The Raymond Williams Foundation
How we came about.
Early in 1988, shortly after Williams died, an appeal was launched which led to the establishment, in 1989, of the Raymond Williams Memorial Fund(RWMF) the aims of which were - "to commemorate and continue the work Raymond Williams" - specifically "to assist educationally disadvantaged adults". This independent Fund was "closely associated with the Wedgwood Memorial College (WMC) and the WEA"
The RWMF remained modest but effective, helping run and fund (through bursaries) annual RW weekends at WMC Barlaston with occasional activities elsewhere; a RW weekend at The Hill in Abergavenny for example, and financing a national WEA publication of Culture is Ordinary. The WEA residential weekends featured key-note lectures by writers, academics and politicans, including Christopher Hill, Graham Martin, Raphael Samuel, Dorothy Thompson, Stuart Hall, Dafyd Elis-Thomas, Anthony Barnett, Phillip Whitehead, Roy Hattersley, Merryn Williams, Mark Fisher, Terry Eagleton.
Twenty years on, receiving a substantial bequest from Dudley Pretty* the enhanced Fund was re-named the Raymond Williams Foundation and as a charity, (registration number 1126575) continues constant to its objectives but able now to grow and expand its activities. The RWF - which is independent, non-party and unsectarian - has up to 20 Trustees widely spread across the UK and they, collectively, embody the range of organisations mentioned on this website.
*Dudley Pretty, from his WEA/TU background, attended many courses at WMC in Barlaston, was well aware of the support the RWF gave to disadvantaged students. His legacy is an extraordinary and prescient gift to the continuing values of adult education and the WEA which, to quote Williams, "represents a vital tradition we are always in danger of losing and which we can never afford to lose"