Jimmy Savile’s charities are to close after their trustees decided that even a change of name could not prevent their association with the personality fatally damaging their causes.
The trustees of the Jimmy Savile Charitable Trust and Jimmy Savile Stoke Mandeville Hospital Trust said they “could not see a future for either charity” because the organisations would “always be linked in the public’s mind with the late Jimmy Savile.”
Savile established the Jimmy Savile Stoke Mandeville Hospital Trust in 1981 following a request from the Buckinghamshire hospital where he volunteered for many years to help raise funds for rebuilding work. He set up the general charitable trust in 1984.
Savile is said to have raised £40 million for the charities but an inquiry is now examining claims that the star raped and molested patients at Stoke Mandeville where he was given his own bedroom.
At a meeting this week, the charity trustees considered a name change. They concluded however that the link to Savile would still remain too damaging in the public’s eyes to carry on.
Jo Summers, solicitor for the trustees, said: “The trustees are eternally grateful to all those people for their support in the past, so we don't want it to be seen as just Jimmy’s money.” Stoke Mandeville will change the name of the hospital’s “Jimmy’s” cafe.
The Jimmy Savile Charitable Trust, based in the Leeds area, was set up to “provide funds for the relief of poverty and sickness and other charitable purposes beneficial to the community” and provide “recreational and other facilities for disabled persons.” More than half the funds given out by the trust over the years had come from donors other than Savile, Ms Summers said.
Following Savile's death last October aged 84, an auction of his collection of mementos and personal belongings, including the original red Jim'll Fix It chair which sold for £8,500, raised about £320,000 for his charities.