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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.

Welcome to The Sylvia Adams Charitable Trust. Here you will find information about Sylvia Adams, the history of the Trust and about our current priorities and procedures for grant making, as well as information on how to make a Stage 1 application.

If you are considering applying to the Trust for support, please read all the information carefully so that you can make the appropriate decision about whether to proceed. If it would be helpful, we are happy to be contacted for further clarification or advice.

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. Some, but not all, will be open for unsolicited applications.  The Trust anticipates spending out its resources over the next few years.

In March 2019 the Trustees announced the retirement of Jerry Golland, BEM, from his role as Chairman and Trustee. Jerry had steered the Trust expertly since 2003 when he became Chairman, following his key involvement in setting up the Trust in accordance with Miss Adams wishes, and becoming a founder Trustee, in 1996. His leadership was instrumental in enabling the Trust to support so many organisations during this time, both in the UK and abroad. Jerry’s work for the Trust and for business was recognised with the awarding of the British Empire Medal in 2017.  The Trust offers its most sincere thanks to Jerry for all his work and wise counsel. Alexandra Butler took over as Chairman in April.

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.

September 2019