Helen Bowcock at the Hazelhurst Trust supports the Big Give Campaign

Posted by Admin on 5 Dec 2011, 12:14 p.m.

 

“Hazelhurst Trust is a small family trust that my husband and I set up a few years ago when we sold our company and we chose to make the most of our donations to local organisations and one of those is the Watts Gallery. It is proving to be an enormous pleasure to be involved with Perdita and her team not just because this is a world class art gallery that happens to be up the road from us but also it is using art in such a powerful way to work with people who are often in very desperate situations. So I feel that any donation that we make genuinely has a double impact; they are an investment in our cultural heritage but they are also transforming lives through the work of the Foyle Art For All Learning Studio.

A very recent piece of research by an organisation called New Philanthropy Capital to evaluate a programme very similar to this one, using art to work with prisoners and ex-offenders reduced re-offending by half but also showed that for every £1 invested in this project saved the public purse £3. And so our contribution to Watts Gallery is not just because it’s a nice thing to do but has a genuine economic and social value. I suppose there has never been a better time to give. The preventative value of this work is now being recognised by the government but also we all have a role to play. It is what the Victorians, most notably Watts, understood and for me there is something very special about the link that Watts Gallery gives us to the past, the way that it is upholding the philosophy of art for all but in a 21st century context.”

Dr Helen Bowcock