The Joseph Levy Foundation was established by the late Joseph Levy CBE BEM under a Trust deed dated 5 April 1965. The Foundation took on it’s present form in 1999 when it officially merged with the Lawrence Levy Charitable Trust. The objects of the Foundation are to support general charitable purposes. The Trustee Board consisting primarily of children and grandchildren of the original benefactor give grants only to officially registered charities and not to individuals.
Joseph Levy CBE BEM 1906 – 1990
Joseph Levy trained initially as an estate agent and in 1938 created his own agency DE & J Levy with his brother David. He later became one of a small group of London property developers, who, through his company Stock Conversion, helped rebuild the city during the 1950’s and 1960’s, after the devastation of the Second World War. He worked tirelessly all his life for many charitable causes and in particular had a deep concern for the welfare of young people. His longstanding interest in youth began as a member and manager at Brady Boys’ Club. He subsequently became a Vice-President of the London Federation of Boys’ Clubs, now London Youth. In 1963 he became a Founder Trustee of the Cystic Fibrosis Research Trust, now the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, acting as Chairman for almost twenty years till his retirement in 1984. He was awarded the MBE in 1976 and the CBE eight years later for his dedication to charitable causes.
Lawrence Levy 1947 – 1995
Lawrence, Joseph Levy’s son, combined his love of golf and his artistic ability to become one of the world’s foremost golf photographers. He took up photography in 1978 and in the 1980’s joined the magazine Golf World. Later his gift for photography earned him the position of official photographer for both the Ryder Cup Team and Open Championship Programme. His passion for the game led to his interest in the English Blind Golf Association, whilst his strong affinity with young people led him to become an early supporter of the Chicken Shed Theatre Company. These, together with other charities such as the Cystic Fibrosis Holiday Fund, which Lawrence helped create, continue to be supported by the Foundation. In 1993 Lawrence began to reduce his assignments to dedicate more time to his philanthropic concerns, although sadly his premature death two years later from cancer prevented many of his ideas coming to fruition.
A selection of Lawrence Levy’s photographic work can be viewed on the University of St Andrews website.