The Association's Trust Fund
The Association's Trust Fund (called the “Old Centralians' Trust” – Registered Charity in England & Wales Number 1048552) was established as a charitable body in 1965. Over the intervening years since 1965, through regular donations from members, together with a number of generous legacies (one example is the bequest of his London house by Professor Peter Lindsay), a substantial capital base has been built up which is invested for income and growth. The net result is that the Trust now has an annual sum in the region of £50,000 to disburse, in addition to being able to support a prestigious annual lecture in memory of its most generous legator.
The Trust has two essential aims, firstly to be ready to provide emergency funds to support engineering students in financial need through no fault of their own, and secondly to provide support of a more general nature to enable students - either individually or collectively – to engage in extra-curricular enterprises and activities. The scope of the latter includes for travel and work experience projects undertaken during the long vacation. See here for examples. A third aim is to provide some support for postgraduate students who wish to attend an important overseas conference to share details of their work, whether by podium presentation or in a poster session.
Since 1965 well over one hundred students have been helped financially in the face of personal hardship; in most cases the Trust's assistance has made possible the completion of studies where these would otherwise have had to be abandoned.
In the past the Trust has played a pivotal role in providing support to college ventures which greatly assisted the wider development of character, away from the lecture room, or which have provided opportunities that would not otherwise be available. These have notably included the 'Pimlico Connection', which organises and promotes undergraduate student tutoring in local schools, and the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme (known as ‘UROP’) which helps undergraduate students to gain research experience during the summer vacation. Now that these schemes are well established, and receiving excellent support from other sources, the Trust has been able to re-apply its available budget for other purposes.
The Trust provides a total of 20 ‘Student Activity Awards’, worth £750 each – two in each of the ten Faculty of Engineering Departments - designed to enable students who are active in college social or sporting affairs to meet the inevitable extra costs involved, whether in obtaining accommodation within easier reach of college, paying for extra travel, or paying other fees and costs. These bursaries are awarded on an annual basis, based on recommendations made by Senior Tutors and Departmental Heads.
The life of the College is supported by providing grants to various clubs. We have in the past provided funds to overhaul and refurbish the College's vintage car mascot Boanerges, helped the very active IC Women in Science Engineering & Technology group to arrange superbly successful events, and helped the Robot Society to arrange lectures.
A number of student groups have been assisted in making technical and sporting visits overseas, including highly successful Rugby and Hockey tours. Assistance has also been regularly given to student-organised and led expeditions with a wide variety of objectives, from climbing remote peaks to building earthquake-proof housing in tropical earthquake zones.
Please turn to the linked pages to see more information on the Trust and how it contributes to the quality of student life.