- Tudor Trust has assets of £288m and gives about £20m a year to good causes
Organisations not connected to ‘social justice and anti-racism’ face being frozen out by one of Britain’s wealthiest charities, which is undergoing a woke makeover.
The Tudor Trust has assets of £288 million and gives about £20 million a year to good causes. Its funding provides a vital lifeline and source of income to small charities and community organisations across the UK.
A decision to stop accepting grant applications from April last year while the trust ‘re-thinks’ its future and staff learn about ‘racial justice and white supremacy culture,’ has meant many of these organisations have been forced to look elsewhere for funding.
But an email sent recently to grant recipients has revealed a planned change in strategy that is likely to bar many charities from applying to the trust in future, MailOnline has discovered.
Those dealing with mental health support in predominantly white areas could be cut out, for example.
The email states: ‘We are planning a new approach on which to build a transformed grant-making strategy. The Tudor Trust has operated as a generalist funder and the grant-making strategy has been led by the trustees.
‘In a new approach we want to put social justice and anti-racism at the core, with an emphasis upon working strategically within a wider range of stakeholders towards systemic change.’
It added that the trust has ‘now closed our existing grant-making strategy.’
The London-based Tudor Trust began in 1955 from a bequest from Sir Godfrey Mitchell, founder of building giant George Wimpey.
But following the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests it branded itself ‘white and privileged’ and began a revamp that will lead to the entire Board of Trustees being replaced.
Family trustees are set to leave as part of the diversity and ‘social justice’ policy move.
Rekindle is based in Mid-Wales and provides mental health services for young people aged 16 to 25, supporting over 100 clients at any time.
It received £30,000 a year for the three years to April 2022 from the Tudor Trust and this represented about one fifth of its total funds.
But Rekindle believes the strategy change means it won’t be able to apply to seek grants in future from the trust.
Jodie Hughes, service delivery manager, said: ‘We had an email from them in the last month that said they were changing their criteria and we wouldn’t meet the criteria anymore.’
She said after three years of funding Rekindle would not have sought another grant this year, but a future income stream has effectively been blocked.
‘We are reliant on trusts and grants and so we will have to find a source of income from somewhere else.’
That may mean changing the way they operate to fit the criteria of other trusts, she said.
Commenting on the Tudor Trust decision, she said it ‘makes us feel less confident, maybe reflect again on ourselves.’
‘We think we are doing a good job in our local area,’ she said, and the move was ‘unsettling’ and may force a rethink of the charity’s strategy. ‘It makes us review our own processes,’ adding that she is ‘very grateful’ to the Tudor Trust for its funding over the years.
The Bristol Older People’s Forum received a £3,000 grant to go towards Platform 60, a national website for older people that will be launched shortly.
‘It has been really useful to get the grant,’ said a spokesman. ‘It was only a small amount of money, but we wanted to get another small amount to continue the development of the project.’
However, the Tudor Trust changes meant they have had to rely on a national lottery grant and volunteers giving time for free to complete the work.
Another charity that helps children in north-west England, but asked not to be named, said the funds from the Tudor Trust were a ‘lifeline’ and they would have applied for grants in future but that is now uncertain.
A member of staff said the Tudor Trust shutdown to re-evaluate they way it operates was ‘a bit of a strange one.’
Today a new statement from the Tudor Trust stressed that trustees had backed the change in approach and had not been sacked.
It said: ‘No trustees have been dismissed. The decision for the present board to step down comes entirely from the existing trustees and is an exciting opportunity for a new group of trustees to take on the work that the current Board has begun. This is a carefully managed period of change and it is of importance to us that the Trust continues to serve communities most in need of its funding going forward.
‘The Tudor Trust continues to have strong funding relationships with its existing grant holders and has funding commitments to around 650 organisations across the country. This amounts to around £20m going to good causes every year. These relationships will continue until such time that we are ready to launch a new funding strategy.’