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The Scurrah Wainwright Charity takes its name from Henry Scurrah Wainwright OBE (1877-1968) who was a Leeds chartered accountant and social reformer. He was also instrumental in founding and building up the Leeds medical company, Chas F Thackray Ltd, whose sale in 1990 led to the founding of the Charity. Scurrah (a name taken from a family from Well, near Ripon, which married into the Leeds Wainwrights) was also a keen Methodist and a nationally known grower of prize delphinium plants. He served as president of the Leeds Society of Chartered Accountants and was honorary secretary of the Leeds Tradesmen’s Benevolent Association for 33 years. During the Depression of the 1930s, he was appointed the first chairman of the National Assistance Board’s advisory committee for the Leeds area. In this capacity, he organised personal interviews for every unemployed man in the city under 30 to help them find work.

The Charity’s origins
The Charity was set up and registered, number 1002755, with the Charity Commission in Spring 1991 when the inaugural meeting was held at Cragg Mount, Woodlands Drive, Rawdon, Leeds LS19 6JZ. It originally took the holding title of the Wainwright Family General Charitable Trust but trustees felt that a more direct tribute to Scurrah Wainwright was appropriate. Following a long and memorable meeting at Rudding House, near Harrogate, the parallel Andrew Wainwright Reform Trust Ltd was also established to promote radical aims outside the limits allowed by charity law. Both trusts were endowed through funds from the sale of Chas F Thackray Ltd.

The Scurrah Wainwright Charity also has strong roots in the H S Wainwright General Charitable Trust, set up by Scurrah Wainwright, but for some years after Andrew’s death in 1974 known among trustees as ‘Andy’s Trust’. During the late Seventies and the Eighties, this established a strong tradition of causes associated with Zimbabwe - especially helping Zimbabwean students - in memory of Andrew’s affection for the country and its people. A small book of his diaries and letters from Hlekweni rural training centre was published by the Trust, which has some copies still available. The Zimbabwean connection has been nurtured and maintained by the Charity and widened to include southern Africa.

The Charity is run by five trustees, all members of the Wainwright family.

  • Martin Wainwright (Chair), former Northern Editor of The Guardian

  • Hilary Wainwright, author, co-editor of Red Pepper and Fellow of the Transnational Institute

  • Hugh Scott, former solicitor and trustee of Manningham Housing Association

  • Penny Wainwright, author and museum trustee

  • Tessa Wainwright, teacher of English as a foreign language

Kerry McQuade is the Administrator for the Charity and the Andrew Wainwright Reform Trust.

The Charity's financial advisor and accountant is Peter Dyson of Bairstow & Atkinson, Halifax.

Investment is managed by Close Brothers Asset Management.