martin and his wife Betty spent many happy years living and working in the North East of England when Sir Laurence was Vice Chancellor of Newcastle University. In 2014, Sir Laurence set up the Lady Betty Martin Fund in Betty’s memory to recognise her contribution to and passion for education and young people, and her affection for the region.

More recently the Louise Dalton Fund was set up by her family in memory of Louise who passed away in 2019. The Fund will grow and support learning and arts activities for families and children, and organisations helping people who are undergoing, or have undergone, treatment for cancer and their families.  When Louise’s children are older they will become involved in recommending grants from the fund in their late mother’s name to continue the family philanthropy. 

But what if you receive a legacy in the Will of a parent or relative and you want to do something meaningful with the money? You might want to commemorate their life, have something live on in their name, or perhaps the gift is above what you need to live comfortably? The donors to the Community Foundation’s Pea Green Boat Community First Fund found themselves in exactly that position when the estate from their parents provided a sum that they felt was more than anything they needed personally. It gave them the opportunity to create a fund to support causes they felt passionate about: play, learning and creativity for young children to support their mental health, and activities that give a voice to, and raise awareness of, issues facing refugees and asylum seekers. 

But those thinking of leaving a legacy don’t need to wait to get involved in giving through the Community Foundation. The JesDesStaff Fund was set up following a conversation about leaving a gift in the donors’ Will. In doing so, they were so inspired thinking about what the fund could be doing in the future, they made a donation in their lifetime to get it started straight away and have the option of adding to it further during their lifetime.

 Lisa Cappleman, the Foundation’s Head of Giving & Philanthropy explains. “It’s great to be able to discuss with donors their wishes for their legacy gift, and even better when that turns into a fund being set up straight away! This means that our donors can see for themselves the difference their giving can make and gives them extra piece of mind knowing exactly how their legacy gift will continue to make a difference long after they are gone.” 

For more information on legacies visit our legacy page

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