The Jennie Marsh Trust (‘JMT’) is a charity which seeks to serve the holistic needs of those less fortunate than many of us, motivated by our Christian beliefs. The primary focus is on supporting locally-run and established projects in Sub-Saharan Africa, with a particular focus on the themes of education, training and providing support for vulnerable or disadvantaged children.

JMT was founded in 2005, and is a UK registered Charity  (number 1110796).

Partnership approach:
Our aim is to equip, enable and serve the various communities we operate in by typically partnering with a local organisation, group or church-based project, which is run by those on the ground, and whom share our beliefs and values. We see this partnership as critical; our role is to identify those local projects and the right people to partner with, build relationships with them and help provide strategic input and governance discipline, alongside providing funding to support specific aspects of the work. Over time, we seek to help the projects become increasingly self- or locally-supported and not dependent on overseas funding.

Our role:
Our primary role is in the identification and then management of the projects we support. Most of these relationships have stretched over many years. Each year we develop specific plans and proposals in conjunction with each project, which are then assessed by the JMT Board and funding support is approved annually.

Our efficient model:
We have a simple model, run by volunteers who do all the work on identifying and managing project relationships (including all project visits at our own costs!), finances, marketing and everything else! The result? We keep our overhead costs to an absolute minimum, and hence ensure that the vast majority of the funds raised go straight to the projects.

Proposition to supporters:
We offer a way for supporters to connect with and make a significant impact on local African projects, with the confidence of knowing this is built and managed on established relationships with those projects. How much involvement you would like with the projects – it is largely up to you! We would always support and encourage people to visit projects of their own steam, and projects will always delight in having visitors (not too many!), but are often not well set-up to host.

The need we saw:
We saw the great need that existed for financial support and input / partnership of many locally-inspired African projects, which otherwise may struggle to attract the attention or contact with sources of funding or bigger projects, or who value the engagement and support on specific way to develop and grow. There were just many local projects and people doing amazing things, which desperately needed some modest financial support. We also saw that whilst many in the UK, and elsewhere in the developed world, have a desire to offer support and get involved in projects in Africa, it is not always easy to find ways to do so – especially with the opportunity to connect more directly with local projects.

Our motivation:
JMT was inspired by the work, passion and memory of Jennie Marsh, who tragically died in an accident whilst living and working at a project in Mozambique in 2004. Jennie was an inspiration to all she met and worked with. She was passionate in her Christian faith, a primary school teacher by profession, and had a love for Africa which stretched back to a year she’d spent living in Kenya.

Jennie working with children in Mozambique

Jennie working with children in Mozambique

Who we are:
JMT survives and prospers on the hard work of the volunteers that give the time and effort to run it. Led by some of the family and friends of Jennie, as well as those who have been inspired by the work of JMT over the years, we are always in need of more volunteers with whatever skills you have to offer! The Directors are Nick Marsh, Graham Tipper, Andrew Marsh and Kate Read, but are equally supported by many faithful and loyal volunteers!