History

Remembering our Founding Chairman and President Emeritus, Edward “Ted” Gostling CBE.

Edward GostlingDespite our charity (founded in 1994) being relatively young, its roots go back to 1947 when, in post-war Britain, the Aviation industry was expanding and to meet the housing demand for growing staff numbers the British Airways Staff Housing Society (BASH) was formed to provide homes to rent in areas close to London’s Airports.

In 1987 BASH demerged from British Airways and became the Airways Housing Society (AHS) with Ted Gostling as its Deputy Chairman. In the early 90’s the UK was in recession and Ted was increasingly concerned that a number of people that had previously worked in the Aviation industry had fallen on hard times and he had a real desire to help support them and their families. In 1994, along with his fellow AHS Directors, he established the Airways Charitable Trust, to provide assistance to people in need across the Aviation industry.

Through the years the charity’s objectives expanded and evolved to include all vulnerable members of society and Ted and his team undertook many different projects.  The name change into The ACT Foundation came in 2004 and recognised this wider non-aviation remit with Ted remaining at the helm as Chairman, as he had been since 1994.

Ted retired as Chairman of ACT in 2005 becoming President Emeritus but he never lost his passion for helping others.  He continued to support us by offering advice and guidance whenever it was needed and by mentoring new members of the team.  Through his initial endeavors to the present day some £40 Million has been donated to worthy causes, turning his ‘dream’ to reality and thus, through his foresight and passion, we have been able to help tens of thousands of people transform their lives.

Ted was awarded the CBE for his service to the voluntary sector in the New Year Honours List in 2011.

Sadly Ted passed away in October 2018 shortly after his 90th birthday.  In February 2019 we received Regulatory approval to rename The ACT Foundation to The Edward Gostling Foundation as Trustees felt this would be a fitting way to honour the wonderful, charitable person that Ted was and to keep him “involved” as he always was and always will be!