A canoe, violin & UN Food Programme: highlights of 2016 grant-giving

One of the best things about running the Kirsten Scott Memorial Trust is receiving reports from successful applicants, and seeing how the grants they’ve received have helped them achieve their goals.

In 2016 the Trust provided grants totalling over £22,000 to over 30 recipients – both groups and individuals – and we helped fund some of the most memorable projects to date.
Here are some of the more unique applicants that were successful, with links to view their own reports, explaining how the funds were put to good use.

Jonny Jones, the canoe-less canoeist

Jonny from Worcestershire got in touch with KSMT with a sporting predicament. He was sprint canoeist on the under-23 GB squad and ranked 16th in the world… but he didn’t own a canoe.

Purchasing his own boat would be springboard for his athletic career,  finally furnishing him with the (fairly essential) tool to take it to the next level, competing in a myriad of competitions with his ultimate focus on the Olympic Games selection.

KSMT’s contribution to a new canoe “changed the game” according to Jonny. See his YouTube video report above – illustrating his successes. With a new canoe Jonny has achieved national titles in several disciplines, as well as represented GB at European and World Championships, and was just 3 selection places short of Rio 2016. We wish you all the best for Tokyo 2020, Jonny!

Helping Alice Poppleton repair her 300-year old Baroque violin

Alice Poppleton from Salisbury required a financial contribution to repair a violin, enabling her to attend the Royal Welsh College of Music for a post-grad in modern violin. But this wasn’t just any old violin – the Baroque instrument dated back to the 1720s by English maker John Barrett.

To get it back to its former glory and functioning properly, the violin required thousands of pounds of restoration and repairs. Alice contacted KSMT and the trustees agreed to help contribute to the repair, which comprised fixing holes and cracks, revarnishing the body and adding a baroque neck, strings and fingerboard – highly specialised work!

After the restoration, Alice said, “With  historical  research,  this  violin  has  been  transformed. This  allows  me  to  perform  repertoire  from  over  300  years  ago  on  a  violin  in  the  original  set  up  for  which  the  music  was  composed. It is a  time-machine! It  is  my  ambition  to  build  a  career  performing  in  the  baroque  music  scene,  including  chamber,  solo  and  orchestral  performance.  I  am  also  keen  to  do  outreach  work  and  teaching  to  give  others  a  chance    to  enjoy  music.”

You can read Alice Poppleton’s report here. And better still, listen to Alice playing the restored instrument here.

Alice violin



Jacob Brunner’s unpaid UN internship in Bangkok

Having finished a Masters in Development Administration and Planning at UCL, Jacob Brunner received KSMT funding to help with travel costs associated with an unpaid internship at the United Nations World Food Programme Regional Bureau Bangkok. This branch of the UN is the world’s largest humanitarian organisation addressing hunger and promoting food security

The Regional Bureau In Bangkok is responsible for overseeing all of the Country Offices – totalling 14 including Afghanistan, Cambodia, India, Laos, Myanmar (Burma), Nepal, North Korea, Pakistan and The Philippines.

Jacob was placed in the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) team, so responsible for assisting and guiding the Country Offices with the monitoring of all of their projects so as to ensure that the projects are impacting effectively on the lives of the beneficiaries.

Jacob describes it as “a life-changing experience” and upon returning from Bangkok, he started at a London-based NGO called StreetInvest, which improves the lives of street children around the world.