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LionHeart marks 125 year milestone

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07-06-2024

LionHeart volunteers, supporters, partners and staff came together to mark the charity’s 125th anniversary year at a reception held at RICS in Birmingham yesterday.

Trustees were in the city for their quarterly board meeting while some ambassadors were attending a training and networking day with LionHeart staff, before being joined by other guests for an early evening reception.

We were also delighted to welcome property professional Shaun Vigers, the great great grandson of LionHeart’s founder Robert Vigers. It was Robert who, as outgoing president of the RICS in 1899, made an initial donation of £500 - worth at least £50,000 today - to establish the creation of an independent charity for chartered surveyors which would be managed by a separate body of trustees.

 Introducing Shaun, Philippa Sampson-Bancroft FRICS said: “On behalf of the board and staff team, thank you to everyone that’s taken time to be here today as we celebrate 125 years of LionHeart - every person has played a part in that history, whether they’ve supported the charity as volunteers, partners, or donors. There is one person here who can trace his links with LionHeart back longer than any of us because, in fact, without his family, we wouldn’t be here in this room today.”

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Shaun (left)  shared with the audience how his family had maintained links with LionHeart and the RICS for generations; Robert and his brother Francis were among the original group of surveyors who founded the Institution of Surveyors and subsequent generations also served as RICS presidents.

In 2021, Shaun's father James, who had been a lifelong supporter of LionHeart, left us a generous legacy in his will.

Shaun concluded: "Thank you for your time and for your continuing support of my great great grandfather's vision."

Reflecting on some of the figures and testimonies in LionHeart’s latest Impact Report, published this week, CEO Phil Sparke said: “We were delighted to welcome so many people who have played a part in making LionHeart what it is today. As we mark a long and proud history, we do so with one eye on the future and continuing the legacy of LionHeart. 

“Everything we do is only possible with the support of so many people who remain utterly committed to our cause. It is their continued support that will keep us here for many more years to come, serving the surveyors of the future and their families.”

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