Legacy Stories


Topsy Laidlaw was an occupational health specialist who worked for the Cumbria Health Authority. It was her wish that money from her estate be used to help elderly people in Carlisle. The purpose of the Trust is to provide comfort, support and equipment to enable elderly people to stay in their chosen environment, whether that be at home or elsewhere.  The Trust made its first grant in February 2008 to provide adaptations and aids to enable an older person to stay at home.  Since then grants have included support for the creation of a group for Alzheimer’s disease sufferers and their carers in Brampton and a contribution towards the cost of creating a new community centre providing services for older people at St John the Evangelist Church in Carlisle.

Janette 'Topsy' Laidlaw

The Trust was set up by Topsy’s sister Eleanor who heard about the Foundation through her solicitor.  She decided to give through the Foundation because of its “ability to carry out the specific wishes of my sister for whom the fund was created”.  She is “very happy” with her experiences working with the Foundation saying she feels kept informed of what’s happening, “trusts our integrity” and always feels able to contact the Foundation if she has a question.


George Kipling

George Kipling lived and farmed at Burgh by Sands. He was a man who really cared about his community and rural life and in particular had a concern for the welfare of children and older people. As he was a widower with no children, he decided to leave £120,000 of his estate to charity. The executors of his will agreed the best way to fulfil his wishes was to establish two funds at the Foundation, one benefiting children and young people and the other the elderly throughout Cumbria.   Since the fund was created 17 awards have been made to projects throughout the county. A recent grant was to Burgh by Sands Village Hall, George’s home village.