Please note that the James Trust is no longer giving grants to individual organisations. They are currently involved in setting up a major project in Sutton in conjunction with SCVS and other partners entitled Safe Space for Arts. If you are interested in becoming part of that project please contact Mike James at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The James Trust's ethos is to enhance the life chances and quality of life of adults and young people with a learning disability, or who have a dual diagnosis of a learning disability and a mental health diagnosis, who live within the London Borough of Sutton. We give priority to those organisations, large or small, who deliver innovative and collaborative programmes.
Who We Are
The James Trust was the vision of the late Richard James, a lifelong resident of the London Borough of Sutton who remained in his parents’ Sutton home until his death. As a young man Richard studied art at the Slade School of Fine Art in London, and was at one time a window designer for the Gorringes department store in Buckingham Palace Road, London which closed in the 1960s. For many years he ran a Puppet Theatre, designing and making his own puppets and delivering shows all over the area. He was a lifelong Opera enthusiast and Friend of the English National Opera, travelling across the UK and Europe to see performances, gaining him a wide circle of friends.
As far back as the 1960s Richard conceived the idea of using and sharing his family home as a safe and comfortable environment for those with a learning disability who would benefit from independent living. For over 30 years he was part of the Sutton Adult Placement Scheme a fostering programme, now called the Shared Lives Scheme, sharing his home with David Hunt who had a dual diagnosis of a learning disability and a mental health diagnosis.
He set up the James Trust prior to his death in 2007. The Trust continued to support David, in Richard’s home, until David’s untimely death in 2014. The house was then sold and the Trust now focusses on giving grants to organisations and groups both large and small who provide life chances for those with a learning disability* or who may have a dual diagnosis of a learning disability and a mental health diagnosis, and who live within the London Borough of Sutton. Grant giving ceased in 2016.
Today the James Trust is working closely with SCVS and local organisations to set up a major project under the working title of Safe Space for Arts. A feasibility study is currently being undertaken. The aim is to create a community space for all where Art in all its various forms can be undertaken – a fitting legacy for a man for whom Art was everything.