The John Cowe Memorial Fund

Sue Phipps received a legacy following the death of her brother, John Cowe. 

John had taken his own life after years of living with Asperger’s Syndrome but John’s condition was never diagnosed.  Sue wanted to create a lasting legacy for John and felt that helping others with Asperger’s Syndrome would be a good place to start.

The aim of the fund is “To support groups in Swindon and Wiltshire working in the area of advocacy and supported employment opportunities for people with Asperger’s syndrome”.

Sue had known about Wiltshire Community Foundation because of her history of working in the voluntary sector.  She contacted the Foundation in June 2012 initially looking for guidance on delivering the legacy in the best way possible.

The Foundation helped Sue weigh up the pros and cons of committing the entire legacy for grant making over a short period versus an endowed fund.  After detailed discussions about the options available, Sue decided to create an endowed fund in her late brother’s name.  The fund is in place in perpetuity so it will stand as a memorial to him forever. 

The Community Foundation continue to work with Sue.   We help her to find suitable applicants for the fund and she is involved in the assessment and subsequent monitoring of the grants given.  As a result of this Fund we also decided that our Grants Team should attend some training on “Understanding Autism” - delivered by the National Autistic Society.  This has raised our awareness of the condition and helps us assess applications for funding in a more informed manner.

"Working with Wiltshire Community Foundation is an effective way to give to the causes we care about - saving me the complexities of setting up our own charity."