The kindness of strangers

The cottages in Walsham Le-Willows, built by Richard Martineau’s great grandfather at the end of the 19th century.

Leaving a legacy for Suffolk can help you realise your hopes to improve the lives of future generations.

Walsham-le-Willows is a beautiful Suffolk village with colour washed cottages and a flint-clad church that is picture-postcard perfect.

It’s also home to philanthropist Richard Martineau and his wife Diney who have made a charitable gift in the form of some of its most historic cottages with the aim to transform the lives of local communities long into the future.

A lasting legacy for a better Suffolk. Hand in hand with Suffolk Community Foundation they are passionate about preserving the heritage of their village by helping its people and also meeting the needs of others across the county.

“It’s really exciting seeing what you can do and the difference you can make” said Richard. His great- grandfather John built seven blocks of cottages for the people of the village at the end of the 19th century.

Since then they’ve remained in family ownership and even today you still need to have a local connection to live in one.

“We really wanted to keep these cottages for local people, but realised that our children would probably have to eventually sell two or three blocks to pay for death duties. We have been ‘gifting’ a cottage block a year.

“So now tenants don’t pay rent to us instead they pay it to the Foundation who in turn have created an endowment fund allowing us to make grants to local charities from the proceeds”

“We went to the Foundation because the charity is so professional and works so hard. They really know what they are doing.”

Offering a gift in their lifetime has allowed them to fully involve themselves in seeing the good that their gift is giving to the county they love.

Historic cottage in Walsham-le-Willows, Suffolk

Philanthropist Richard Martineau and his dog

One of the Foundation’s largest funds came from a mystery £1.2million donation from a widow’s estate in the Sudbury area.

This was complemented by match funding, which brought the total up to £1.7million.

The fund was brought to life thanks to advice from Wealth Advisor Darren Chaplin from Towry Ltd and Catriona Galloway from Birketts Solicitors.

“Sadly the individual died in 2013 but with her bequest Suffolk Community Foundation was able to get match funding which has boosted the total sum so it’s doing even more good.”

“She wanted to leave her money to charity and thought the only option would be to give it to a national organisation. But, by creating a fund with Suffolk Community Foundation, she was delighted to discover a way to go on supporting her local community.”

Darren says his client was an incredibly private person, a widow with no children or close family but she had spent her life being very active in the community.

Darren and Catriona are now in the very special position of seeing her money in action as grant panel members.

Among the charities that have benefitted are the Eden-Rose Coppice in Sudbury, a woodland sanctuary for people with cancer or terminal illnesses, and The Bridge Project, also in Sudbury, which helps disadvantaged adults, including those with learning difficulties or mental health problems.

Peter and Dorothy Meade

The Yard Project supporting young people

Another legacy, with a different background has been created by Clare Meade, who with her husband helped establish the Yard Project in Lowestoft, a charity which received one of Suffolk Community Foundation’s first ever grants. The Yard Project has supported many young people with work skills and provided a hub for learning for the local community.

But the legacy Clare has created is in memory of her parents Peter and Dorothy Meade who loved Suffolk.

“They were both passionate about lifelong learning and social equality.

“My mother developed MS in her 70s but led a very active life taking great pleasure in supporting the Yard Project with donations, and always wanting to hear about how the project was developing.

“When she died at the end of 2012, I wanted to leave a legacy in the name of my parents, so I established a fund in their memory to provide ongoing support to individuals and projects working in Suffolk to combat inequality.

“It is only a small contribution but hopefully the grants will provide a much needed boost to projects in Suffolk, just as the grants we received at The Yard Project did.”

Our Head of Philanthropy, Judy Dow, says that people often want to leave legacies but are unsure how to achieve their vision.

“They might want to enable every child in Suffolk to be able to play football or music, they might want it to go towards helping older people for instance.

“It’s wonderful as these intentions come from the heart, but they might wonder how they can make them a reality.

“That’s the beauty of Suffolk Community Foundation, we can create a fund, a central pot of money that’s made available to organisations connected to the donor’s interests.

“What’s more, the Foundation can grow the fund using its investment expertise so it continues to deliver support long into the future.“

“You don’t have to be as wealthy as you might think to create a legacy either – with the average house price in Suffolk at around £270,000, it is entirely possible for people to have a hand in shaping the future of their county for generations to come.”

For those wanting to leave a legacy we advise starting a dialogue. Share your thoughts, involve your professional advisors and create a team that can truly appreciate and evolve what you hope to achieve and what you are passionate for your legacy to deliver.

Your contribution is key!

We went to the Foundation because the charity is so professional and works so hard. They really know what they are doing.

Richard Martineau


One of our clients wanted to leave her money to charity and thought the only option would be to give it to a national organisation. However by creating a fund with Suffolk Community Foundation we have discovered a way to honour her wishes and go on supporting her local community in perpetuity.

Darren Chaplin

Wealth Planning Director, Cazenove Capital Management

There are more excellent projects like this in Suffolk

and lots more people who need our support
Show me more storiesShow me how I can help

The team really value your support

By joining our mailing list, you will receive the occasional updates about new funds, as well as the latest news from the team.


We take the protection of your data seriously.

Read our Privacy Statement here

To complete the subscription process, please click the link in the email which we have just sent you. Thank you for supporting Suffolk Community Foundation