Legacy gift to benefit students

The College will receive £30,000 from the Alton College Foundation thanks to the benevolence of the Grace Atkinson Will Trust, a local charity dedicated to helping other charities and organisations locally and nationally. The money will go towards a new minibus to enable students to attend trips and sporting fixtures.

The Alton College Foundation recently became one of the main beneficiaries of Grace’s estate through the Grace Atkinson Will Trust. The Trust has made £135,000 available to local charitable organisations including the Alton College Foundation and the Alton Community Centre.

The donations were presented at a special evening hosted by the Rotary Club of Alton at which Alton College student Ali Bayliss, previously at Perins School, made a brief presentation. In 2014-15 Ali was the recipient of one of the Alton College Foundation scholarships, and he explained how he had used the money and what he was hoping to go on to study at Cambridge University.

Former College student, Edd Evans, previously at Weydon, who received a scholarship from the Foundation in 2013-14 also gave a talk about how the money helped him to achieve his goal of a place to study Maths at the University of Oxford.

On receiving the cheque, Jane Machell, Principal, expressed her thanks for the donation and explained:  ‘We are delighted to receive such a substantial sum from The Alton College Foundation and we are very grateful to the Grace Atkinson Will Trust for their generosity. The funds will be used to enhance the futures of our amazing and talented students’.

The Alton College Foundation is an independent registered charity which rewards effort and excellence amongst students. There are two schemes, Scholarships for Excellence and the Development Fund. Find out more about the Alton College Foundation here

*Grace Atkinson (9 Sept 1897 – 19 December 1991)
Grace was born in Grimsby, Lincolnshire, where she spent her childhood with her two brothers and five sisters.  She never married and became a Quaker and pacifist.  Although childless herself, she always took a great interest in her wider family and her local community.

For many years she worked with her two brothers in the gentlemen’s clothing shops they ran in Lincolnshire and then, after the Second World War, she moved to Alton where she and her friend, Carol Harrington, ran a successful children’s and ladies’ clothing shop.  At first, they lived at Beech Hanger in Windmill Lane before moving to Lenten Street.

When she died, Grace left a life interest in her estate to some relatives with the capital eventually being split three ways for the benefit of the Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fisherman (a reflection of her upbringing in Grimsby), Opensight and to local Alton Registered Charities. 

The Trustees of the Grace Atkinson Will Trust: are Martin Atkinson (and Past President of Tunbridge Wells Rotary Club) and Gideon Cristofoli, Senior Partner, Bookers & Bolton, Solicitors.
Bookers & Bolton solicitors were Grace Atkinson’s solicitors for many years and influential in the Trust decision to assist the local Alton Charities and specifically the Alton College Foundation.

Photo l-r: Jane Machell (Principal of Alton College) Gideon Cristofoli (Trustee of the Grace Atkinson Fund) Amie Jones, Amy Bleakley(recipient of the Alton College Foundation Alumni Scholarship for Geography last year) Trevor Heley (Managing Director of the Alton College Foundation)