Why did the Trust close?
The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust was set up as a time-limited charitable foundation in 2012 to mark and celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. In 2020, the Trust successfully completed its programme of work as planned and ceased operating as a grant-making organisation.
Beyond the immediate delivery of treating people at risk of blindness, the Trust mobilised people and organisations around the world, equipping and enabling them to continue the fight against avoidable blindness to ensure no-one in the future becomes blind from causes that can be prevented.
The Trust also created and empowered a unique network of young people – The Queen’s Young Leaders - who work to tackle some of the Commonwealth’s most pressing issues, including climate change, mental health and access to education, to improve lives. Over the course of four years, 240 Awards were given to inspiring young people in 53 Commonwealth countries. The aim was to enable and encourage them to step up as leaders and take forward their pioneering work at scale to support communities and continue transforming lives for years to come.
What did the Trust achieve during its lifetime?
The work of the Trust, through its affiliation with HM The Queen, the support offered by Commonwealth Governments and the tireless work of partners, succeeded in effecting change across the globe.
As part of its efforts to curb avoidable blindness, the Trust helped more than 22 million people in Africa and the Pacific receive vital antibiotics to combat trachoma – the world’s leading infectious cause of blindness. Over 104,000 people with the advanced stage of trachoma received sight-saving surgery; more than 106,000 people – across three Commonwealth regions – received treatment to prevent the loss of sight due to diabetes; and services have been set up to screen and treat premature babies with Retinopathy of Prematurity – the leading cause of childhood blindness - across four districts in India, serving a population of nearly 50 million.
Beyond the immediate treatment of people at risk of blindness, the Trust mobilised and equipped individuals and organisations across the Commonwealth through innovation and pan-Commonwealth exchange, to ensure no-one in the future becomes blind from causes that can be prevented.
The Trust also created and empowered a unique network of young people – The Queen’s Young Leaders - who are working to tackle some of the Commonwealth’s most pressing issues, including climate change, mental health and access to education, to improve lives. Over the course of four years, 240 Awards were given to inspiring young people in 53 Commonwealth countries. The aim was to enable and encourage them to step up as leaders and take forward their pioneering work at scale to help transform communities and continue transforming lives for years to come.
Are Trust programmes continuing after the charity has closed?
The Trust’s work, programmes and projects and the charitable foundation will cease operating in their entirety by June 2020. However, through work carried out during its lifetime, the Trust’s programmes mobilised and equipped people and organisations and strengthened health systems so that people will continue to benefit from its work for many years to come.
The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme also created a unique network of individuals from 53 countries who will continue to connect and collaborate on projects after the Trust has closed.
Who will take over the legal ownership of the Trust?
The Trust will cease operating as a grant-making organisation by June 2020 and there will be no future initiatives established in the name of the Trust at any point. The Trust as a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee has been formally and legally closed as planned and in an orderly manner. The Trust has worked with the Charity Commission as part of its orderly closure.
Are there any remaining funds that haven’t been donated and, if so, what happens to them?
The Trust donated all of its available funds as planned during its lifetime. Thanks to the funds donated, millions have been saved from losing their sight to avoidable forms of blindness and young leaders in 53 countries have been empowered to tackle some of the Commonwealth’s most pressing issues.
What are the Trust’s Programme Closure Grants? Is the Trust responsible for these after it has ceased operating?
The Trust allocated all of its residual funds to existing, proven programme partners who completed a series of stringent due diligence checks in advance of closure, to help further their work to end avoidable blindness and empower young people. The Trust will not remain responsible for these funds in any way after it has ceased operating.
Avoidable blindness still exists. Will the Trust continue the fight in another capacity?
With avoidable blindness and vision loss remaining a challenge, momentum generated is set to be maintained. At their meeting in 2018, Commonwealth Heads of Government, citing the work of the Trust, committed for the first time to take further action towards eliminating trachoma and achieving access to quality eye care for all people in the Commonwealth.
The Trust’s work, programmes and projects are not continuing in any way and the charitable foundation will cease operating in its entirety.
How will the Queen’s Young Leaders continue the programmes in their respective countries?
The Queen’s Young Leaders have been supported via grants and awards along with capacity training through a year-long leadership course run by the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Continuing Education. The course culminated in a residential programme during which they visited leading businesses and social enterprises, giving the young leaders the connections and skillsets to enable their programmes to continue expanding in their respective countries, with the help of each other.
Has anything been in place to help Queen’s Young Leaders stay connected and be able to inspire each other?
From 2020 onwards, The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust assumed the residual stewardship of the name and network of Queen’s Young Leaders Award winners and Highly Commended Runners-up. While the Queen’s Young Leaders Programme is not continuing in any way, its Award winners and Highly Commended Runners-Up are now part of a broader network of young people who are working to tackle some of the Commonwealth’s most pressing issues and improve lives.
How can I find out more about the work of the Trust?
You can find out more about how the Trust effected change across the globe during its lifetime and improved people’s lives by watching the short 10-minute film about the Trust’s impact and legacy.
You can also read A Lasting Legacy which tells the stories of 62 individuals from 54 countries whose lives have changed as a result of the Trust.
How can I find out more or donate to causes which the Trust championed?
To find out more or donate to causes which the Trust championed, visit:
Photograph credits (in order of section)
- A Lasting Legacy: © Royal Collection Trust
- Five years and fifty three countries: © Ashley Gilbertson / VII Photo
- Ending avoidable blindness: © Darren James
- Empowering young leaders: © Jacques Nkinzingabo
- Thank you: © Rob Beechey