Bond legend Connery donates millions to Scots charities
Sean Connery's estate is set to donate £6 million to charities in Scotland and in the Bahamas this year.
The family of the late James Bond star announced the first round of grants from the Sean Connery Foundation, which was set up formally on Monday to mark the second anniversary of his death.
The fund aims to honour his legacy through "strategic grantmaking to institutions and organisations in Scotland and the Bahamas, the two countries he called home".
St Andrews University's Scottish Oceans Institute, the Scottish Youth Film Foundation, the Scottish International Education Trust and Dyslexia Scotland. will be among the Scottish charities to benefit from his money following his death at the age of 90 from dementia on October 31, 2020.
Stephane Connery, his stepson and chairman of the foundation, said: "After two years of reflection, research and discernment, we have chosen to focus on the communities that Sean loved and on issues that reflect his beliefs, passions and legacy."Above all, Sean believed that education was a force multiplier and was most concerned that children from disadvantaged backgrounds, like his own, be given opportunities to succeed.
"Thanks to Sean's gift, we dearly hope that our family's grantmaking will help young Scots and Bahamians, along with our oceans, to thrive."
Jason Connery, the actor's son, added: "We are so pleased to announce the organisations receiving grants from the foundation in honour of my father's legacy. Each group is doing such important work. These are the values my dad passed on to us, his family, and through the foundation we hope to spread values that inspire many for the years to come."
Sir Sean’s granddaughters were identified as dyslexic and during his lifetime he became “acutely aware” that someone can be both highly intelligent and yet struggle to decode language, according to Stephane.
The late actor was a passionate reader and the grant from the Sean Connery Foundation will provide children with dyslexia access to specialist teachers and tutors in partnership with Dyslexia Scotland and the City of Edinburgh Council.
Funded for three years, the grant will support additional specialist teachers and classroom assistants who will help other members of staff to support young people with dyslexia. If successful, it could be expanded nationally.
Families most in need across Scotland will also be able to access specialist dyslexia tutors through charity Dyslexia Scotland. This will result in an additional 150 hours more support a week and will reach eight times as many pupils.
Sir Jackie Stewart, president of Dyslexia Scotland, and a close friend of Sir Sean has also backed the programme.
He said: “At Dyslexia Scotland, an organisation that I am very proud to have been a part of creating due to my personal challenges as an extreme dyslexic, we have a wonderful team led by our CEO, Cathy Magee and we have a very active board.
“As president of Dyslexia Scotland, I am thrilled with the support of the Connery Family and their desire to help the people of Edinburgh and the rest of Scotland.”