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Tuesday, March 10, 1998 Published at 12:46 GMT


Diana fund announces grants
image: [ Diana visiting St Mary's Hospital in London in April 1997. ]
Diana visiting St Mary's Hospital in London in April 1997.

The first grants from the fund set up in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales have been announced.

[ image:  ]
Trustees of the fund said eight causes, which range from the arts to Aids, would share £8m while another 100 would share £5m, once they applied for funds.

The allocation was criticised by one charity, the Parkinson's Disease Society. An official said it was "a little surprised" and had "some concerns" regarding the criteria for submitting proposals to the fund.

Baroness Pittkeathley: "Charities will be very happy" (2'48'')
The eight causes that will share the £8m include all six charities of which Princess Diana was either patron or president at the time of her death.

In addition, organisations involved with people affected by landmines - the mission that Princess Diana was most closely associated with - and The Osteopathic Centre for Children will also benefit.

BBC Court Correspondent Paul Reynolds explains who will get the grants (37")
This is in recognition of the fact that Princess Diana was due to have launched the charity's Sweet Pea Appeal to raise money for a new centre just days after she died.

The 100 other causes are ones which Princess Diana was associated with before she scaled down her commitments.

The charities

The eight causes, which will each receive £1m, are:

  • Centrepoint, a charity for the homeless.
  • The English National Ballet.
  • Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital.
  • The Leprosy Mission.
  • The National Aids Trust.
  • The Royal Marsden NHS Trust, which specialises in cancer treatment.
  • The Osteopathic Centre for Children.
  • Landmine organisations

For more details on these organisations, click here

The other 100 organisations have been asked to submit applications for grants under the criteria "vulnerable young people", "children", "socially excluded" and "survivors".

Decisions on the amounts each charity will receive will be announced early in the summer.

[ image: Barry Brooking: understanding, but concerned]
Barry Brooking: understanding, but concerned
Barry Brooking, Chief Executive of the Parkinson's Disease Society, confirmed his charity would be applying for funds but questioned the distribution of the money. Princess Diana was the Society's patron until July 1996.

"The PDS fully understands the emphasis given to the six causes which Diana, Princess of Wales supported up until the time of her death, and the attention given to the landmines issues and the Sweet Pea Appeal," he said.

Brooking: "May be difficult to meet criteria" (19")
"We are, however, a little surprised that £8m has been allocated to just eight causes whereas £5m will be shared among 100 more.

"We do have some concerns regarding the criteria for submitting proposals to the Fund, and hope that they will not prevent the PDS from securing funds to help people with Parkinson's and their families."

Allocations defended

Christopher Spence, Chairman of the Trustees of The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund grants committee, defended the allocations.

"Let's be realistic about this. We have put up front £13m which is a lot of money but it has had to go a long way," he said.

[ image: Diana's walk in a cleared minefield in Angola raised awareness of the landmine issue.]
Diana's walk in a cleared minefield in Angola raised awareness of the landmine issue.
"We had a very difficult judgement to arrive at, taking into account the Princess's close involvement with a small number of charities at the time she died and a less close involvement with a larger number.

"The point to remember is that it is the initial disbursement. In about six months' time we will hopefully be able to disperse a lot more against a more developed long-term grant-giving policy.

"There was no way that whatever we had decided, everybody would be happy." He added: "Careful consideration has been given by the board of trustees to our first disbursement and we are confident in the selection and size of these grants."

"Sympathetic consideration"

The trustees also disclosed that they are giving "sympathetic consideration" to Park House, the late Princess's home on the Sandringham Estate, and West Heath, her former school in Kent.

Park House is currently run by the Leonard Cheshire Foundation as a hotel for disabled people and their carers while West Heath, which has closed as a school, may reopen as a centre for traumatised young people with difficulty learning.

The Memorial Fund has received more than £40m since the Princess died in a car crash in Paris last August.

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Internet Links

The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund

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BBC Diana website

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