Lord Joel Joffe was our first Patron and a huge inspiration to us at Swindon City of Sanctuary. We knew him as a compassionate, kind, generous person with an extraordinary mind.
Joel was also an inspiration because of the work he had dedicated his life too, no matter what role he was in he was always being in service to others, fighting for justice and supporting charitable work both large and small through 'The Joffe Charitable Trust'.
Joel, as a young South African lawyer represented Nelson Mandela and 12 other defendants in the Rivonia Trial in 1963/4. Joel with his family moved to the UK because his life was in danger after the trial.
Joel attended our launch event in October 2016 thanks to his dear friend Carole Bent who invited him to attend with her. It was our cause to contribute to Swindon being a welcoming town for all, inclusive and proud to welcome people seeking sanctuary, to help bridge divides and bring the Swindon community together which drew Joel to support us.
This led to The Joffe Charitable Trust being our first core funders of our work. They gave us the resources to start projects, invest in staff, in our volunteers and invaluable guidence for a small charity in it's early days.
Joel was not just a funder or patron to us but was a mentor and an advocate for the work we were doing. Joel was extremely proud of Swindon and supported many great causes and people living here and alongside our Swindon neighbours we deeply felt the loss of Joels life. Yet we feel incredibly grateful and privileged to have met Joel, been supported and guided by him and he still inspires the work we do today.
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