The Oglesby Charitable Trust (OCT) was established in 1992, and became active in the early 2000’s, since which time it has supported over 300 charities and has given approximately £10 million.
The Trust was originally founded by Jean and Michael Oglesby, who have been joined by their daughter, Kate Vokes and their daughter-in-law, Jane Oglesby and involvement has already started with the next generation of the Family. Funding of the Trust has been possible because of the Family’s ownership of the Bruntwood Group of Companies, which it founded in 1977. www.bruntwood.co.uk.
The Trust was set up to support activities in the North West of England to further the well-being of the Region and its people through a very wide range of activities which include the Arts, Education, Environment, Medical Research and tackling Social Inequality. Since its inception the principal activities of the OCT have remained focused in the North of England, although the Trustees have supported a limited number of projects outside both the North West and the UK.
Whilst the Trust's current value is £10m, the Trustees do not intend to build a long term endowment, but to continue to give between £2m - £3m per annum. At any one time the Trust has over 80 active relationships and the Trustees pride themselves in playing a positive role in each of these. The Trustees ensure that several visits are made prior to a new arrangement to give, and active monitoring takes place during the lifetime of the donation. The Trustees firmly believe that, in the majority of cases, this involvement and personal time can prove to be just as beneficial to the recipient as the cash given.
The Trustees take both a grassroots and a strategic approach to their giving, understanding that local approaches tend to reach those most in need, whilst broader initiatives and collaborations are sometimes necessary to drive meaningful change. The Trustees have therefore taken the decision to become focused on root causes, rather than consequences.
As described above, the Trustees are now generating sufficient funding relationships to meet their giving target and, in fact, opportunities generally exceed available funds. These are produced either from the bank of relationships formed since inception or, increasingly, from ideas created by the Trustees themselves. As the Trust has matured, donations have increased, both in size and also in duration. This is a trend which the Trustees are actively looking to grow, whilst accepting that the Fund should always maintain capacity for smaller donations, particularly from new charities.
The Trustees have always striven to ensure that the funds given make a real and measurable difference. The Trustees have worked long and hard to assemble the funds which are now being distributed and they expect the recipients to understand their value and to extend a similar level of care in their use.
In 2015 the Trustees decided, in order to improve service whilst managing an increasing workload, to appoint a Relationship Manager - Louise Magill - who works closely with the family Trustees.