Our history

The history of the Samworth Foundation

Based on conversations with Sir David Samworth

The Samworth Foundation came to life on the 26th January 1973, although in its origin, it was known as the Samworth Cadell Trust. The Trust was given fifty thousand ordinary shares in Pork Farms Limited prior to its sale. Collectively the shares were worth £100,000, which provided an initial annual income of £3,000 for the Trust to distribute to local causes and organisations. The Foundation continued to grow over the years with annual donations from Samworth Brothers Limited and the Samworth Family, increasing the initial endowment.

“When Rosemary and I discussed putting 50,000 Pork Farms shares (10% of our holding) into a Charitable Trust in 1973 at a value of approximately £100,000, we never thought that it would grow into the size that it is today with Trustees and Advisors of the high calibre that it now enjoys”
Sir David Samworth

The Foundation’s origins stem from Sir David Samworth’s desire to ‘give back’ to the local community. This led to a commitment to establish the Foundation. Further personal commitment led to Sir David serving on the Trent Regional Health Authority, on various PCCs and other charitable Boards and the establishment of several Academies in the region.

Sir David charts the development of his philanthropic interest back to his initial involvement with Uppingham School. As an old Uppinghamian, Sir David is clear that his experiences at school directly shaped and influenced his outlook on life and value of education. Taking up the post of ADC to the Governor General in Khartoum sparked Sir David’s interest in Africa and its people. Resident in Africa for one year, whilst Khartoum was handed to the Sudanese, Sir David witnessed first hand some of the hardship and injustice life bestows upon the people across the continent. This interest and empathy with Africa continued through his youngest daughter Viccy who spent time working in Mozambique and through old school connections working in Tanzania. Sir David comments, “Opportunities kept presenting themselves to us. It just seemed right to give in Africa.” And so, the Samworth Foundation naturally grew to reflect this international interest by awarding grants across Africa.

In the last ten years, the Samworth Foundation supported the establishment and development of three Academies across Leicestershire. The Foundation’s commitment, with Partner Sponsors, of up to £2 million to each school, released additional funding by the UK government to the Academies as a whole. “This was an opportunity to come full circle and link the aspirations of both public and private education. Education is essential. A lack of education is the basis of so many problems. Having the advantage of a good education presents multiple opportunities for young people.”

Today, the Samworth Foundation continues to grow. It now works with the next generation of Samworth family members with the aim to continue to work with future generations. Particular funding interests may change and grow with family preferences but the guiding principles remain strong. These are rooted in Christian principles of charity and the proverb “Give a Man a Fish, and You Feed Him for a Day. Teach a Man To Fish, and You Feed Him for a Lifetime”.

November 2017