Youth charity celebrates 300th anniversary

Pupils from Sir John Lawes School perform at the James Marshall Foundation's 300th anniversary concert.

Pupils from Sir John Lawes School perform at the James Marshall Foundation's 300th anniversary concert. - Credit: Steve Collins

A charity founded to support young people in Harpenden and Wheathampstead has celebrated its 300th anniversary.

The James Marshall Foundation was the legacy of a local landowner who wanted to help young people gain and retrain employment, and continues today to award grants to young people under 25 years in financial need, to access education and career development opportunities.

Pupils from Katherine Warington School perform at the James Marshall Foundation's 300th anniversary concert.

Pupils from Katherine Warington School perform at the James Marshall Foundation's 300th anniversary concert. - Credit: Steve Collins

JMF has an annual grant fund of £250k which is generated from its asset base, and around 500 grants are awarded every year. The charity expanded its catchment area in late 2021 to include Kimpton, Redbourn, Markyate and Flamstead where the young people have close links with the original catchment area.

The charity celebrated the occasion with an anniversary concert at St Helen's Church in Wheathampstead, where James Marshall is buried.

Chair of trustees Jonathan Finch with the Lord Lieutenant and High Sheriff of Herts.

Chair of trustees Jonathan Finch with the Lord Lieutenant and High Sheriff of Herts at James Marshall's gravestone. - Credit: Steve Collins

The concert brought together past and present supporters of the charity, six local schools whose pupils have been supported by JMF, and local community leaders including Robert Voss CBE CTsJ, Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of Hertfordshire and the High Sheriff of Hertfordshire.