Fund honours inspirational businesswoman

The Manjit Wolstenholme Fund has been established with support from Bradford-based, Provident Financial to award grants in memory of their first female Chair who sadly passed away in 2017.

Manjit Wolstenholme was born in India and went to school in Wolverhampton. Her life story was one of building the skills and perseverance to break down barriers to succeed in business. Manjit became the youngest woman to head an investment bank in London and went on to become the first woman from an ethnic minority background to chair a FTSE 100 company.

Managed by GiveBradford (part of Leeds Community Foundation), which distributes grants across Bradford district, the Fund aims to support young people in Bradford to achieve their full potential through educational and aspirational opportunities, no matter what their background.

Thanks to an initial donation from Provident Financial and support from Manjit’s family, the Fund will offer grants of £5,000 – £10,000 and is currently open for applications from community groups and charities across Bradford.

Applicants will be asked to demonstrate how they will support young people to develop their confidence, build resilience and raise their aspirations when considering further education or gaining life skills to enter the world of work.

Neil Wolstenholme, Manjit’s husband, said: “Manjit’s own experiences meant she believed passionately that no-one should be denied the chance to achieve their true potential as a result of their background or where they live. We want to honour this passion and look forward to welcoming applications from a range of projects across the district.” 

Sharon Orr, Community Affairs Manager at Provident Financial, said: “Manjit was an inspirational woman and business leader. We were lucky to have her as our first female Chair and CEO. We are proud to be able to support her family in establishing this Fund which supports her belief in creating opportunities for young people to reach their life goals.”

Kate Hainsworth, Chief Executive at GiveBradford and Leeds Community Foundation which manage the Fund, said: “We are delighted to support Manjit’s family with the distribution of grants that will make a real and tangible difference to the lives of young people and their families in Bradford.”

The Manjit Wolstenholme Fund is open for applications until 12 noon on 1st October 2019. For more details on how to apply, please visit: https://leedscf.org.uk/the-manjit-wolstenholme-fund