The Foundation

The Marsh Charitable Trust was founded in 1981 with the sum of £75,000 by its current Chairman, Mr Brian Marsh OBE.  His aim was to create a sustainable way to give something back to society, by supporting the organisations and people who are making a difference, as best he could.

From the outset the Trust has aimed to create long-standing relationships with the organisations it supports and partners through both its principle areas of work; the Grants Programme and the Awards Scheme.

The Trust supports around 400 charities every year through the Grants Programme and gives around 100 different Awards to individuals and groups from across the charity sector, who make a difference to a cause that they believe in.

The Trust’s activities are financed by income derived from its investment portfolio and it does not accept any public donations.



The grants programme provides long-term core funding to registered charities experienced in their chosen field of work and never to individuals.

The Trust maintains a policy of making a comparatively large number of modest grants each year. The causes that the Trust supports lie broadly within the following areas of work:-

– Arts and heritage
– Education and Training
– Environmental causes and animal welfare
– Healthcare
– Social welfare

For further information on the grant-making programme and details on eligibility, criteria guidelines and the application process, please see the grants page.




The Marsh Awards celebrate the outstanding contributions of people who are committed to social, cultural and environmental causes.

It is people who are at the heart of the charity sector and who voluntarily or professionally go above and beyond to make a difference.

We partner with other charity organisations, such as Mind, the Zoological Society of London, the British Museum and the Refugee Council, who are leaders in their fields, to deliver these Awards and promote the efforts of these inspiring people.

Although each Award is administered slightly differently to suit each partner organisation, in most cases nominations are collected by the partner charity and a short-list is put forward to an independent judging panel.

See our partner charities

Browse through our Award portfolio

Marsh Charitable Trust timeline

Trust Founded

The Marsh Charitable Trust (originally titled Marsh Christian Trust) was founded by Brian Marsh in 1981 based on the Christian principles of reaching out, caring for the natural world and helping those in need. These principles continue to remain a core part of the charity’s ethos. The Trust's support is inclusive of all organisations, including those of other faiths or none.

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19 87 Marsh Awards Scheme Begins

The first Marsh Award was the Marsh Biography Award which recognised the author of the best biography written in the previous two years by a British author. The first Award was won by Roland Huntford for ‘Shackleton’

There are now around 100 Awards in the Scheme

Number of Organisations Supported Doubles

The number of organisations supported in the grants programme more than doubled from 53 to 112.

Today the Trust supports on average 350 organisations a year.

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20 05 Brian Marsh receives an OBE

Brian Marsh received an OBE for his services to business and to the Marsh Charitable Trust

Ambassadors Scheme

The Ambassadors Scheme was established to support the growing Awards Scheme, bring in new people and expertise and ensure the continuity and sustainability of the Awards.

See below for more information on our Ambassadors

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20 17 Marsh Awards 30th Anniversary

It has been 30 years since the beginning of the Marsh Awards Scheme. Since then it has grown from a single Award to around 80 Awards with 42 different partner organisations recognising excellence across the charity sector.

See the Awards section for the full range of Marsh Awards.

MCT Name Change

This year celebrates the 40th year since the beginning of the Marsh Awards Scheme. To celebrate this, the MCT changed it's public-facing name from the 'Marsh Christian Trust' to 'the Marsh Charitable Trust', to reflect the inclusive policies that it has always followed.

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MCT Annual Review 2023

26 March, 2024 Download >

MCT Accounts - year ended 5th April 2023

1 February, 2024 Download >

MCT Annual Review 2022

12 April, 2023 Download >

2020-21 40th Anniversary Annual Review

Download >