My contribution to the Prince’s Foundation was intended to support their educational and heritage goals, in particular their innovative training programmes. I never had as my goal a dinner or overnight invitation.
My private hope was that eventually some collaboration might have been possible with the Prince’s Foundation for the creation of a National Fencing Centre, to bring the sport to disadvantaged young people nationwide, just as my own foundation already does in Brixton, transforming young people’s lives through sport. Such a National Fencing Centre remains a major goal for me, in order to offer young people the same life chances that sport offered me. This forms part of the vision of the Leus Family Foundation, which seeks to improve the lives of children and young people, especially those challenged by poverty, illness or special needs.
Given that my private charitable donation has been made public in recent media coverage, I must clarify certain points. I made two separate donations together totalling £500,000 to the Prince’s Foundation via Burke’s Peerage. I have now learned that not all of these funds were then transferred on to the Prince’s Foundation. No funds at all were returned to me from Burke’s Peerage. This is especially upsetting as these funds could have done so much good for all the children and young people our foundation supports.
My commitment to supporting children and young adults in the UK and beyond remains undiminished. Our Foundation’s work began long before the pandemic, but intensified as we worked to play our role supporting those vulnerable people who have suffered the most in these especially challenging times. I remain devoted to playing a positive role in the UK, a country where I see my future and that of my children.