Wolfson family awarded Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy

Dame Janet Wolfson de Botton, chair of the Wolfson Foundation, will collect the medal at a ceremony at the Scottish parliament in Edinburgh on 17 October

Dame Janet Wolfson de Botton
Dame Janet Wolfson de Botton
The prestigious Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy is to be awarded to the Wolfson family, founders of the Wolfson Foundation.

The grant-maker supports and promotes excellence in the fields of science and medicine, the arts and humanities, education and health, and disability. More than £750m has been awarded in grants to about 10,000 projects over the past 58 years.

The awards are held every two years and recognise those who use their private wealth for public good. This year’s awards will be presented to recipients at a ceremony at the Scottish parliament in Edinburgh on 17 October.

It is only the second time that the ceremony has been held outside the US. The event was held at the Scottish parliament on the previous occasion. 

Dame Janet Wolfson de Botton, who has been chair of the Wolfson Foundation since 2010, will collect the medal on behalf of her family. The foundation was established in 1955 by her father, Lord Wolfson of Marylebone, and his parents, Sir Isaac Wolfson and his wife, Edith.

Other recipients this year include Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, chair of the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, and Sir Tom Hunter, the entrepreneur known as Scotland’s first "home-grown billionaire", who established the Hunter Foundation.

Past winners include the Rockefeller family, the Gates family, the Sainsbury family, the Cadbury family, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Pierre Omidyar, the founder and chair of eBay.

The Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy was established in 2001 to mark the centenary of Andrew Carnegie’s retirement from business and the beginning of his philanthropic efforts.

Carnegie, whose family emigrated from Dunfermline to the US to escape a life of poverty in Scotland, made his fortune in steel and became the world’s richest man.

Wolfson de Botton said: "I am delighted and honoured to receive the Carnegie Medal on behalf of my father, and I would like to pay tribute to him and to my grandparents who established the foundation."

Paul Ramsbottom, chief executive of the foundation, said: "The Wolfson Foundation, led by three generations of the Wolfson family, has maintained a continued focus on promoting and supporting excellence in British society. These are difficult times for all fundraising organisations and I am glad that we have been able to maintain and even increase our grant-making in recent years."

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