Leading youth champion and former ACF chairman Sir Harold Haywood dies

Leading youth champion and former ACF chairman Sir Harold Haywood dies


Youth club champion and former chairman of the Association of Charitable Foundations (ACF), Sir Harold Haywood, KCVO, OBE, has died aged 86. A trained teacher, Sir Harold played a pivotal role in the youth club movement, and dedicated his life to meeting the needs of disaffected youth.

Born in Burton-on-Trent, Sir Harold became director at the National Association of Youth Clubs and then in 1977 director of the Royal Jubilee Trust. The Trust, set up to mark the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, raised £15m for initiatives to help disadvantaged young people in Britain. He also became a director of The Prince’s Trust, and in 1985 took the Prince on a ‘plain clothes’ visit to London's Centrepoint Hostel and charity centres in Soho's red light district, to see the plight of young homeless people for himself.

Sir Harold was instrumental in securing funds from central government, local authorities and the private sector to set up youth clubs to give disaffected young people a sense of purpose. Such was his influence, he stepped in to calm things down when Mods and Rockers clashed violently on Brighton beach in 1964.

A Methodist lay preacher for 50 years, Haywood was also a Scout leader in his spare time, able to befriend young people and to inspire many to go on to high-achieving adulthood.

His contribution to youth work was recognised by the awarding of an OBE (Order of the British Empire) in 1974 and a Knighthood in 1988.

In later life he took on a number of advisory roles. He was chairman of the Association of Charitable Foundations (1989-92), a trustee of the Charities Aid Foundation (1988-98), patron of Kids International UK from 1994, vice-president of the Commonwealth Youth Exchange Council from 1988 and chairman of the YMCA (1989-93).

Harold Haywood's election as the first chairman of the new Association of Charitable Foundations in 1989 gave the new body instant credibility,” says Anthony Wilson, then ACF vice-chairman. “He brought with him the broad-based respect which he carried in the charity and foundation world, and the membership of the Prince's Trust - an example that others would follow. In the chair, his wit and wisdom saw us through those early days and set the stage for the ACF's present standing as the voice of grant-making trusts.”

One of Haywood’s final contributions to philanthropy was in raising funds to build a £2.9m multi-faith centre in Derby, which attracted a generous donation from Prince Charles.