The Colt Foundation: improving people's working conditions

The Colt Foundation is a major shareholder in Colt

The Colt Foundation was founded in 1978 by I J (Jack) O’Hea and members of his immediate family.  The family had become concerned about the social responsibility implicit in the ownership of an industrial organisation the size of Colt, and established the Colt Foundation as a charitable trust with a gift of shares in the Colt Group of companies.  The Foundation currently owns 22% of the business and the dividends from this holding provide part of its income.

The work of the Foundation very much underpins the values of the Colt Group, as well as reflecting what the business does, in improving people’s living and working conditions.

The objectives of the Colt Foundation

The Foundation seeks to finance and encourage medical research into occupational and environmental health, especially looking at the causes of illnesses resulting from conditions in the workplace.  The Trustees are particularly keen to support projects that will inform government policy and make a difference to working practices. In its first 36 years of operation it has awarded more than £14.5 million in grants to over 200 projects and supported over 240 students studying some aspect of occupational health.

Jack O’Hea always placed great importance on the people who worked for him, and encouraged their training and development.  The Trustees also believe that an investment in the training of young people is an investment in the future, and currently award up to 25% of all grants for the support of students.  The Colt Foundation PhD Fellowships are awarded annually in competition to students who are studying some aspect of occupational health, and the Foundation has also provided long term support for the MSc in Human & Applied Physiology at Kings’ College London.

Some recent projects

  • Identification of the mechanism for the association between pneumococcal pneumonia and exposure to welding fumes
  • Health of miners at high altitudes in the Andes
  • Assessing the severity of colour vision loss in occupational environments
  • Asthma in Ashford Project
  • Ageing population in the workplace
  • Skin disease in the workplace

Visit the Colt Foundation Website for further information on these and many other successfully completed projects, or contact Jackie Douglas.

The Colt Foundation recently funded research into colour vision loss in occupational environments.