Local worthy causes are set to benefit from a charitable trust which has contributed £5million to the Kent Community Foundation (KCF).

The Raymond and Blanche Lawson Charitable Trust has made the huge donation to set up a new grant-making Endowment Fund for charities in Kent and Medway.

The trust was created in 1980 by Tonbridge-based property businessman Raymond Lawson and his wife Blanche.

When they died in the early 1980s, they bequeathed the majority of their estate to the trust, which has supported a wide range of charitable causes.

The trust wants to increase its support to local community groups, and has chosen KCF because of its extensive networks and experience working with the local voluntary sector.

The new fund will be called the Lawson Endowment for Kent. Grants, which are typically up to £5,000, will be available to charities and groups ‘addressing genuine need in the local community’.

Priority will be given to volunteer projects, with those relating to homelessness or housing being particularly welcomed.

Philip Thomas, Chairman of The Raymond and Blanche Lawson Charitable Trust, said: “We wanted to do more for smaller community projects making a difference at the grassroots level.

“A little can go a long way for these organisations and we know the Lawsons would have wanted their legacy to work hard for local people in need.

“We are pleased to be partnering with Kent Community Foundation. They can help us reach these grassroots groups, who so often operate out of the spotlight.”

Community groups are advised that applications will be channelled via KCF’s Themed Programmes.

The next deadline for applications is Friday, November 25. For more information visit www.kentcf.org.uk/apply/funding-round