Over £1.3 million is now being made available to charitable organisations, schools and social enterprises across Hull and East Yorkshire, thanks to the generous gift of a long term resident of Cottingham.
The I AM Fund has been established through the gift of Audrey Mosey, who sadly passed away on the 6th January 2018 aged 91. Audrey set out in her will that she wished for a large part of her estate to be used for good causes within the area she loved. That gift will now go on to help thousands of people through the creation of a new fund named in her honour converting into the I Audrey Mosey Fund (I Am Fund).
In its initial three years, the I AM Fund will provide investment in the performing arts, aiding young people to maximise their potential, enhancing venues, and giving them access to experiences and learning. The fund will be managed by the Hull and East Yorkshire Smile Foundation (Smile), a charity that has brought good intentions to life within regional communities for the last ten years.
The ‘I AM Fund’ was officially launched at the Northern Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA) in Hull on Monday 28th October at an event attended by a wide range of Hull and East Yorkshires Arts and Culture leaders alongside the funds committee headed up by Pauline Lindop, a close friend of Audrey, and the lead executor of her estate. NAPA is one of many arts venues that will have the opportunity apply for investment from the I AM Fund going forward.
At the event, HEY Smile Foundation and the I Am Fund committee highlighted some of the initial investments being made to local causes, and committed to investing in partnerships and shared resources, in addition to the grant making rounds across the year.
Pauline said:“I was not surprised by Audrey’s generosity in leaving such an incredible sum of money to be invested in good causes across the area, because that was her nature. It was a daunting challenge at first knowing I was going to need to play a part in something so important, but also felt incredibly honoured and excited by the prospect. I realised very quickly that it is a huge responsibility and something to which I am now extremely grateful to Smile and to Paul Mounce from Gosschalks Solicitors for their guidance and expertise.”
Pauline went on to say: “Audrey left a number of donations to specific charities including Dove House Hospice and the local branch of the RSPCA. The majority of the funds were left for the general community benefit and that’s where working with Smile and Gosschalks has become so important. They have guided and helped me to establish the fund and we have clear aims about how we can meet the needs of the community and, importantly, support those pursuing Audrey’s own passions including dance, and for that I am extremely grateful.”
The donation that created the I Am Fund was given in the form of a legacy. Latest national statistics show that more than £2.8 billion was left to charities through gifts in wills in 2018 but that the majority of these were left to larger national charities, with many local charities and regional branches of well-known organisations missing out on vital funds.
Paul Mounce, Partner at Gosschalks Solicitors and a specialist in wills and probate said: “Many clients we work with have not considered leaving a gift to a local charity, or indeed a charitable cause at all. While our main priority is to encourage everyone to have a Will in place, we can also advise on how to include a gift to the charity someone may have supported in life, or have received support from at some stage. Many people don’t also fully understand the taxable benefits of charitable giving.”
Andrew Barber, Chief Executive of Smile said: “Audrey’s legacy will go on to help thousands of people for many years to come, improving the local community, inspiring the talented and investing in those organisations who provide platforms for individuals and communities to shine.
“This is a hugely significant donation for Smile and importantly for the community of Hull and East Yorkshire. Audrey and Pauline have entrusted us to ensure these funds have a lasting impact and that is not something that I or my trustees take lightly.
“We believe that these funds can unlock further potential, for example in the form of match funding from other partners or underwriting of potential larger projects to be established in the future. We are working closely with leading local arts individuals and ambassadors such as Vincent Regan based in Beverley and Michael Jibson and Andrew Pearson who are equally invested to ensure we always make informed decisions when we bring together the grant panel for the I am Fund each quarter.”
Andrew continued: “Gifts in Wills such as the generous donation from Audrey Mosey is an area that we (Smile) and our friends Gosschalks Solicitors are investing in from 2020, helping local charities to highlight the difference leaving a gift to them can make. We hope that this gift is seen as a catalyst for greater local giving in the future.”
HEY Smile Foundation are actively encouraging organisations to register their interest in applying for support from the I AM Fund via their website www.heysmilefoundation.org or by contacting their team on Iamfund@heysmilefoundation.org or 01482 590270.
[Sarah Shepherdson – Smile Foundation]