Good causes urged to apply for historic charity’s £2m Centenary Grants

Charitable causes across Hull and East Yorkshire are being reminded to apply for special Centenary Grants launched by the historic Sir James Reckitt Charity to celebrate its 100-year legacy.

Chairman Sarah Craven, front, third left, with fellow trustees of The Sir James Reckitt Charity in front of the war memorial at the Reckitt site in Hull. The trustees gathered to celebrate 100 years of supporting good causes.

The Sir James Reckitt Charity was founded in 1921 by Quaker Sir James, using shares in Reckitt & Sons Ltd, now global health, hygiene and nutrition giant Reckitt.

The charity has become a fitting legacy for Hull’s great philanthropist, having donated over £30m to help good causes across both Hull and East Yorkshire and the Quaker community.

To mark 100 years of giving to charitable organisations across Hull and the surrounding area, The Sir James Reckitt Charity has announced special Centenary Grants totalling £2m are being made available this year.

The grants are available to any organisation or charitable cause which has been supported by The Sir James Reckitt Charity in the past 10 years.

Local organisations which have benefitted from the charity in recent times include Hull Sea Cadets, Humbercare, Sight Support and the Spring Bank Community Centre.

Sarah Craven, Chairman of The Sir James Reckitt Charity and great, great granddaughter of Sir James, said: “As our charity celebrates 100 years of supporting good causes, we were delighted to announce special Centenary Grants which are available to all organisations in our existing network.

“As a descendant of Sir James, it’s been a privilege to continue the extraordinary impact he had on Hull and to ensure his values and charitable ethos lived on after his death.

“I encourage all organisations we currently work with to please get in touch with us and apply for our Centenary Grants. These grants are available throughout 2022 and are a significant increase on our typical annual giving.”

The Centenary Grants have been made available following the death of Kate Pollock, a cousin of Mrs Craven and herself a descendant of Sir James, as well as other sources of funds.

In recent times, the charity has given around £1m a year to good causes. This year, to mark 100 years, the charity has announced the special Centenary Grants, in addition to its existing donations.

Mrs Craven announced the grants to special guests and delegates at a celebration event which was held at Reckitt’s £105m Science and Innovation Centre.

She took to the stage wearing a broach which was presented to Sir James when he officially opened the Carnegie Library in Hull in 1905.

Sir James campaigned tirelessly for the first public, free-access library in Hull, which opened in 1892 in east Hull. It was part of an extraordinary legacy which also saw him oversee the construction of around 600 houses in Garden Village for Reckitt employees.

That legacy has been carried on by The Sir James Reckitt Charity’s work over the past century, with millions supporting an array of charities and other organisations in Hull and East Yorkshire.

As well as supporting local good causes, donations have been made by The Sir James Reckitt Charity further afield. In 1984, £10,000 was sent to tackle famine in Africa; £15,000 supported a hurricane appeal in Honduras and Nicaragua in 1998; and £20,000 was sent to Kosovo in 1999 as war raged in the country.

More recently, £20,000 was sent to Afghanistan and £50,000 to Ukraine.

  • To apply for a Centenary Grant, please contact charity administrator Kelly Sykes-Moody via
  • Applications need to be submitted by September 2022. To be eligible to receive a grant, you must meet the criteria as set out on the website, and have been supported by The Sir James Reckitt Charity within the past 10 years.
  • For more information on The Sir James Reckitt Charity, visit