History of Bedfordshire & Luton Community Foundation

The formation of the Community Foundation was the idea of Geoffrey Farr MBE

(when High Sheriff), Sir Samuel Whitbread (when Lord Lieutenant) and

Bishop John of Bedford.  They realised the importance of the voluntary sector

and heard how such groups were under pressure to continue their work as

funds dried up.

The Trustees developed a small endowment fund and raised income for core costs. This enabled the appointment of a part time Director from November 2002 to develop the Foundation and establish a base for award giving throughout the county.

Award making was extended with continued income from the endowment fund, plus funding from local businesses and individuals.

In January 2003 the Foundation was appointed as the local agent for the Fair Share Trust, a fund to be spent in Dallow Ward, Luton by November 2013.

In February 2005, the Foundation was appointed as local agent for Sport Relief, having access to £18,000 of funds a year to give out to sport related projects in the county.

By November 2005 it was recognised that to move the Foundation on, it was necessary to expand and Mark West was appointed to the full time post of Chief Executive.

Award making has increased year on year, from £42,000 in 2005-06 to £325,000 in 2007-08.. In 2014-15 this figure exceeded £1.15m.

These increases have enabled us to employ a further three staff to work on specific projects.

In 2007 we became Quality Accredited by the Community Foundation Network to standards endorsed by the Charity Commission. This accreditation was renewed in 2011 and 2014.