The Blackford Trust - Investing in Talent in Scotland and China

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Please note The Blackford Trust is now closed - this page is retained for purely historic interest


Note as of 18 July 2016 - We regret to announce that The Blackford Trust is now formally dissolved, and that no further applications for awards can be accepted. We are very sorry indeed that we can no longer continue to support worthwhile projects in Scotland and China, but we are glad that we have been able to help, in a modest way, some 29 partner organisations since 2008.

With this dissolution, all Trustees have now retired. We would like to pay tribute to David Atnip, Gordon Brown, David Ford, Fiona Montgomery, Richard Slaski and Stephen Thomson for their years of service with the Trust, during which they have all contributed greatly to our work.

This website will remain online, for purely historic interest, for the foreseeable future - probably until around mid-2019 - in case the information contained on it is still of value to visitors.

The Blackford Trust, established in 2008 and dissolved in 2016, supported projects in Scotland and China that gave people opportunity.

You will find some information our past activities below, or via the various links on the menu on the left. We hope you enjoy reading about our past work.

A good place to start is our 'News' page, where we provided news on the Trust itself, and links to major developments reported elsewhere on the site.

What we did

We had two fundamental aims :

  • to provide opportunity for talented people in Scotland and China

  • to promote links and cross-cultural understanding between Scotland and China, and about both countries

Who we were

The Blackford Trust was a charity registered in Scotland (former OSCR website link is here). The Trust was established in June 2008 by the Chairman, Graham Thompson, in memory of his late father, Dr Gordon Thompson. To learn more about the background to the former Trust, please click here.

How we worked

We worked in two simple ways - we made awards to partners, and we shared knowledge.

Awards to partners

We have considered ourselves to be "social investors" and have aimed to give opportunity to people who might not otherwise have it. However, rather than simply dealing with an immediate need, we saw such spending as an investment for the future. We expected partners and projects to demonstrate clear and identifiable long-term outcomes for the individuals and communities involved - we were aiming to achieve a "social return on investment".

We provided grants and other assistance to partner organisations who operate in one (or more) of four policy areas - these were formerly our official "charitable purposes", under the Charity and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005 :

  • prevention or relief of poverty

  • education

  • environmental protection or improvement

  • heritage

The awards were made for purely Scottish projects, purely Chinese projects, or projects that link the two countries. We were particularly interested in projects that have both a local and global relevance.

For more information on our awards and partners, please click here or see the links in the left-hand menu for individual partner pages. In summer 2011, some awards were re-classified as "social enterprise" awards - for more on our interest in this concept, please see here.

Sharing knowledge

We have always believed that communicating and sharing knowledge, experience and information can often be as valuable, as a form of "social investment", as simply spending money. If we help to transfer an idea from one person or organisation to another, that idea might lead to the creation of new cross-cultural understanding ; educational progress in school, university or lifelong learning ; a new business idea ; or a new way of delivering social benefit.

For more on our information resources, please click here.

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This page was last updated on 1 June 2018.

A charity formerly registered in Scotland, no. SC039658

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