The Cathy Pelly Memorial Trust




The Cathy Pelly Memorial Trust:

The Trust was established in 1985, to perpetuate the ideals of an Auckland schoolgirl, Cathy Pelly, who was found dead after swimming in a river near her school in Devon, England.



The Trust has been established to:

"Assist persons or groups, especially young people, who with a degree of risk to themselves and as part of a quest for a new spirituality, are working for social change between women and men, people of different races, poor and rich; and who are working for the abolition of nuclear weapons".

View the Original Trust Deed - (PDF - 5MB)

Cathy Pelly - A Tribute (Given at her funeral in 1984):

A wise friend said to me: "Don't idolize Cathy. Just try to meet her in her humanity." That was good advice. Yet Cathy was an extraordinary person. She had done more in her [short] life than many adults, and gained a greater maturity. The reading from Revelation 21:1 - 7 [at the funeral] was chosen because it expresses the prophetic vision of a new heaven and a new earth, a new world in which all things can be made new, which Cathy discovered for herself in so costly a way.

I don't think it would be to idolize Cathy to say that fundamentally she was a visionary with exceptional strength of character, a person with the courage and the ability, moreover, to act out her vision. The tragedy of Cathy is that all the promise so many people saw in her cannot now be realized in her own life.

Yes, Cathy had the strength and vision of a beloved child - because that is what she was from the moment she was born. I remember her as a little girl, barely able to walk, gathering together a heap of interesting muddy stones in front of the Sailing Club in Orford [Suffolk]. After a while one of us [Jo, Raymond] tried to persuade her to come home. Cathy resisted fiercely, refusing to budge and went on with what she was doing. Someone in the Sailing Club observing this scene said [jokingly!]: "That child will be the Prime Minister one day!" Cathy often seemed uncertain and unconfident on the surface. But underneath she had amazing strength and determination. I think I can honestly say I have never seen Cathy give up or let go of anything that really mattered to her.

Read the full tribute...

Trustees in the Cathy Pelly Memorial Trust.

To learn more about the Trustees in the Cathy Pelly Memorial Trust, and to get in contact with them, please click here.


Grants are given in a quinquennial cycle (every five years). Applications for the Cathy Pelly Memorial Trust will be open again in 2013.

Applications are now invited for the 2013 round. Please complete the application form and return your application by email or by post to Raymond Pelly, Trustee. Contact details are below. Closing date is Monday 7 October.