SEPTUAGENARIAN Tavistock philanthropists Lawrence and Janet Brodley are hoping that their original £15,000 'gift' to the town could be the seed that could eventually blossom into a £1-million windfall for local, community-based good causes.

In what they describe as a 'living legacy', they are the founding donors of 'Activistock', one of 60 or so funds of the Tiverton- based Devon Community Foundation (DCF) —a registered charity for local communities, supporting hundreds of voluntary and community groups on the frontline helping local people in need.

DCF has just over £5-million invested, returns from which are delivering £250,000 to £500,000 into the Devon community sector.

These community- bound monies were initially boosted by government 'match funding' and although this is no longer available, monies to Activistock still attract Gift Aid.

Some of the Activistock grants which have benefitted local groups include £950 to the Tavistock Carers' Support Group (TCSG), £500 to Tavistock Foodbank and £500 to Tavistock Area Support Services (TASS).

Andy Lyle, the manager of TASS, expressed thanks to Activistock for its support and helping people in the town.

He said: 'It is good that local donors support local groups. Every local community should be supported by this sort of idea.

'Tavistock does not have charitable support from trust funds such as this. If people in West Devon get behind Activistock they are supporting the general work of the voluntary sector in Tavistock.'

The TCSG group chair Jean Andrew also praised its ethos: 'Our group has been around for a dozen or so years and with membership growing and costs rising, we were at our wits' end wondering how we could keep going. Then in the summer, DCF came to a committee meeting and we met Janet and Lawrence.

'They told us how DCF and Activistock could help and the rest is history,'

The Brodleys said their decision to set up Activistock was a pragmatic one.

Lawrence said: 'With saver rates at rock bottom and no dependents to leave it to, what was a modest pool of savings suddenly became a £50,000 plus community fund, the investment return from which has, since 2012, funded a dozen grants to ten West Devon organisations, totalling about £15,000 in all.'

Now invested in an endowed trust in perpetuity, that money no longer belongs to the Brodleys, who came to retire in West Devon from Hampshire. They loved their adopted home so much they wanted to leave a legacy for the community which has welcomed them.

Janet told the Times: 'It's so nice to make such a positive contribution to such a wonderful community. Of course, without the massive help from the Government our contribution would have been too small to make a difference, but now, thanks to a bit of fund-raising, local generosity, match funding and prudent DCF investment, the fund has grown to £80,000 plus and next year's grants will mean the initial investment of ours will already have been pumped back into the community as grants.'

Lawrence added: 'If we can pump £4,000 per annum on the present fund, just think what could be done if it was £1-million!

'So if your group needs funds or if you can help fundraise for Activistockto achieve £100,000, if not £1-million, please contact us at activistock@

Potential philanthro-pists can make their own discreet living legacy — big or small — to West Devon by going to the Activistock Local Giving website http://local">http://local. and claiming Gift Aid if eligible. Alternatively, go directly to the DCF via­">­;