The Blackford Trust - Investing in Talent in Scotland and China

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          George Watson's
          Univ. of Edinburgh
          Dark Sky Scotland
          John Muir Trust
          Fairbridge in Scotland
          Borders Forest Trust
          Dyslexia Scotland
          The Rock Trust
          Outf!t Moray
          MIC, Dundee
          Dr Bell's, Edinburgh
          Multi-Cultural Family Base
          Kirkcaldy Samaritans
          Crisis, Edinburgh
          Bethany, Edinburgh
          Tall Ships Youth Trust
          Hands on Shanghai
          Library Project, China
          Sunrise Library, China
          Xie Zi village, Chengdu
          Lotusroute, Yunnan
          Cyrenians Farm
          Autism Initiatives
          Diaosu, Dundee
          Microfinance, China
          Pingyao city, China
          ROKPA, Qinghai
          BasicNeeds, Hebei
          Scotland/China - news
          Scotland/China - links
          Scotland/China - timeline

Welcome to The Blackford Trust

Note as of 23 May 2016 - We regret to announce that The Blackford Trust will be dissolved shortly, probably before the end of July 2016, and that no further applications for awards can be accepted. We are very sorry indeed that we can no longer continue to support worthwhile projects in Scotland and China, but we are glad that we have been able to help, in a modest way, some 29 partner organisations since 2008.

This website will remain online for the foreseeable future - probably at least a year - in case the information contained on it is still of value to visitors. Our general enquiry email will also remain active.

A further announcement will be made after the formal dissolution of the Trust.

The Blackford Trust, established in 2008, supported projects in Scotland and China that gave people opportunity.

You will find an introduction to our past activities below, or via the various links on the menu on the left. We hope you enjoy reading about our past work.

A good place to start is our 'What's new' page, where we have provided news on developments with the Trust itself, and links to major developments reported elsewhere on the site.

What we did

We had two fundamental aims :

  • to provide opportunity for talented people in Scotland and China

  • to promote links and cross-cultural understanding between Scotland and China, and about both countries

Who we are

The Blackford Trust has been a charity registered in Scotland (no. SC039658, Scottish Charity Register entry here). The Trust was established in June 2008 by the Chairman, Graham Thompson, in memory of his late father, Dr Gordon Thompson. To learn more about the background to the Trust, please click here.

We have four Trustees who bring a wide variety of relevant experience to our work, from both the private and public sector and from the legal and media industries. To meet the Trustees, click here.

How we worked

We worked in two simple ways - we made awards to partners, and we shared knowledge.

Awards to partners

We have considered ourselves to be "social investors" and have aimed to give opportunity to people who might not otherwise have it. However, rather than simply dealing with an immediate need, we saw such spending as an investment for the future. We expected partners and projects to demonstrate clear and identifiable long-term outcomes for the individuals and communities involved - we were aiming to achieve a "social return on investment".

We provided grants and other assistance to partner organisations who operate in one (or more) of four policy areas - these are our official "charitable purposes", under the Charity and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005 :

  • prevention or relief of poverty

  • education

  • environmental protection or improvement

  • heritage

The awards were made for purely Scottish projects, purely Chinese projects, or projects that link the two countries. We were particularly interested in projects that have both a local and global relevance.

For more information on our awards and partners, please click here or see the links in the left-hand menu for individual partner pages. In summer 2011, some awards were re-classified as "social enterprise" awards - for more on our interest in this concept, please see here.

Sharing knowledge

We have always believed that communicating and sharing knowledge, experience and information can often be as valuable, as a form of "social investment", as simply spending money. If we help to transfer an idea from one person or organisation to another, that idea might lead to the creation of new cross-cultural understanding ; educational progress in school, university or lifelong learning ; a new business idea ; or a new way of delivering social benefit.

For more on our information resources, please click here.

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This page was last updated on 31 May 2016.

The Blackford Trust, c/o Gillespie Macandrew LLP (B.12891.1), 5 Atholl Crescent, Edinburgh, EH3 8EJ, Scotland, United Kingdom
A charity registered in Scotland, no. SC039658

Copyright 2007-2016. All rights reserved. All content can be freely quoted and used, but attribution to The Blackford Trust is appreciated.

The Blackford Trust is not responsible for the content of any external links.