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My late Aunt Francine Winham was a multi-talented and generous sponsor of the arts and a socially minded activist for various human rights causes. In her life she was involved with two particular charities; the first set up by her father, the Francis Winham Foundation, for the protection and benefit of the vulnerable elderly, through donations and grants to a range of other registered charities undertaking the direct welfare of those in need. The second, Joldwynd’s Jazz, she started herself as a vehicle to offer bursaries to talented and struggling artists in the field of music, although I would like to add she was a great supporter of all the arts having been involved in many disciplines herself. 


The epicentre of these activities has always been Joldwynds, formerly her parents’ home and a onetime refuge for single mothers from 1939-45, when it was handed over to a charity to serve this interest. It is an art deco house in Holmbury St Mary in Surrey of some considerable artistic interest itself and was a natural venue for any inspiring activity due to the extraordinary vision of the building itself, promoting both artistic endeavour of all kinds, encouraging the drive to new thought and social transformation by providing a perfect mirror of aesthetic freedom, intellectual, political and social change. In this space have been hosted many charitable and artistic events, residency and debates, some for small groups developing work and ideas and some to be enjoyed by the wider community which we were often privileged to be involved with. 


Since her death my sister and I have felt it essential to honour both our grandparents’ and my aunt’s legacy by doing what we have been able to in a small way in offering support where possible and a space to put on events, workshops, charity programs and other social projects. Our aim is to broaden our reach into the wider artistic world and socially conscious community and hope to continue to give a platform to promote conversation and an exchange of ideas and practices in pursuit of our common aim to strive for an inspiring, ever-evolving, and involving, liberating society. 


We aim to encourage known and unknown artists and workshops with colleagues in the life skills community; with a particular bias towards the promotion of a greater symbiotic relationship between culture and nature and how the arts and therefore all human industry can and must be directed towards sustainability and harmony with the whole for our beneficial future survival. Now more than ever the principles of rogue self-interest and promotion and the once considered valiant domination of nature are entirely outdated – we must pull together. 


This is a particularly inspirational venue for echoing these intentions with its radical modern design but curved and motherly lines nestling as it does in the Surrey Hills with far-reaching views to the world beyond. Constructed at the commission of a retired Sea Admiral to be formed in such a way as to suggest a ship in the landscape it is an easy metaphor as a vessel to steward us towards a new horizon. 

Like my aunt I have worked in the arts in various way all of my adult life and I have felt very lucky to have been able to keep exploring and developing when I have often witnessed highly talented people flounder or desist through lack of support. My sister has worked at length in the psychotherapeutic field and together we understand only too well the necessity for nurture, containment and encouragement for our fullest nature to be expressed and we would very much like Joldwynds to continue to be a vehicle to provide the most that we can towards this end.  

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