A Gubay

Albert Gubay

President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, Cardinal Vincent Nichols has thanked the Albert Gubay Charitable Foundation for its “exceptional and magnificent” £1 million donation to help Catholic charities cope with poverty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The donation was earmarked for immediate use.

Cardinal Nichols praised the donation as “a remarkable gift given on behalf of a man of unique vision and determination by a generous foundation”.

In consultation with the foundation and the four other Metropolitan Archbishops, a process was established to enable Catholic charities to apply for emergency grants to support front-line action in tackling poverty such as for food banks, food vouchers and crisis schemes targeting those most in need.

Applications were requested by 31 May and the allocation of grants has been made in such a way as to ensure that most parts of England and Wales benefit from the Albert Gubay Foundation’s remarkable act of generosity.

 

How the grants were allocated:

  • Over £400,000 to strengthen the work of local food banks and the direct provision of food.
  • Over £250,000 to augment programmes of food vouchers for the poorest impacted by COVID-19.
  • Over £335,000 for the immediate financial assistance of those in extreme circumstances.

In total, 38 applications were received for grants with proposals totalling over £2 million.

Cardinal Nichols praised the Gubay family and also the value of the work of Catholic charities in combating COVID-19:

“On behalf of so many, I wish to express heartfelt thanks to the Albert Gubay Charitable Foundation for this exceptional and magnificent donation to such important work. In particular, I thank the Gubay family for their leadership in this remarkable gift which is in addition to the regular charitable giving of the foundation. I do so, not only on behalf of every bishop in England and Wales for the confidence it shows in the effectiveness of the charitable work of our Catholic charities, but much more importantly, on behalf of all those whose hardship will be alleviated by this outstanding generosity.

“In offering these words of thanks, I wish to emphasise the unique characteristic of this effort. All of it – all of this remarkable gift will be spent on the immediate relief of hardship, and, I stress, its effects will be felt across the whole of England and Wales.”

 

Albert Gubay

Catholic Philanthropist Albert Gubay, the founder of then-household names Kwik Save and Total Fitness, created the Albert Gubay Charitable Foundation in 2010. Based on the Isle of Man, the foundation fulfils a pact he made with God as a young man, saying in a prayer: “Make me a millionaire and I’ll give you half of my money”

On 23 February 2011, Cardinal Nichols presented Mr Gubay with a Papal Knighthood bestowed on him by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI – the Knight Commander with Star of the Order of St Gregory the Great – for his philanthropic work carried out over many years. He died on 5 January 2016.

 

Cardinal’s Full Message

On 20 May, I received a phone call from the Albert Gubay Charitable Foundation. During it, I received some startling news that the foundation decided to make an immediate outright donation of £1 million to the Catholic Church in England and Wales for the urgent relief of poverty in the context of the current pandemic.

I was taken aback  the sheer generosity of this single payment and agreed to cooperate in the distribution of this grant to Catholic Charities. In consultation with the foundation and with my fellow Metropolitan Archbishops, a process was established to enable Catholic charities to apply for this emergency money. The intention of the grant was clear; to support front-line action in the alleviation of this current suffering – specifically for food banks, food vouchers and crisis schemes for those most in need. It was therefore stated that the monies received were to be utilised immediately by the charity in the alleviation of poverty between now and the end of September.

The process was to be quick and simple. Applications were requested by 31 May and the allocation of the funding has now been made. These decisions have been made by a small group of experts who between them have regular oversight of Catholic charitable work and expertise in its leadership and administration. The allocation of funds has not been easy. Thirty eight applications were received for grants totalling well over £2 million.

The wonderful gift of the Albert Gubay Charitable Foundation is now being applied as follows…

Over £400,000 to strengthen the work of local food banks and the direct provision of food. Over £250,000 to augment programmes of food vouchers for the poorest and over £335,000 for the immediate financial assistance of those in extreme circumstances.

And the grants have been made in such a way as to ensure that most parts of England and Wales benefit from this remarkable act of generosity. The charities in receipt of these grants will be reporting back on the impact of their work by the end of October.

So on behalf of so many, I wish to express heartfelt thanks to the Albert Gubay Charitable Foundation for this exceptional and magnificent donation to such important work. In particular, I thank the Gubay family for their leadership in this remarkable gift which is in addition to the regular charitable giving of the foundation. I do so, not only on behalf of every bishop in England and Wales for the confidence it shows in the effectiveness of the charitable work of our Catholic charities, but much more importantly, on behalf of all those whose hardship will be alleviated by this outstanding generosity.

In offering these words of thanks, I wish to emphasise the unique characteristic of this effort. All of it – all of this remarkable gift will be spent on the immediate relief of hardship, and I stress its effects will be felt across the whole of England and Wales.

It’s a remarkable gift given on behalf of a man of unique vision and determination by a generous foundation.

Thank you Albert Gubay and the foundation, which you so remarkably created.

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