I am an only child, born in 1922. I attended a Quaker school, was a conscientious objector in WW2, and joined the Quakers in 1942, sharing Quaker concerns for social harmony and social justice. My father built up a successful grocery business from 1907, which I joined in 1948. My parents died in 1966. We sold the business in 1988 for £7m.
In the 1960s I gave 10% of the shares to the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust; I was a trustee 1956-94, and chair 1965-78, which strongly influenced my approach to philanthropy. In 1976 my wife and I and our four children formed and became trustees of the Millfield House Foundation (MHF), named after our home, with a quarter of the company’s shares. In 1999-2004 three non-family trustees joined four remaining family members.
MHF now has £5m. capital (with inflation and further capital transfers from me), making grants of about £150,000 a year. We have concentrated on NE England, where the money was earned. From 1988-98 our grants supported services by voluntary agencies to the most needy in the area – families, children, young people, the elderly, the homeless. From 1996 we have instead supported attempts to influence public policies to achieve beneficial social change.
Each year I reduce my taxable income to the lowest tax rate band by making charitable gifts, largely through The Network for Social Change. I also contribute to causes not legally charitable. My descendants have reasonable financial security and I enjoy living comfortably but not extravagantly.
| International | 60 plus Years Old | $1-$10M | at least 50% | Business | Inheritance |
| Children/Youth | Peace | Social Justice | Fairness | Impact |