About us - what we do

Objects.  Focused on Westminster, the two key strands of our work are:

  • Supporting disadvantaged younger people, particularly through training and education.
  • Supporting older people in need, especially those who are lonely and socially isolated.

In 2023 the Trustees agreed a new operating model that will draw on our reserves to fund longer term innovative programmes, particularly for young people in Westminster, while substantially reducing governance and support costs.  This will see Trustees leading on charitable programmes and administration outsourced to a charitable trust management company.  We are adopting this new model in 2024.

Achievements in 2023

In 2023 we maintained a full range of charitable programmes, including one new programme in support of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.  We continued to draw on our reserves to do so.

Our achievements include:

  • Silver Sunday, the national day for older people, took place on and around Sunday, 1st October 2023.  It was our most successful yet with over 2,000 fun and free events taking place across the UK; some 70 events were held in Westminster alone.  These events were attended by tens of thousands of older people and supported by over one hundred organisations, including companies such as Bupa, Sanctuary, Metro Bank and HC-One, the largest care home provider in the country.
  • We have been in discussions with Age UK, the UK’s leading charity for older people, since June 2023 about the future of Silver Sunday.  We handed Silver Sunday over to Age UK on 27th March 2024.  We are very excited about its future development and growth as Age UK has the breadth, depth and resources to enable Silver Sunday to achieve its full potential as the national day for older people.
  • The Westminster Tea Dance was held on Sunday, 10th December 2023 in the Great Room of the Grosvenor House hotel.  This annual jamboree of music, singing, dancing and a delicious cream tea is much anticipated by older Westminster residents and was heavily oversubscribed.  We are hugely grateful to so many: the hotel and their staff, who looked after us superbly; the performers who made the party; our Westminster charitable partners and the Westminster care homes, who brought many guests with them; and the London Police Cadets and so many volunteers from ‘Westminster Connects’, the Council’s volunteer service, without whom this event would not be possible.
  • Our VIP guest this year was Derrick Evans MBE, professionally known as ‘Mr Motivator’.  He was hugely popular and inspired our guests.  He also presented a Fortnum & Mason Christmas Hamper to our oldest guest, Mr Percy Chafer, who was 104.  Other VIP guests included The Lord Mayor of Westminster, the Leader of Westminster City Council and other Councillors and Council senior officers. 
  • In these difficult times we continued with our Christmas programme of support to some of the most vulnerable in Westminster at this time of year:
    • Volunteers from Westminster Connects helped us to deliver 800 Christmas hampers to the most isolated, disadvantaged and impoverished older people in the city.  We also delivered some to carers, to recognise the contribution they make, and to Council care homes.  Five hundred of these hampers were funded by Westminster Business Improvement Districts.
    • We donated £10k worth of Christmas vouchers to Westminster Care Leavers and families that are in particular need during the festive season.  The vouchers were delivered for us by Council social workers. 
  • We continue to fund seven students from low income families at university with Sir Simon Milton Scholarships and Bursaries; the latter are for students at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge, Simon Milton’s alma mater, where we are helping three students.  The awards help the students to afford to live and eat so that they can study and achieve their potential.  We have 22 Scholarship alumni now making their way in the world. 
  • We made one new Scholarship award for the 2023-2024 Academic Year to a student reading Politics and International Relations at Loughborough University.  He comes from a low income family where he is a carer for his severely autistic brother.
  • In August 2022, we established a new bursary programme with Ada, The National College for Digital Skills, which moved to Pimlico in August 2023.  From 2022, we have granted the College £20,000 every year for a period of three years to support up to 40 Sixth Form students from financially disadvantaged backgrounds with Sir Simon Milton Bursaries.
  • We are supporting the University of Westminster with Sir Simon Milton Care Leaver Bursaries.  From 2022, we have granted the University £10,000 every year for three years to support 15 care leavers in their final year of study.  This benefits five Westminster students per year with a bursary of £2,000 each.
  • In September 2023 we granted Real Action, a charity operating in the north of the City, £10,000 every year for the next three years in support of their Butterfly Education Resurrection programme, which targets education deprivation in the Mozart area of the City.
  • The end of the period and the first quarter of 2024 were dominated not only by the transfer of Silver Sunday to Age UK, but also the detailed planning necessary to move from our previous operational model with paid employees to our new model with Trustee-led activities and the Foundation’s administration managed by The Trust Partnership, a charitable trust management company.  The administrative change took effect from 31st March 2024.​​

What we are going to do next

In 2023, Trustees agreed a new operating model with the following charitable programmes.  From 2024, we plan to:

  • Young people:
    • Create two new substantial grants over five years aimed at young people in education and training.
    • Continue to support students from low income families at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge through the Sir Simon Milton Bursary scheme.
    • Fulfil existing scholarship, bursary and grant commitments in 2024 and 2025.​​​​​​
  • Older people:
    • Continue to support the ever popular Westminster Tea Dance.
    • Continue to fund the Christmas hampers programme.