Home > About > History

History

The DHL UK Foundation has two distinguished grandparents. On one side of the family the directors of the National Freight Corporation formed the NFC Foundation in 1988. National Freight Corporation was one of the first businesses to be privatised under Margaret Thatcher in the early 1980s. The management had a profound belief that big business could and should make a difference to society. Following in the footsteps of the Victorian industrialists, they set up a trust with one per cent of the share capital from the privatisation of the business.

On the other side of the family, a hundred years earlier in the 1880s, the founding directors of the Ocean Group, the Liverpool based Holt family, established the Philip Holt Charitable Trust and Benevolent Fund. The first was to give money to community projects in areas where the company worked – the second supported employees and their dependants who were in need.

After the merger of the Ocean Group and NFC to form Exel plc in 2000, the NFC Foundation and PH Holt Benevolent Fund were brought together into a single foundation. In September 2008 it was renamed the DHL UK Foundation. The original monies have been invested wisely and today still provide income for the our work. The returns are added to by substantial donations from UK based DHL businesses. The Philip Holt Charitable Trust was reborn as the PH Holt Foundation in 2006 and continues its grant-making work, primarily in the Merseyside area.

The Foundation is in an exclusive company. It is only one of about 130 corporate foundations in the UK. We stay true to the vision of those who set it up more than 100 years ago – that together employees and the business can help and improve the communities in which they work, especially the lives of children and young people.