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Harpenden charity celebrates 300 years of helping young people

PUBLISHED: 11:23 23 April 2019 | UPDATED: 11:23 23 April 2019

The headstone of James Marshall, who started the Harpenden-based James Marshall Foundation. Picture: Chris Canfield

The headstone of James Marshall, who started the Harpenden-based James Marshall Foundation. Picture: Chris Canfield

Archant

A Harpenden charity which started 300 years ago is celebrating a transformation to bring it in line with the 21st century.

The James Marshall Foundation originated in 1719, when James Marshall left assets to a trust which would help poor men's children from Harpenden and Wheathampstead find apprenticeships.

Following his death in 1722, the charity has supported young people by helping them achieve their dreams. Today the charity awards grants to young people to go towards school uniform and equipment, residential school trips, college or university accommodation and travel costs, and to support apprentices.

The foundation's income comes mainly from commercial property rents, both local and national, and from investment income.

To celebrate the 300th anniversary of the charity, trustees have brought the foundation in line with modern customs and charity law.

Trustees of the organisation prefer to remain anonymous. The chair of trustees said: “A big thank you to the foresight of the man himself and to all those anonymous people who have been trustees or employees or worked to successfully administer his will over the past three centuries.

“We metaphorically raise a glass to the gentleman and to all those who have been involved. Who knows how many people his vision has reached out to and touched over the years, or what profound effect it has had on their lives?”

Young people under the age of 25, who live in Harpenden or Wheathampstead, can apply for a grant subject to certain criteria.

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