Established in 2016, The John William Wilson Fund was set up with a gift from his daughter to the Community Foundation, in memory of her father. This is what she wanted to say about the fund:
“This fund is my father’s legacy to the community he was born, raised and, but for a few years, lived in for the whole of his life.
He was born in Middlesbrough at a time of great economic depression; World War I had recently ended and times were extremely hard, particularly for the working class. Unemployment was at an unprecedented level and illnesses such as TB continued to claim many lives. One glimmer of light at that dark time was Joe Walton’s boys club, which made it possible for young people to direct their energy into a number of sports activities and, for some, to discover their latent talent. The philanthropic founder gave a truly wonderful gift to the community and my father had very fond memories of his time spent at the Club and the enjoyment it offered.
At the outbreak of WWII, at the age of just 20, he joined the Royal Artillery (66th Lowland Medium Regiment) and served his country for the duration of the war. He later worked as a telephone engineer and followed this career through to retirement. He rarely talked about his early life and wartime experiences but always had a strong desire to help the less fortunate in society - particularly children - and was generous in his support of charities and other good causes. He was staunchly proud to be working class and his legacy was extremely hard-earned. I think he would be pleased to know that, via this fund, he continues to help and support the young and vulnerable in the community”.