A charitable trust created four centuries ago to help educate children is still helping young people today.
The William Collins Trust was set up in Corhampton in 1669 – just three years after the Great Fire of London and while Charles II was on the throne – to provide for the education of children in the parish.
William Collins was the Rector at the time and bequeathed money to help fund the education of children of Corhampton, Meonstoke, Droxford and Exton in a school attached to the vicarage.
The Trust says education may look very different now, but the need is still there and his legacy is still helping children today who need financial assistance with an aspect of their education.
The original endowment now provides an annual income which is managed by a group of locally recruited trustees to provide financial help for local children
Applicants have to be under 25, live in Droxford, Meonstoke, Corhampton or Exton with a genuine need and the money will be used for a named aspect of their education.
Local young people who could benefit are encouraged to apply to the Trust. Many families have seen finances strained over the past 18-months due to Covid lockdowns.
“Covid hit us hard, both of us are self-employed and usually very successful, however we suddenly found ourselves unable to work and with a house, kids and the usual things to deal with financially,” said one parent who recently received a grant.
“The news that the kids were all going to be home and having to engage in ‘live lessons’ we wondered how this was manageable without an available device.
“Then in a group chat someone mentioned the William Collins Trust and said they could help if devices were needed. I gave it a shot. One simple email very briefly explaining my situation, not expecting to be ‘qualified’ at all.
“A little embarrassed at having to ask, my pride was not keen, but I sent it. Well, within less than 48 hours a cheque for a laptop so my daughter could continue her education from home had arrived on my doormat.
“No personal questions, no judgement and total discretion. I could not have been more humbled! So grateful to the Trust for helping us when things got tough for a while there!”
The Trust has recently helped to fund Droxford trips to Calshott, Swanmore geography field trips, books for university courses, equipment for college courses and music lessons.
Application forms can be found at the William Collins Trust link at www.bridgechurches.org.uk or on the Meonstoke or Droxford school websites.