Origins of the Foundation

The Huckleberry Foundation was borne from the founder, Duncan Hewson, having worked closely for the last six years with an indigenous South African charity by the name of Calabash Trust. Back in 2005 Duncan was looking to develop a program that took sixth form students overseas to complete a highlighted and bespoke development project alongside the delivery of educational workshops in black township primary schools. The concept was to expose UK students to the less developed world through development work rather than tourism thus providing these students with the opportunity to directly engage with local communities, experience and understand the power of positive action and to witness the generosity of spirit and strength of community in areas that have next to no material wealth.


The rationale of the project was to facilitate enormous personal development within the UK students whilst delivering educational and practical development for the black township primary schools in South Africa. More importantly it was designed as a way to educate the future leaders of tomorrow how mutually beneficial such development work could be and to shift their attitudes about tackling challenging situations.


With the support of his then employer, David Jarrett, Headmaster of Reed’s School,  Duncan flew out to Port Elizabeth, South Africa to explore the work of the Calabash Trust and investigate the possibilities of working in collaboration. The rest is history and the ‘Grass Roots Program’ has now taken over 150 self-funded sixth form students, from three different schools, over to South Africa. It has delivered more than one thousand educational workshops, built five playing fields, one library and three cricket nets and a netball court all within some of the poorest primary schools around Port Elizabeth.


At the heart of its success is the concept of partnership and mutual respect between every stakeholder and most important of all the honest relationship that exists between the Calabash team and Duncan. With a mutual trust and admiration for each other their shared vision for sustainable practice and stakeholder responsibility has allowed the work to span two hemispheres and two vastly different cultures.


Duncan’s decision to leave his Senior Management role within education was with the express intention to develop his collaboration with overseas indigenous charities and design further projects that will provide benefits to companies, communities and individuals alike. The Huckleberry Foundation was created in March 2011 to continue the successful ‘Grass Roots Program’ established in collaboration with the Calabash Trust and specifically reach out to young people in the UK whose personal circumstances would ordinarily prevent them from accessing such a life-changing opportunity.


"Bringing the best out of people and making great things happen"