(Registered Charity No. 1081995)

The Derek Butler Trust is a grant-making charity established by the will of Derek Butler, who had a passionate interest in music. After a childhood in London (except for a spell in the country as a war evacuee), his first journey away was for National Service in Northern Ireland. This gave him a taste for travel and thereafter he spent most of his life abroad. He lived for a lengthy period in Nigeria where he became involved in a company manufacturing head ties for Nigerian women. Eventually he took over the company and developed the business, so that by the time he died in 1998, his distinctive head ties had become sought-after articles of clothing for important events and celebrations in the Nigerian community, in the UK and in Nigeria itself.

The manufacturing process was complicated and required several processes before the finished product emerged. He designed the patterns himself and the head ties were manufactured in Switzerland, Japan and latterly in India to where he travelled regularly.

The business flourished despite economic difficulties in Nigeria and by the time of his early death from cancer of the oesophagus, there was a sufficient sum of money in his estate for the charity created under his will. The Charity currently makes grants in the fields of HIV, cancer, music, and music education.

Scholarship awards for students at Trinity College, Royal College of Music, Royal Academy of Music, and Guildhall School of Music and Drama are paid under the Derek Butler Trust London Scholarship and Prize. This provides for payment of a substantial scholarship to the most promising postgraduate first year student from each of these four colleges, who then compete for an annual Prize in a concert held at Wigmore Hall.

The Charity will consider applications made in the above fields. Any decision to make a grant however will be at the absolute discretion of the Trustees. Financial constraints mean that even if a compelling application is made, a grant may not be possible. The Charity will almost invariably only make grants directly to other charities although in exceptional circumstances a bursary is given to an individual student towards the approved expenses.

Applications can be made online to :

or by postal application addressed to:

The Derek Butler Trust
c/o Underwood Solicitors LLP,
40 Welbeck Street
London W1G 8LN

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