Our history

Discover how we've developed since the Foundation was established in 1958.

The Garfield Weston Foundation started in 1958. Willard Garfield Weston, a Canadian businessman, moved to the UK with his family in the 1930s. He created the Foundation with an endowment of shares in his company Associated British Foods Wittington Investments.

In doing so Garfield gave away 80% of the Weston family’s wealth for the benefit of the nation. The largest of Wittington’s investments is in Associated British Foods (ABF) and you can read more about where the Foundation’s money comes from here.

Garfield wanted his family to continue to support causes across the UK for generations to come. He wrote into the Foundation’s Deed that all Trustees must be his descendants. Today the Weston family work hard to ensure their businesses are successful, so that the Foundation can donate more money to charities every year. 

Willard Garfield Weston and Garry Weston
Willard Garfield Weston and Garry Weston

Garfield’s son, Garry Weston, became Chairman of ABF and the Foundation in the 1970s. In his 25 years as Chairman, the Foundation’s donations grew from around £1 million a year to over £30 million. Garry is still fondly remembered by many charities, large and small. 

Sir Guy Weston, Garry’s son, became Chair of the Foundation and the family businesses in 2000. Guy’s younger sister, Sophia Weston, is the Foundation’s Deputy Chair and Executive Trustee. Sophia makes all regular grant decisions and is key to the Foundation’s grant-making. Under Sir Guy and Sophia, the Foundation’s annual donations have increased to around £90 million. In total the Foundation has donated over £1.4 billion since 1958. 

The Weston family have a consistent aim. The more successful the family businesses, the more money the Foundation can donate. Future generations of the Weston family will continue this important work. 

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