One man’s lasting legacy.


Who are they?
THE WILF WARD FAMILY TRUST.

Where are they?
Registered  office in Yorkshire.

What do they do?
A wide range of services to support disabled people and their carers.

How big are they?
Turnover of around £20m.

What did they receive?

Over three years, core Microsoft servers, Office and Windows 7 packages.

The outcome?
CTX donations provide the backbone of the Trust’s IT.

Wilf Ward was a Yorkshire farm worker from a poor background whose inventiveness and acumen eventually saw him become a major local employer. He was ultimately awarded an OBE for services to industry. In the tradition of an earlier age of British philanthropists, Mr. Ward went on to use his wealth to establish the charity that bears his name: the Wilf Ward Family Trust.  He and his wife Phyllis being joint founders.

 



“He had two profoundly disabled people within his family,” says Debs Sleightholme-Pinkney, who has been with the Trust for many years. “And he wanted to do something to help. So he gave a substantial sum to build a respite unit. It was very successful, and things mushroomed from there.”

‘Mushroomed’ is the word – the Trust now provides eighty services over Yorkshire and the North East, putting many millions of pounds into projects, care homes and other initiatives. It’s big business – although money is ferociously tight.

“We have been a lot luckier than similar organisations in having such benefactors,” reflects Debs, admitting that when Mr. Ward, then Mrs Ward passed away the sadness was augmented by a little anxiety: “we were now on our own.” But the charity’s work continued to expand under a dedicated team of trustees and staff.

 



CTX-sourced donations from Microsoft have provided the backbone of the Trust’s IT infrastructure for three years now. “All our money is ploughed back into services for the people whose lives we want to improve,” says Debs. “We recycle and cannibalise computers. What CTX has allowed us to do is to bring uniformity across services.” In a nutshell, this means computers and email at each service, with interlinked networks fit for a modern multi-site operation; Windows 7 has been installed across the board to allow the Trust to run their choice of third-party applications.

“Realistically speaking, we couldn’t afford software,” she says. “The off the shelf price is out of the question; we have a lot of irons in the fire, but it’s so, so difficult given the cuts.”

Belt-tightening notwithstanding, there is optimism at the charity – a new property in its home town of Pickering has been acquired, and there are plans to turn this into a social enterprise café, which could provide employment opportunities for people whom the Trust supports. Again, CTX donations will allow the café to be networked in with the rest of the organisation, freeing much-needed resources to be focused upon the charity’s end users.
 

 

 
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