Joan Hawkins handing on the baton

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“I’ve never regretted it” says Joan about her decision to set up an endowment fund with Quartet in memory of her late husband Walter in 1992. Joan is passionate about the arts, as was her late husband, and since it was established she has funded more than 80 projects from the Walter Hawkins Fund.

Joan also created a fund in her own name and over the years she has supported a huge range of local projects including a community gardening project at Trinity Community Centre and a support project for women street sex-workers in central Bristol run by One25.

"Without the community foundation I would still have supported local charities, but my giving would have been piecemeal and I would have missed all those groups doing great work which I wouldn't have known about or been able to reach."

-Joan Hawkins fund holder

She has always talked with her daughter Veronica about her charitable giving and Veronica, a retired teacher, has been coming to Quartet events for about 12 years.

“I particularly enjoy the annual celebration, where I get the chance to meet and talk to some of the inspiring people working with organisations that Quartet has supported” says Veronica.

A few years ago Joan asked Veronica to become more involved with giving from the funds and recently this involvement has been formalised by putting in place succession planning arrangements for the funds with Quartet.

Veronica explains, “I know the kind of projects my mother has enjoyed supporting and I will continue to fund things she would have wanted to be involved with. We share many of the same interests, including arts and local community work and it is a great honour that she is passing on the ability to do this to me.”

"These funds are intended to be here, supporting local projects, even when all of us are no longer around."

-Joan Hawkins fund holder

If you would like to discuss how you can involve friends or the next generation of your family in your fund please contact Ronnie Brown on 0117 989 7705 or email

Read our other #thirtylives stories here and watch the film we made to celebrate our anniversary on Youtube.