The Last of us

Sylvia Adams Charitable Trust

Click to find out about the application process

The Last of us

Sylvia Adams Charitable Trust.

Click for application instructions

The Last of us

Sylvia Adams Charitable Trust

Welcome to The Sylvia Adams Charitable Trust.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Trust is announcing that it will have completed its ‘spend out’ , and will close, by March 2023. It will be using the funds available between now and then to continue to invest in preventative work for the most disadvantaged 0-3 year olds in England and Wales. It will be consulting widely to establish the best use of these funds, but will no longer be able to accept applications through open grants application processes. We understand this will cause some disappointment. Further details can be found on the page ‘WHAT WE WILL FUND’.

Welcome to The Sylvia Adams Charitable Trust. Here you will find information about Sylvia Adams, the history of the Trust and about our  priorities for funding and support.

Who was Sylvia Adams?

Sylvia Adams was a professional collector of antiques and works of art. Born in 1907, her career was at its peak in the 1930s and 1940s. She broke many of the traditions of her age to start working in, and later to part own, a London antique shop. She collected for one person in particular, Colonel Boscowan, who was based in Tanzania and whose collection is now housed in the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. In addition she had a wonderful personal collection which included renaissance bronzes, ivories, furniture and mirrors.

Establishing the Trust

The Sylvia Adams Charitable Trust, registered charity, number 1050678, was founded in 1996 in line with Miss Adams’ stated wishes, and was endowed with the money from the sale of her personal collection of antiques and works of art.


From 1996 to 2015, grants were made to support work in the UK, including some grants specifically for Hertfordshire where the Trust is based, and overseas. The focus was on supporting children and young people, those with a disability and those living in poverty or who were socially excluded. Over £13.5 million in grants was distributed to a wide variety of organisations.

In 2015 the Trust reassessed its policies on the long term future of the Trust and regarding the concerns to be supported.

2016 onwards

From 2016, the Trust has had a small number of specific funding priorities which are outlined on this website.

The Trust will be spending out its resources by March 2023.

Privacy Policy

The Sylvia Adams Charitable Trust is a data controller. It only collects personal information that is required for the management of its core purpose: the awarding of grants for charitable purposes. This information is retained to allow the proper management of grant applicants and recipients and this includes retaining details of past applicants.

This information is occasionally shared, with prior specific consent, with other charitable trusts if this is considered to be advantageous to the organisation concerned. The Trust may on occasion, use the information held for the purpose of issuing invitations to events.