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King Charles, Trustees, staff and supporters of the Fund

PWCF celebrates four decades and over £70million to good causes

  • Countryside
  • Education
  • Environment
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Heritage and Conservation
  • Social Inclusion

The King attends event at St James’s Palace, to mark over four decades of The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund, that has awarded over £70m to charities. 150 guests were in attendance, representing some of the good causes that have benefitted from the charitable fund to showcase their achievements.

On the 12th July 2023, The King welcomed to St James’s Palace 150 individuals representing charities who have benefitted from more than £70 million awarded to good causes since The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund (PWCF) was established over four decades ago.

The Fund’s mission is to transform lives and build sustainable communities by awarding grants to a wide range of good causes across six interconnected themes: Environment, Countryside, Social Inclusion, Health & Wellbeing, Heritage & Conservation and Education.

Using the event as an opportunity to mark the achievements of the charities who have benefitted, the Fund’s Chair of Trustees, Sir Ian Cheshire also announced a new drive to tackle food insecurity and waste through an initiative called the Coronation Food Project.

The primary objective of the project is to reduce the amount of edible surplus food from going to landfill and instead, by working with food redistribution charities, ensure it gets to charities supporting those most in need.

The Coronation Food Project will build on the success of a previous initiative that His Majesty The King and many others supported in 2022 and early 2023 to extend the life of surplus food. Working with food redistribution charities such as The Felix Project, it distributed over 800 fridges and freezers to food banks and community organisations across the UK.

Speaking at the event, Chair of Trustees, Sir Ian Cheshire said: “The King has been a champion of the circular economy, farming communities and increasing our food security as a nation for many decades and is keen to support a step-change in this work over the coming years. We are thrilled that so many partner organisations and charities have been able to come together to celebrate the Fund’s four decade milestone today.”

An initiative already championed by PWCF, is Innovative Farmers. Through practical field laboratory trials, the initiative encourages farmers to experiment with different management techniques which improve biodiversity, soil health and climate resilience and, crucially, productivity and profitability. Through the work of Innovative Farmers, the Fund helps towards mitigating future food waste, improving crop productivity, and commercially benefiting farmers and the wider food supply chain.

Chef, Will Torrent, presents His Majesty with a cake celebrating 40 years of his Charitable Fund

(C) Ian Jones / PWCF

Today, The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund receives most of its income from the Waitrose Duchy Organic brand, which was set up in 1992 by His Majesty, as Prince of Wales. It has been a pioneer in the organic food market for decades, with over £40m being raised through the sales of the Waitrose Duchy Organic brand.

On the partnership, Waitrose Executive Director James Bailey said: “We are incredibly proud of our Waitrose Duchy Organic range and we’re delighted to have been part of today’s event to celebrate the achievement of the great causes who have benefited from the donations.

Bailey continued: “The very first Duchy Organic Oaten Biscuits were made from wheats and oats organically grown on the Highgrove Estate some 30 years ago – what was set in motion after that is an incredible story of food and farming, underpinned by the brand values of good food, good farming and good causes . His Majesty was then, and remains, pivotal in encouraging farming with nature and we are thrilled to be part of the amazing work through our Waitrose Duchy Organic range.

On average, 150 charities a year share in approximately £5m worth of grants. As well as Waitrose Duchy Organic, PWCF also receives support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery with funding awarded by Postcode Support Trust to help the many and varied initiatives.

Sir Ian added: “The King’s commitment to celebrating diversity and inclusivity, seen so vividly during the recent Coronation, is replicated in the breadth of projects that have been awarded grants over the years, and we are so very lucky that a number of those organisations were able to join us at this celebration today.

One such charity in attendance was Arts Together, which works to improve the health, wellbeing and quality of life of older people by bringing together professional artists and those facing isolation or loneliness for weekly art workshops.

Valerie Burford, who is a member of the Melksham group of Arts Together said: “I love the intelligence, madness, creativity, compassion and overall niceness of the Arts Together family. Age and frailty are no barrier as we all treat each other as rational human beings, able to communicate and create together.”

Mrs Burford continued: “It is an honour for me to be representing all the members of Arts Together and to be able to showcase our work at this special event.

Brixton based charity, the BIGKID Foundation, which was recently awarded £90,000 by the Fund to help in its efforts to end social exclusion and youth violence in the Borough, was also at the event.

BIGKID Founder and CEO Shaninga Marasha said, “We are honoured to have been awarded funding from PWCF, and to be a part of today’s event. Their support has helped us hone our hub model, connect our work in schools and the Lambeth community and realise our ambition to bring what we do to new areas of London – ultimately reaching more vulnerable young people than ever before.”

Marasha continued: “The funding is so important and comes at a time when there are ever growing needs for young people in our communities; whether it is the impact of the cost-of-living crisis, lasting effects of the COVID pandemic on education or mental and physical well-being.”