• 13/09/2018

    2018 University Bursaries

    On Wednesday 12th September we welcomed this year’s cohort of university bursary students, their parents and some of their teachers, for a celebration event to mark the start of their university journey.  Also in attendance were three graduates from a previous cohort who returned to meet and talk to the […]

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  • 12/09/2018

    Have a go with Harpur 2019

    We are delighted to announce that we will once again be hosting our biennual Have a go with Harpur day on Sunday 19th May 2019. This free community event will take place in Bedford park between 11am and 4pm with free parking available at the Pilgrim Centre on Brickhill Drive […]

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  • 12/07/2018

    Former grant recipient launches new book

    A local girl who received a university bursary from The Harpur Trust 20 years ago, has launched a new book, The Happy Hero, How to change your life by changing the World. Solitaire Townsend grew up in Bedford and worked evenings and weekends from an early age to support herself […]

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  • 8/06/2018

    Launch of the Wixams Show Flat

    As a Trust we have been providing  accommodation for older people for over 200 years through our almshouses.  Today we celebrated the launch of the show suites at the new ExtraCare Charitable Trust development at Wixams, a complex which we have invested £2 million into, in the next phase of […]

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  • 18/05/2018

    And the Art prizes go to…

    We are delighted to announce the winners of our 2018 Art competition ‘Where is your happy place?’ Letters are arriving with schools today (Friday 18th May), to advise them of whose work has been selected for prizes, and whose work will appear in the exhibition (we will be publishing an […]

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  • 16/05/2018

    Trustee Recruitment

    On Wednesday 2nd May, the Trust hosted an information evening for professionals from an array of industries, interested in supporting the charity by becoming a trustee or committee member. Dozens of people responded to the adverts placed in local publications and on our social media sites, and to the invitations […]

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  • 5/03/2018

    Property training for charities

    Free Training – Property Management for Non-Property Managers Many charities funded by The Harpur Trust have looked at owning their own property or subletting a larger property as a way of securing their future or generating some extra income. But for most, managing their premises is something a member of […]

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  • 19/02/2018

    Harpur’s helping hand to the homeless

    The Harpur Trust has long been supporting local homeless charities, and regular recipients of grants include the YMCA, Salvation Army, Amicus Trust, Kings Arms Project, and Emmaus.  All are doing great work in supporting homeless people, providing shelter and most importantly, giving them the ongoing support they need to help […]

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  • 19/02/2018

    Out of this world. Grant for portable planetarium

    One of the more unusual grants we made recently was to local senior school Mark Rutherford, which approached us for funding to purchase a portable planetarium. Our trustees were impressed by their desire to use this superb piece of equipment, not just for the benefit of its own pupils, but […]

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  • 1/02/2018

    Our musical gift to Bedford

    Orchestra Unwrapped 700 children from 15 Bedford Borough state schools were wowed by the Philharmonia Orchestra during a concert at Bedford Corn Exchange on Tuesday 30th January.  Orchestra Unwrapped is the Philharmonia Orchestra’s unique concert series for schoolchildren aged 7-11, and was brought to Bedford for the first time in […]

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  • 22/01/2018

    Pitch Perfect Pupils

    Two Harpur Trust siblings are celebrating after being selected for places in the prestigious National Youth Choir. Talia Sanders, who attends Bedford Modern School, and her brother Silas Sanders, a pupil at Bedford School, will join the top 100 young voices in the country to perform in the National Youth Choir’s […]

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  • 17/11/2017

    Inset for local music teachers

    The Philharmonia’s Orchestra Unwrapped project is a concert series for children.  This exciting programme, which we helped to bring to Bedford last year as part of our 450th anniversary celebrations,  includes an inset programme for music teachers and music co-ordinators.  Composer Paul Rissman led today’s session, teaching the group of […]

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  • 14/11/2017

    Putnoe Pupils get performing

    This morning our friends at Philharmonia Orchestra delivered a workshop to around 30 excited pupils at Putnoe Primary School. As well as learning to conduct, meeting members of the orchestra, hearing about different instruments and making use of a host of percussion instruments, the pupils learned a song which has been specially written […]

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  • 26/10/2017

    Inspiring Leaders Programme

    Here at The Harpur Trust, we are committed to providing our staff with ongoing training and development opportunities, and on Monday 9th October a group of staff from across our schools embarked on our brand new Inspiring Leaders programme, just one of a series of in-house training programmes being developed. […]

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  • 13/09/2017

    Have a go with Harpur

    Despite the weather, thousands of people flocked to Bedford Park on Sunday for the  inaugural Have a go with Harpur Day, a free community event which we organised following the success of our 450th anniversary celebrations. With over 60 Bedford-based organisations taking part, all offering taster sessions, fun activities and […]

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  • 10/07/2017

    Multi Academy Trust is launched

    Pupils, staff, Governors and Trustees of four local academies came together last week to celebrate the launch of the HEART Academies Trust which is sponsored by The Harpur Trust. Four schools; Bedford Academy, Shortstown, Cauldwell and Shackleton Primaries, have joined forces under this brand new Multi Academy Trust (MAT).  The […]

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  • 7/07/2017

    Local Heroes winners

    On an extremely warm and sunny evening, the great and the good of Bedford joined together for an inspiring evening to celebrate the achievements of extra-ordinary local people. The Bedforshire on Sunday’s inaugural Local Heroes Awards, were held in the marquee at Bedford Blues Rugby Stadium and The Harpur Trust […]

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  • 9/03/2017

    Local Heroes Awards

    In recent years, the Trust has sponsored a number of local awards programmes and other Bedford events, from the Dragon Boat racing at the River Festival to the Bedfordshire Sports awards. We are delighted to be headline sponsors of a brand new awards programme which celebrates the extra-ordinary achievements of […]

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  • 20/02/2017

    Have a go with Harpur – new Trust event

    Sunday 10th September, 11am-4pm, Bedford Park Following on from the very successful 450th anniversary events, Trustees of The Harpur Trust have agreed to fund a small number of community events and projects over the next two years. The first of these will be Have a go with Harpur.  This free, one […]

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  • 5/01/2017

    We made it! Reviewing our 450th year

    The year-long programme of events started with the launch of The Bedford Chronicles, a beautifully illustrated history book for children.  We gave away 6,500 copies; a book for every Year 4 and every Year 5 pupil across the borough plus a set of 30 books for each school to use […]

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  • 5/01/2017

    Orchestra Unwrapped 2016

    Our final anniversary celebration in our 450th anniversary calendar, was Orchestra Unwrapped, an exciting concert series for children and our support enabled the Philharmonia Orchestra to bring this project to the town for the very first time.   The hour long concert at the Corn Exchange was attended by 700 […]

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  • 13/12/2016

    Staff survey raises money for local charity

    Staff across The Harpur Trust’s four schools and its head office, have successfully raised £594 by completing a survey about their experience as staff members.  As part of its 450th anniversary celebrations, the charity pledged to give £1 for every employee survey completed. Staff were given the option to vote […]

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  • 12/12/2016

    Orchestra Unwrapped is a huge hit

    On Wednesday 7th December, 700 children from 18 schools across the borough gathered in the Corn Exchange to experience the magic of a full, live Symphony Orchestra.  Orchestra Unwrapped is the Philharmonia Orchestra’s unique concert series for children aged 7-11 years.  The Harpur Trust was proud to be able to bring […]

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  • 11/11/2016

    Trust shows its Pride in Bedford

    Last week The Harpur Trust was again proud to be the headline sponsor of the Pride in Bedfordshire awards organised by the Bedford Times and Citizen newspaper. Jon Moses, a finalist in ITV’s Superstar, hosted the event which was attended by a host of organisations and individuals.   Awards were […]

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  • 4/11/2016

    Launch of new video

    We are delighted to launch our new video highlighting many of the 450th anniversary celebrations over 2016.  The video was produced by local company Future Legend Media and covers the Thanksgiving Service, the Run and Fun Day, the Art Competition, Almshouse Summer Party, the Writing Competition, our play Somewhere in […]

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  • 20/09/2016

    Bedford Play is a sell out success

      More than 1500 people attended a unique play about the history of Bedford at the Quarry Theatre St Luke’s last week.  Commissioned by The Harpur Trust as part of its 450th anniversary, Somewhere in England (The Bedford Play) was a sell out with 6 ticketed performances and 2 additional […]

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  • 6/07/2016

    Writing Competition winners

    On Tuesday 5th of July, the winners of our writing competition, run jointly with The John Bunyan Museum, assembled to receive their prizes from two of the competitions judges, local journalists Sarah Cox (editor of the Beds on Sunday), and Suzanne Dilly (Beds Times and Citizen). A special prize was […]

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  • 1/07/2016

    Opening of our 450th Anniversary Children’s Art Exhibition

    Scroll down to see more photos. On Thursday 30th June 2016 The Harpur Trust launched a unique art exhibition of children’s work ‘Recording Bedford’ at The Higgins Bedford as part of our 450th anniversary celebrations art competition. A selection of nearly 140 pictures produced by children aged as young as 3 […]

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  • 30/06/2016

    A tribute to Suzanne Sharp

    It is with great sadness that The Harpur Trust reports the passing of our colleague and friend Suzanne Sharp on Thursday 23rd June 2016. Suzanne joined us in 2007 as the Trust’s first professional Communications Manager.  She showed tremendous dedication and commitment to the role and her many achievements will […]

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  • 21/06/2016

    Almshouse Summer Party 2016

    Many of The Harpur Trust’s Almshouse residents attended the popular annual Summer Party on Thursday 16th June, which this year, was held at Bedford School. The party for over 90 guests, also included residents from other sheltered accommodation and extra care providers and organisations concerned with supporting older people. The […]

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  • 10/06/2016

    Art Competition results and launch of gallery

    Today, the Harpur Trust launched an exciting online gallery as part of the 450th Anniversary Art Competition.  The gallery contains every single one of the 1393 entries received from across 44 schools in the Borough of Bedford with children as young as 3 and 4 through to 18 taking part.  […]

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  • 26/05/2016

    Run & Fun a huge success!

    Scroll down for more photographs by Bedford Camera Club. Over 3000 people attended a community event on Sunday which was organised by The Harpur Trust as part of its 450th anniversary celebrations. The Harpur Run and Fun Day took place at Priory Country park, and was opened by Olympic Gold […]

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  • 4/05/2016

    Inspirational words to mark 450th

    Squadron Leader Charlotte Joanne Thompson-Edgar ARRC MSc BA(Hons) MCMI Dip HE RN PMRAFNS attend the Thanksgiving Service on 22 April 2016 and here is what she had to say to 600 guest, staff and pupils. Ladies, Gentlemen, Distinguished guests, good morning. Firstly, I would like to thank-you for the great […]

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  • 4/05/2016

    Harpur Run and Fun Day

    The Harpur Trust is inviting Bedfordians  to get active on Sunday 22nd May its 450th Anniversary celebration event, The Harpur Run and Fun Day at Priory Country Park. A 5k run, which is being supported by The Bedford Harriers AC, and officially started by Olympic Gold Medallist Tim Foster MBE, is […]

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  • 7/04/2016

    ‘Angel of Afghanistan’ to attend 450th Thanksgiving

    On Friday 22nd April 2016 at 11.30am, 600 pupils and staff from across the Harpur Trust schools and the charity’s headquarters, will gather for a service to give thanks to the legacy left to the town of Bedford by Sir William Harpur.  The occasion marks the official 450th anniversary of […]

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  • 6/04/2016

    The Harpur Trust Develops New Social Investment Fund

    The Harpur Trust is pleased to announce that Trustees have recently set aside £2,000,000  for a social investment fund. This will enable the Trust to invest in social enterprises which further our three charitable objects in the Borough of Bedford.  Social investments are quite different from grants in that the […]

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  • 3/03/2016

    Launch of the Chronicles and our 450th year

    Today (World Book Day) marked the first of our 450th Anniversary celebration events with the launch of The Bedford Chronicles. Local councillors, headteachers, history teachers, business leaders,  news editors and staff from the borough’s libraries, museums, galleries and tourist industry gathered to celebrate the launch of the book at The […]

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  • 23/02/2016

    Launch of the Harpur Run

    The Harpur Trust is delighted to announce the launch of its 450th anniversary 5k fun run on Sunday 22nd May at Priory Country Park. The run, which is being supported by The Bedford Harriers AC, and officially started by Olympic Gold Medallist Tim Foster MBE (pictured left), is part of […]

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  • 8/02/2016

    Strategic Plan 2016-2020

    The Harpur Trust has launched its next Strategic Plan for the period 2016-2020. The trustees have identified the following strategic priorities for the next five years. Focus on grant making Social investment The Trust’s schools working together in education Develop the Trust’s role as Sponsor of the Bedford Academy The […]

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  • 8/02/2016

    Trust staff raise £2k for The Primrose Unit

    Every year the staff of the Harpur Trust Office select a local charity to support through a range of fundraising activities.  Our chosen appeal for 2015 was the Primrose Unit and we were delighted to raise a record £2000 through cake sales, mince pie sales, hot dog sales, a 3 course […]

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  • 7/01/2016

    Leadership Programme Launch

    The Harpur Trust Launches a 3rd Voluntary Sector Leadership Programme With Partners The Cranfield Trust. The Harpur Trust is launching  a  third phase of its innovative leadership programme, designed to arm forward thinking Bedford based voluntary organisations with the skills and confidence to develop real solutions to the unprecedented challenges […]

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  • 6/01/2016

    1st Awards Made – 450th Anniversary Grants Programme

    12 Bedford voluntary organisations and schools are celebrating the New Year with news that they have received grants totalling more than £11,000 from our special 450th Anniversary Grants Programme. The lucky 12 award winners are the first to take advantage of the Trust’s 450th Anniversary Grants Giveaway, a one off, […]

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  • 5/01/2016

    Sally Peck is awarded an OBE

    Long standing Trustee and former Chairman of the Harpur Trust, Sally Peck has been recognised in the New Year’s Honours list with an OBE. Sally was awarded the Order of the British Empire for services to the community through Education and Sport in Bedford and the Eastern Region. Amongst her […]

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  • 22/11/2015

    Grants Committee News

    At the recent meeting of the Grants Committee six new awards totaling just under £140,000 were made and several preliminary proposals were encouraged. Congratulations to Bedfordshire Refugee and Asylum Seeker Support, Bedford Borough Learning Exchange, Prisoners Education Trust, First Give, Arkwright Scholarship Trust and Bedford Samaritans who were all awarded grants. The […]

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  • 10/09/2015

    The Harpur Trust University Bursary Event

    The Harpur Trust recently awarded 15 University Bursaries to students from maintained schools within the Borough a bursary. Each student was nominated by their school and will receive £1,200 each year for three years. Last night 13 of those students attended a celebration event at the Trust offices. We also […]

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  • 25/08/2015

    Bringing Bedford’s History to Life

    As part of its 450th Anniversary celebrations, the Trust is funding a special edition of a new book for children which aims to bring local history to life. Jointly created by Alasdair Bright and Karen Fryc, The Bedford Chronicles will be telling the history of Bedford as it has never been told […]

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  • 14/07/2015

    The Philharmonia Orchestra

    The Philharmonia Orchestra and funding partners launch £1m Endowment Fund for Bedford residency  Joint funding from Arts Council England, Bedford Borough Council and The Harpur Trust guarantee future of 20-year residency  Orchestra is delighted to have secured a sustainable funding model for its longest-running regional residency  Orchestra launches three-year campaign […]

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  • 25/06/2015

    Grants Committee News

    At the recent meeting of the Grants Committee seven new awards totalling just under £250,000 were made and several preliminary proposals were encouraged. Congratulations to Sharnbrook Playing Field Association, The Regency Training Foundation, Bedford and District Citizens Advice Bureau, Groundwork Luton and Bedfordshire, Goldington Family Centre, Friends for Life and CAN who […]

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  • 19/06/2015

    Almshouse Summer Party

    On Thursday 18 June Bedford Girls’ School hosted our annual Almshouse Summer Party. Pupils from all The Harpur Trust schools and older people from across the Borough, including our own Almshouse residents, came together for an afternoon of song and dance. This year 84 guests enjoyed a sunny afternoon tea […]

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  • 8/06/2015

    Art Competition Launched

    The Harpur Trust today announced the launch of an exciting new art competition for schools and children in the Bedford Borough, which will culminate in a major exhibition at The Higgins Bedford next Summer. The competition, which will take place over the coming academic year, was initiated by the Trust […]

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  • 18/03/2015

    Harpur Trust to invest over £2 million in new almshouse acc...

    For over 200 years The Harpur Trust has provided almshouse accommodation in Bedford and is proud of the homes and support it offers older people. However, over time sheltered accommodation becomes dated and less effective at meeting the changing needs of an ageing population. For this reason our Trustees have […]

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  • 17/03/2015

    Grants Committee News

    Harpur Trust News > Grants Committee News At the recent meeting of the Grants Committee six new awards were made and several preliminary proposals were encouraged. Congratulations to Keech Hospice Care, Uprising, Sustrans, Centre for all Families Positive Health, Family Groups Bedford & The ReUse Centre who were awarded grants. […]

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  • 15/03/2015

    £90,000 to help support expectant and new parents who just ...

    Last year the Trust was delighted to award a £90,000 grant, over three years, to the FACES Bedford – Baby FACES project. This innovation new project delivers services to local people who are in the transitional stages of becoming new parents and need additional support. These expectant parents typically have […]

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  • 3/03/2015

    Eating strawberries & cream for Bedford Open Door!

    Renowned for its community grants programme that has awarded local groups over £9.8million during the past ten years, staff at the main Harpur Trust office on Brickhill Drive also organise a handful of office based activities every year to raise money for their chosen charity. Last year the team of […]

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  • 25/02/2015

    Philanthropic spirit is high as Trust distributes £1,071,81...

    Whilst Bedford and its residents were recognised and praised for their commitment to charity during the past year, being crowned the UK’s most generous town according to data gathered by JustGiving, the Trust’s grants committee were delighted to support this philanthropic spirit by awarding £1,071,818 in grant awards to 39 […]

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  • 23/02/2015

    Inspire Future Generations as a Trustee

    The Harpur Trust has been inspiring and supporting people within Bedford Borough for over 400 years.  Over the past 10 years we’ve awarded over £9.8 million in grants to community and educational projects, and educated thousands of pupils at our four schools. The Trust is led by a dedicated team […]

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  • 29/01/2015

    Harpur Trust on Great British Railway Journeys

    Tonight on BBC2’s Great British Railway Journeys Michael Portillo travels through Bedford and looks at how Victorian philanthropy has shaped our town. We’re very excited that as part of this he looks into the legacy of Sir William Harpur and visits one of our Almshouse’s to chat with some of […]

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