People First Fund Stories

People passing a sign saying "People first" in a Howden office
Rows of tables with books

Sarah shares the magic of reading

From Me is a registered charity in New Zealand that takes pre-loved books and school resources and ships them over to Papua New Guinea to set up libraries for schools. Papua New Guinea has the lowest literacy rate in the Asia Pacific region, more than a third of the country’s seven million people are illiterate. This is a critical challenge for the country’s development.

In 2022, Sarah nominated From Me for a donation from the Foundation. Through the work of From Me, Sarah has helped to further the charity’s mission to provide access to quality education through the provision of repurposed books creating a better learning environment for children and enabling them to share in the magic of reading.

Competitors gathering at the finish line for a victory photograph

John O'Groats to London

In just seven days, 30 keen riders cycled the gruelling 800 miles from John O’Groats to London. Five teams competed to reach the finish line fastest – and in the process raised £275,212 including matched funding made available by Howden Foundation for Hague Primary School in Tower Hamlets and cancer care charity Maggie's.

At Hague Primary, the donation paid for the creation of a creative art, science, and family learning space. The donation to Maggie's contributed to the construction of Maggie's Centre at St Bart's Hospital, where patients, carers and families are supported through cancer diagnosis and treatment.

A community photo in a village

Matt supports overseas education

The Future Light Orphanage, Cambodia (FLO) received a donation from the Howden Foundation at a time when local donors could no longer support them, the timing of the award keeping FLO in existence.

FLO provides food, shelter and education to 83 orphans & vulnerable children in the capital Phnom Penh and ethnic region of Ratanakiri. They also provide English, Computer and Chinese lessons to 200 children from local communities. Their aim is to provide the children with the skills necessary to lift themselves out of poverty towards a brighter future.