Awards planned for wealthy givers

A regional scheme based on the Beacon Fellowship awards for people who have made outstanding contributions to charity and social causes is being launched in Leicestershire next February.

The project aims to recognise and encourage wealthy people to get involved with community projects.

Leicestershire First is being launched by Maurice Thompson, venture capitalist and vice-chairman of Citigroup, the financial services company, in association with the Beacon Fellowship Charitable Trust.

“The less well-off are very good at volunteering and supporting local initiatives, whereas the wealthy need to support that kind of work because it has to be sustainable,” said Fintan Nicholls, deputy chief executive of the Beacon Fellowship. “It’s a good opportunity to bring together recognition of what each side does. The initiative will bring these two communities together.”

The project will operate alongside the Community Foundations Network and other community initiatives.

The Beacon Fellowship Charity Trust is in talks with other local authorities about setting up similar schemes in other regions after the Leicestershire initiative has been running for at least a year.

“We are hoping that those partnerships will filter down and encourage individuals to encourage corporate giving,” said Nicholls. “Quite often these wealthy people have strong links with corporate organisations.”

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