I am sad to announce that since this article was written, Edward passed away. He died aged 98 on Thursday 29 December 2022, surrounded by his family. A full obituary will be featured in the next edition of The Corinthian.
Edward Guinness (Cobham 42) was first introduced to the Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation for Disabled People (QEF) over 40 years ago when he was invited to make the welcome speech at their annual Guinness & Oyster fundraising lunch. Following the event, he visited the Foundation and was so impressed by their outstanding work that he vowed to do anything he could to support them. Since then, he has spent many years as both a member of the Board of Trustees and Chair of the Development Trust. He retired as a Trustee at the age of 88 but has continued his active and enthusiastic support ever since.
Over the last three years, Edward has been working hard to support QEF raising the final £2.7m needed to complete and fully-equip their new £15m Care and Rehabilitation Centre. This landmark building will provide specialist multi-disciplinary therapies, all under one roof, for those undergoing neuro rehabilitation following a brain injury as a result of a road traffic accident, sports- or work-related injury or a stroke.
I have a huge admiration for QEF’s holistic approach to brain injury rehabilitation, a signature of their expertise, particularly when young people experience a devastating life-changing event.
Edward launched the Edward Guinness Appeal for the QEF Care and Rehabilitation Centre in November 2019, at a time when none of us had heard of COVID, let alone imagined the profound impact it would have on our lives. Indeed, the pandemic has perhaps highlighted more than ever the urgent need for such facilities. The Centre opened when partially complete in July 2020, so the need to reach the fundraising target and complete the project was stronger than ever.
Following the delays and frustrations of COVID ridden times, in early March 2022, Edward hosted a Rugby Legends Gala Dinner at Grosvenor House and raised in excess of £200,000. It was two years almost to the day since the Dinner was first planned for 18 March 2020 but had to be postponed several times since then due to the pandemic. The Appeal has already attracted generous support from individuals, corporates, Trusts and Foundations and the success of the evening means the total raised to date is £1.6m with £1.1m remaining.
Edward writes, “At the age of 97, I am aware that this appeal is my swansong. I very much hope to see this outstanding building completed within my lifetime. It will enable the QEF to continue their vital work in pioneering ground-breaking techniques in the field of neuro rehabilitation and to transform the lives of beneficiaries for decades to come. I would like to thank the Old Stoic Community for their interest and support of the Edward Guinness Appeal and the important work of the Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation.”