Cecil Jackson-Cole (CJC)
1901 – 1979
World-In-Need Charitable Trust
CJC set up trusts not only to support charitable work but primarily to underpin his involvement in charity. He had an all consuming vocation to relieve suffering in the world and he constructed an elaborate alliance of businesses, trusts and charities to achieve his aims.
The cornerstone was his businesses. He became associated with the then infant Oxfam in 1942 and as its Honorary Secretary was the driving force behind its growth. He developed the practice of securing board approval from the part-time Committee by promising to get the work done himself, and then used the staff of his retail furnishing business to do it. This strengthened his vision and he became determined to develop under his command a disciplined but flexible group of workers. In 1946 he established an estate agency business which he staffed with people who shared his vision and were loyal to him. Together they built up a strong business and rapidly developed CJC’s charitable activities. For example, money from the businesses was used to kick-start highly successful fundraising for Oxfam through advertising.
In the early 1950’s CJC created his first Trust, Voluntary and Christian Services (VCS) funded by the businesses, as well as a chain of charity shops which he had then set up. Oxfam had become established nationally by CJC and his staff continued to organise appeals to accelerate its growth. Through VCS they also created and developed Help the Aged, several Housing Associates and the children’s charity, Action Aid, to a point where they could be spun-off as self-governing charities.
Although the subject had been under discussion for several years, it was only in 1965 that the first endowed Trust, which later became World-In-Need, was established. Two other smaller Trusts soon followed and to-day these three own the estate agency with World-In-Need as a majority shareholder. This arrangement was designed to perpetuate CJC’s vision after his death which, to an extent, it does, albeit without any longer the original single-minded visionary entrepreneur at its head.