The Maggie Evans Fund was set up in memory of Maggie, who after a short but intense period of depression, took her own life aged 29. Her parents Bob and Kati and brother David use her charitable fund to help children discover interests that were Maggie’s own passions: a love of reading, stories and illustration, and the exploration of different cultures through languages and translation.
The fund is held and managed by Oxfordshire Community Foundation (OCF), which allows historic and new donations to be used for charitable purposes, and ensure they benefit from Gift Aid.
Donations to the fund can be made directly on their dedicated Maggie’s page through our online funding platform with Enthuse.
Every year the family, alongside friends and supporters, celebrates Maggie’s Day at The Story Museum in Oxford. Children from local primary schools are invited to the museum for a fun workshop run by a children’s author or illustrator.
In the build-up to Maggie’s Day, The Story Museum’s learning team go into the schools to run creative workshops, using the work of the visiting author or illustrator as inspiration. The children’s work is then displayed in the Museum for Maggie’s Day.
Sophie Hiscock from The Story Museum comments: “We have been working with the Evans Family since 2011 and it has been lovely watching the project grow. Thanks to their support over 900 students from 18 schools have been able not only to visit The Story Museum and take part in our creative workshops, but also meet leading authors and illustrators face to face. The Maggie Evans Fund has enabled us to target this work at local schools that are located in areas of higher than average socio-economic deprivation, many of whose students may lack the confidence or support to access wider cultural experiences. Yet we know from experience that when students come and have a fun time at The Story Museum, they then want to come back – and bring their families.”
Maggie’s Day showcases the collaboration between the Maggie Evans Fund and The Story Museum, to engage school children across Oxfordshire with a love of books and stories and into their Extreme Reading Adventures programme. This video captures the impact of over 10 years of collaboration.
The Maggie Evans Fund also supports an intensive six-week reading project for pupils from local schools who have been identified by their teachers as ‘reluctant readers’. Each week the children receive a different book and then take part in a ‘story adventure’ linked to the book. The project has been independently evaluated by Coventry University, which showed that this targeted intervention not only helps stimulate the children’s desire to read for pleasure (and therefore their literacy skills), but also boosts their well-being and confidence.
“It is so uplifting to meet so many people blessed with generous hearts and a deep sense of community.”
“I really appreciate your work on what for my parents is such an important project. I am glad that the fund has been developing so positively and swiftly.”
David EvansMaggie Evans Fund
“The huge satisfaction to be gained from spending one’s time in giving in your later years far outweighs any pleasures that you can possibly gain on the golf course, on the beach or on the back of the yacht in the Mediterranean sipping martinis.”
“I like to have something worthwhile to get up for each morning… I find that the larger and more strategic the gift, the more pleasure I get out of it.”
Dame Stephanie Shirley
“I can’t get over it; I’m still shaking when I talk about it. It’s just incredible… I feel a bit guilty about getting so much pleasure out of giving!”
“Generosity is the best investment.”
Diane von Fürstenberg
“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”
“It is more difficult to give money away intelligently than to earn it in the first place.”
“I feel passionately that so many more people could be philanthropists and are a bit afraid of it. What we need to do as Beacon Fellows is go out there and talk about it. One of the things I want to do is to share the joy that I’ve had!”
Marcelle Speller OBEBeacon Fellow
“Every act of philanthropy touches a life. Deprivation is not destiny. If you come from a disadvantaged background, you just need to be given an
Paul MarshallBeacon Fellow
“It’s really important to tell the world about what you’re doing. You’ll be naturally quiet and modest, and it’s not very British, but it is very important, so put your modesty aside, tell the world what you’re doing, because they’ll be interested!”
Paul Barry-WalshBeacon Fellow
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
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