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Josephine Wolf Trust's mission is to improve the life chances of disadvantaged young people. We do this by awarding grants to individuals through youth support organisations such as Youth Offending Teams, secure establishments, care homes or youth centres.

The Trust particularly hopes to fulfil its benefactor’s wish to help young people at risk of offending or leaving custody, providing them with material support to help reduce the likelihood of their offending or re-offending.

JOSEPHINE WOLF (1868 – 1947)

Josephine Wolf was a philanthropist who generously supported many charitable causes throughout her life. She lived in London with her first husband, Phineas Tallerman, by whom she had four children: Kenneth, Margery, Georgette and Barbara. After the death of Phineas, Josephine married Dr Charles Wolf and moved to Cambridge with him. She was actively involved in children’s charities and instilled in her own children a strong sense of the importance of helping others less fortunate than oneself. Josephine’s children were all active in their support for a variety of charitable causes during their lifetimes.


Margery, or Molly as she was commonly known, was Josephine’s eldest daughter. After graduating from Newnham College, Cambridge, she became a social worker in London and later a probation officer for Shoreditch and Toynbee Hall Juvenile Courts and Shoreditch and Finsbury District until her tragically early death in 1938 at the age of 41.


Molly’s will left a fund to be used to establish a charity in memory of her mother, Josephine Wolf, which would benefit disadvantaged young people primarily in London but also across the UK. Molly was inspired by Josephine to help those in difficult circumstances, and evidently her work as a probation officer in London alerted her to the great needs of those young people who come into contact with the youth justice system. Molly’s vision was that, in the future, there would be young people facing challenges who could perhaps transform their lives if given the right sort of help. She made her will in 1933 and her vision is just as relevant today, some 80 years later. It was Molly’s wish that the trustees of the charity should include officers from relevant institutions, and consequently the trustee body includes members with extensive experience of working with young people in difficulty.


Molly’s sister Georgette died in 2003 and the Josephine Wolf Trust was registered with the Charity Commission on 26 January 2007.



Baroness Young of Hornsey


David Simpson
Shelley LaRose
Hu Clarke
Brendan O’Keefe
Henry Smithers (ex-officio)


BDB Pitmans
ONE Batholomew Close

Tel. 0207 227 7000

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