Tony Rampton Trust


Some of you will be familiar with the Tony Rampton trust and all it’s good work but for those of you who aren’t –  the Trust supports employees, retired and past long serving employees of FGH in their efforts to raise funds for registered charities or when doing voluntary work for them.

The Trust itself was established in 1974 by the then Freemans Chairman, Mr Tony Rampton.

 The History of The Trust

Tony Rampton’s father and grandfather, along with Mr Freeman and Mr Jones founded Freemans in 1905. Tony Rampton himself spent his working life at Freemans. He became Managing Director in 1964, Chairman in 1965 and on retirement, President in 1984. He died in 1993.

The Freeman’s Trust (as it was then called) was established by him as a charity in 1974, by giving a substantial sum of his personal money. The original purpose was to help Freemans staff and retired staff in times of hardship, including their close families.

When Freemans and Grattan merged in 2001, the Trustees immediately decided that the benefit of the Trust should be extended to all staff and retired staff of FGH. This was the appropriate time to change the name to Tony Rampton Trust, to honour the founder.

More recently the Trust has extended all the benefits to staff who have left the Company before retirement, providing they have long service with the company, normally at least 10 years.

The Trust is a totally separate organisation from the Company. It is a registered charity, with its own funds which have grown from the original donation made by Tony Rampton. The Trust is managed by a Board of Trustees, all of whom work or have worked for the Company, together with Tony Rampton’s son. Whilst the company provides facilities and assistance to the Trust it has no influence on the Trusts activity and decisions.

The primary objective of the Trust continues to be to help current and former employees of the companies, and close members of their families, in times of hardship.

Donations to Charity

Current and ex employees work hard to raise money for Charities in all manner of ways and the Trust almost always contributes with a donation assessed according to the amount of money raised and effort involved and in some instances the Trust has awarded 4 times the amount raised.  Indeed, last year the Trust donated a total of £115,000 to various charities, which is no small amount for a relatively small Trust!

There are three categories of fundraising:

  1. Independent fundraising by individuals or small groups.  This is the usual category which relates to activities where individuals help to raise funds.  The Trust makes a donation based on the amount raised and how it was raised. For instance, running a marathon attracts a higher amount than simply organising a raffle.
  2. Site funding – this is initiatives where one or more charities have been adopted by the Company for a specific period of time
  3. Company sponsored fundraising. This related to activity organised at the initiative of the Company – eg Golf tournament

and not forgetting

Voluntary Work – this is where an applicant works for charities in a non-fundraising capacity.  Some people help by taking a leadership role and others in a supportive role.  The donation will depend both upon the kind of voluntary work and the amount of time given to it.

As well as charitable donations, the Trust helps those in need, it provides  disability aids to retired staff,  (77 scooters, 29 wheelchairs and 27 stair lifts to name but a few).  It also supports Retired Staff Associations long-established in London, Peterborough and Sheffield and now the newly established one in Bradford.

If you have any questions regarding submitting an application, please contact a member of the (very small) Advisory committee which comprises of myself, ( or Debra Ali ( 

The next Tony Rampton Trust meeting will be held in February (date to be confirmed) – so applications will need to be submittied to the aforementioned by the end of January 2017. A copy of the application form can be downloaded by clicking here.

So who was Tony Rampton ?

This is all good stuff right?  But it’s worth just sparing a few moments to think about the man behind the Trust – Mr Anthony “Tony” Rampton,  who was a successful businessman, a gifted photographer and painter, a much-loved philanthropist whose charitable work extended well beyond the British Isles, the author of an influential report on the education of children from ethnic minorities, and a man with a wide range of intellectual interests.

Tony Rampton was born into a relatively wealthy Methodist family. His grandfather had set up Freemans, a mail-order company based in Brixton, south London, in 1906. Tony went to Harrow and then to Queen’s College, Oxford, where he read law and it was said he would have made an excellent barrister. But the war intervened and Tony volunteered for the army. He joined the Royal Berkshires and was in India from 1944 to 1946 where he performed the remarkable feat of taking a convoy all the way from the south to the north of the country. After the war he returned to Britain as a major and joined the family firm. This was not the kind of thing Oxford-educated men did in those days, and he did need some forceful persuading.

Rampton was a remarkably successful businessman. He computerised the firm, expanded its range of services, built an enormous warehouse at Peterborough, increased the turnover, and made considerable money. When Freemans went public in 1963, its shares fetched unexpectedly high prices. Rampton and his wife, Joan, who shared his ideals, were embarrassed by this new wealth and felt worried lest it should unsettle their way of life and corrupt their children. The Ramptons were directly involved in a number of worthwhile causes, including local church and youth clubs in south London.
Tony devoted a lot of his time and energy to the adoption of children and the Standing Conference for Societies Registered for Adoption which he and Joan set up. He was appointed OBE for his work in this area. Despite some resistance, he made sure that his own firm employed a large number of black people. He helped set up the Runnymede Trust, a forum for research into race relations, and for nearly two decades gave it generous financial assistance.
In 1979 he was appointed as chairman of the Committee of Inquiry into the Education of Children from Ethnic Minority Groups set up by the Secretary of State for Education.
After suffering a stroke Tony died on the 30th December 1993, but his legacy is still carried on throguh the Tony Rampton Trust today.
Written by Sally Hutchinson
with excerts from the Anthony Rampton Obituary (The Independant)    


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