Buttle UK – History

Buttle UK exists today because of an East End clergyman’s single-minded vision to raise £1m to ‘launch 1,000 children each year out of poverty.’

When Reverend Frank Buttle died on February 11, 1953 he was just £80,000 short of his £1m target. This fund was used to establish Buttle UK. Since then, the money has been re-invested and multiplied countless times and ways.

As the Charity has grown, so has its capacity to make positive change. Nowadays we are involved in research and project work, but at our core is Frank’s original drive – giving support and relief through grant aid.

As the late Richard Buttle, Frank’s nephew and our Honorary Vice President said in 2015, ‘Sadly the issues that inspired Frank to act 80 years ago are still confronted by Buttle UK on a daily basis. I am sure Frank would be proud of Buttle UK’s work today, but would be sorry (although not surprised) its services are still so necessary.’

Buttle UK – The Endowment

Buttle UK was founded in 1953 with an endowment created by the Reverend Frank Buttle. The value of this endowment was just under £1m at that time and is now worth almost £50m. Buttle UK’s endowment was set up to be permanent. This means the Trustees are required to always balance the needs of future beneficiaries of the fund with current ones. As such it cannot be fully spent but it can be invested to create an income that the Charity spends annually.

One of the advantages of having an endowment that is set up in this way is that we can use the investment income to cover our administration costs. This means that money received from donors and funders goes straight into grants, and therefore directly to those children and families that need it most.

Our mission

There are 4.1m children living in poverty in the UK and the need is rising. What Buttle UK do is very simple, they provide targeted, flexible grants of up to £2,000 to children, and young people in crisis to help them with long-term educational, training or wellbeing goals. In other words, essential, basic everyday items that most of us take for granted. It could be something as simple as a child’s bed, when they are sharing with siblings or sleeping on the floor; or it could be something like a laptop and textbooks so a homeless teenager can start a college course.

You can find out more about Buttle UK by visiting their website.