Derek Bellew at Quartet's 30th anniversary celebration at TLT

Derek Bellew running a trust for over 40 years

Harry Crook was one of Bristol’s great benefactors. Born in Bristol in 1889, in 1923 he started the Kleen-e-ze Brush Company and over many years served the city as Alderman, Sheriff of Bristol and then Lord Mayor.

In 1963 – and prior to his death in 1970 – he established what is now the Harry Crook Foundation to provide endowment to support charitable causes in the Bristol area, and played an active part in choosing suitable projects. For three years from  October 1988 the Harry Crook Foundation provided an annual sum of  £25,000 – matched by The Merchant Venturers – to meet the setting-up and establishment costs for what was then The Greater Bristol Trust.

Derek Bellew has been (and still is!) a Trustee of the Harry Crook Foundation from the 1970s’, and he explains why they first came to provide their support to establish The Greater Bristol Trust.

“We’ve always felt the Harry Crook Foundation to be nurturing”, says Derek. “Harry’s impulse was to provide for the community surrounding the factory where his staff lived.”

"By helping Quartet to get off the ground back in 1988 we felt as trustees that we were establishing a more sustainable way of helping the community than we could achieve on our own by giving one-off grants."

-Derek Bellew Long standing trustee of the Harry Crook Foundation

“We saw that Quartet had good local knowledge, as well as the ability to monitor, assess and apply checks and balances. In short, it gave us the peace of mind that the money would be well-spent. A small charge for a quality check means your money is not wasted and is working as hard as it can.”

The Harry Crook Foundation had traditionally made significant investments in a few select causes. “We decided to develop a small grants programme through Quartet. We feel we can strengthen organisations that need help at a critical point in their development, our grant becomes a stepping stone to greater things, the grant from Quartet acts as a type of accreditation, inspiring confidence in the project, which can lead to funding from other sources. Ultimately, our money becomes part of the fabric of community life,” says Derek.

The Misfits Theatre Company received funding from the Harry Crook Foundation

Derek was happy to support Quartet’s trustees in their efforts in secure the Mott Challenge in 1991, and indeed delighted to be asked to act as their advocate when the Trustees of the Mott Foundation came to visit from the U.S.A. Quartet was one of only three Community Foundations in the UK to succeed in their bid. The Harry Crook Foundation was then pleased to make a further Grant of £100,000 (which generated in itself matched funding from the Mott Foundation) to establish their own designated endowment Fund.

Grants from the Harry Crook Fund will be made in perpetuity from the endowment that has grown within Quartet since that earliest investment of £100,000. The fund is now valued at £225,000 and has awarded more than £82,000 since it was set up in 1993!