“This is a general grant making charity with the emphasis on issues local to Kent and reflecting the wishes of F E Cleary, CBE.”
The Cleary Foundation was created in the 1950s by the philanthropic activities and environmental vision of Fred Cleary, CBE. The aims of The Cleary Foundation have always been to assist charities involved in education, the arts, conservation and the natural environment. Today these are charities located for the most part in south-east Kent.
If you believe your charity meets these criteria please download the Bid Application Form (.pdf file), complete it and submit it for our consideration. Our trustees meet bi-annually in April and October. However, in most cases we always aim to respond to your bid application within 28 days of receipt indicating our initial response.
Fred Cleary’s humble family origins in Crouch End, London, provided the impetus for him to start out on his career, working as a chartered surveyor whilst slowly building the foundations for his company ‘Haslemere Estates’ in the 1950s which then successfully set about refurbishing many of the City of London’s fine old buildings at a time when it was the norm to demolish and replace with modern characterless glass-clad structures.
Fred’s work in grasping the opportunity to use land or property to fulfill a wider community vision started in inner London. In particular he sought to create green and restful spaces in the City, often working with World War II bomb sites earmarked for development – his books ‘Beauty and the Borough’ and ‘The Flowering City’ detail the extent of his philanthropy, with his tireless work in this area resulting in his nickname ‘Flowering Fred’. Office workers today enjoy their breaks in these oases of the natural world within the City which are also now designated as sites of importance for nature conservation and biodiversity. Shortly after Fred’s death in 1984 the Corporation of the City of London opened a new garden, close to St Paul’s Cathedral, in his memory – The Cleary Garden.