Chair’s statement

Reflections on an anniversary

This year marked an important milestone in the history of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. It is 25 years since the Foundation was set up in its present form, and we decided to mark this anniversary by making a small number of substantial donations to important organisations of very different kinds with whom we’ve enjoyed productive associations over the past decade.

These organisations exemplify a boldness of action alongside a generosity of spirit. Among them is the extraordinary Jaipur Foot clinic in India, which fits thousands of people each year with prosthetic limbs. The Roundhouse in north London empowers young people to get involved in the creative industries. Tate is setting in play a new national network for the arts, Circuit, enabling disenfranchised communities to feel they have a real stake in their museums. All are making a potentially crucial difference to people’s lives. Each of these organisations – and many more whom we fund in the fields of the arts, education and learning and social justice – are determined that what the Foundation gives creates an opportunity for them to give too – with intelligence, imagination and flair.

In addition to the anniversary gifts, a few highlights stand out for me. In July 2012 we hosted a ‘digital camp’ at our London offices, bringing together 70 young migrants, workers from the sector and technology developers to explore ways of offering online support to young people with irregular immigration status. The voices of these young people, their desire and determination to become involved in our society rather than living on its edges, could not have provided a more affirmative counterpoint to the demonising of ‘undocumented’ people in Britain which remains depressingly present in our public life.

A different but equally important aspect of our work, our desire to understand the range of outcomes of our funding, saw the publication of our first Impact Assessment, which provides valuable insights into the effectiveness of some of the programmes we fund.

Initiatives such as these, and countless more, are testament to the imagination and drive of our Director Robert Dufton. Robert steps down in the summer of 2013, after leading the Foundation for almost a decade, to join the Centre of Charity Effectiveness at Cass Business School in London as a Senior Visiting Fellow. The Foundation has undergone a decade of very significant growth and change under Robert’s inspiring leadership and we owe him a huge debt of gratitude.

Our new Director, Martin Brookes, joined us in June and we are looking forward to Martin leading the Foundation in the next phase of its life. Over the next year, Martin will be working with our Board of Trustees and advisors to develop a new strategic plan which will build on what the Foundation has achieved and learned over the past few years.

I am grateful to our trustees and advisors for the time, energy and ideas they bring to our work. Anthony Salz, a member of our Finance and Investment committee, was recently knighted for voluntary services to young people and public life, and Jonathan Reekie, an advisor to the Arts programme, was honoured with a CBE for services to music. Finally, I would like to extend my thanks to the exceptionally committed team at the Foundation.

Jane Hamlyn