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Trust Fund

Lending support to charitable causes

It was after the ICS Council Meeting in March 1978 that Clifford Clarke, the then vice president, invited Robin Fenton, then current president, and Harry Lorkin, the immediate past chairman, to stay behind for a while. They went on to discuss the idea of forming an educational charity, to "promote shipping education where it would be inappropriate to use Members' funds".

The Educational Trust Fund was established from these initial discussions and the founders, who were well known in shipping circles, started fund raising. Fortunately it was a time of prosperity among our  membership and a substantial capital base was soon established.

Today, the ETF consists of six trustees, who are elected to serve on an annual basis. They are responsible for ensuring the capital investment is sensibly placed, to find new sources of funding and to spend the trust money on causes that lie within the principle objectives as contained in the Declaration of Trust.

Needless to say that list has grown since the original discussion, but the concept is true throughout. The principles are:

To promote the education of persons in the business of shipping;

To promote the maintenance of any school or faculty providing education in relation to the business of shipping;

To provide scholarships for further education of persons wishing to pursue a career in the business of shipping;

To provide lectures and films of an educational character in relation to making a career in the business of shipping;

To do all such other charitable things as are necessary for the attainment of all of the above objects or any one of them.

Over the last few years the Trust has supported causes including: the funding and setting up of a number of branch libraries worldwide; financial support for less privileged students in South East Asia and Africa; the president's annual prize for the most outstanding student of the year; and support for two places each year at PREP held at Warwick University.

However it is the two most recent projects that are by far the most exciting and the reason the ETF needs to increase its fundraising now. Firstly, the ETF has sponsored a cadet through the Maritime London Officer Cadet Scholarship scheme.

He is sponsored for three years on a course which is a mix of classroom and sea time. The young man writes a very good blog for the ETF on the ICS website. The ETF hopes to continue this scheme with other cadets when this current program comes to an end.

HIGH TIDE

The other interesting project originated on Teeside and is the brain child of past chairman of the ICS, Kevin Shakesheff. High Tide is a charitable foundation, created and driven by a small number of organisations working within the port and maritime sector on Teesside. Its aim is to assist young adults between 14 and 18 years of age to find meaningful employment within the local shipping and port industries.

Kevin first approached the ETF in 2012 for assistance in funding the first stage of the project, namely production of a video about port and shipping job prospects for presentation to all the schools. The video was to be aimed at delivering the message in a fashion which would grasp the young adult's attention.

The video has now been made, some young adults have already been on site visits and the project is well and truly up and running. High Tide has been very successful at getting local schools and businesses signed up to the project, so ensuring both participation and other sources of funding.

The ETF would like to see this project idea taken up in other areas, particularly where there is high unemployment and a seeming disconnect between the local community and the local port. The ETF would also like to hear about other projects in this vein. So if you have got an educational project of this type that needs some extra funding (it doesn't have to be in the UK), please do not hesitate to contact the ETF through Head Office.

Equally, the ETF would like to sponsor more cadets and help more local schools encourage students into our industry and fund new projects. In order to do this the initial capital laid down in 1978 needs to be topped up. You can be assured that all donations will go to a good cause.