The Foundation is a small charity that John Thaw set up before he died and is continued by his widow Dame Sheila Hancock, alongside fellow Trustees Lola Byam Shaw, Helen Cotterill, Julie Legrand,  Abigail Thaw and Clare Vidal-Hall - and with me as Administrator. It has no formal offices or staff other than me working on an as-needed basis amongst my other work. It is therefore best to email rather than telephone me.


The Foundation helps disadvantaged and underprivileged youth, affording them an opportunity they might not otherwise have.


In the past they have been able to offer support to students but these were always through bursary schemes with selected Performance schools, not to individual students.  However, the Trustees rarely now feel they can invest in the strand of ‘emerging artists and training’.  Instead they feel they need to focus their very limited funds on helping young people in a broader range of projects that will help them fulfil their potential, or get their life back on track, in whatever way they need. Whilst many of the projects chosen for support might use the performing arts at the core of their programme, they do so not with a primary aim of supporting emerging artists but because the projects will help develop a sense of collaboration, creative thinking, and commitment; and will increase confidence, skillsets and social engagement. All being elements that any young person will need, in any avenue they follow, and which are likely to be areas our target groups particularly need help in achieving within the context of their life.



We only allocate funds at two meetings each year: roughly January and June,  but as many of our Trustees are freelance it is scheduled near the time and can slide depending on availability.


We try to give to projects where we can see the money we can offer as a small Foundation will make a real difference. 


For more information on our remit, and on how to apply if you do have a project that falls within it, please email me at but do be mindful that we are a small Foundation and have to say no to a lot of projects.

If you would like to help support our work donations of any size are invaluable!


Email: and ask for further information on the range of work we help groups achieve;  whether they are established companies, or small grass roots charities.