Peter Sowerby Foundation


The Peter Sowerby Foundation (Charity No: 08492424) was established in 2011 to distribute the personal funds of Dr Peter Sowerby to charities operating in the fields of healthcare innovation, community and environment, and learning and education, as well as those based in Dr Sowerby’s home region of North Yorkshire. The Trustees look for projects which are innovative, use technology effectively, and are often those that may not meet the criteria for mainstream funders.

Dr Peter Sowerby was a medical professional with a strong interest in health and technology. In 1987, Sowerby co-founded Egton Medical Information Systems Limited (EMIS) - now one of the largest suppliers of electronic patient records systems and healthcare software. 

In 2013, Cause4 helped to establish grant making for the Foundation and has since provided ongoing support to the Trustees through grant management and administration. Our work consists of reviewing grant applications and creating new funding programmes, alongside supporting the Trustees with their decision-making processes. 

The Peter Sowerby Foundation has given away over £10million in grants to over 63 organisations since 2013.

Some examples of those supported include: 

"The Peter Sowerby Foundation has been a great partner to work with. Their support has enabled us to reach and help more children who stammer, making a real difference to their lives. Dr Peter Sowerby was a great innovator in his field as a GP and so it is fitting that his legacy continues to enable us to find new ways to help young people who stammer by combining an outdoor group challenge with specialist speech and language therapy. We are hugely grateful for the Foundation's generous support."
Action for Stammering Children Chief Executive, Steven Gauge

Case Study

The Foundation has committed £147,000 to AESOP (Arts Enterprise with a Social Purpose) over a three-year period and has recently made a subsequent grant of £95,000 to support the national roll out of the AESOP model. AESOP is a Charity which uses the arts as a tool to tackle some of the most pressing issues we face, with a current focus on health and social care. 

Funding has allowed AESOP to launch its flagship Dance to Health initiative - an older people’s falls prevention programme, combining evidence-based physiotherapy with the creativity and energy of dance.

Beginning as a pilot in 2015, The Dance to Health initiative has now been scaled up to 63 programmes, reaching 800 older people each year. 


“Thanks to the Foundation’s sustained support, Aesop has been able to build Dance to Health from an idea to a substantial national programme. Sheffield Hallam University has concluded that ‘Dance to Health offers the health system a more effective and cost-effective means to address the issue of older people’s falls.’ A 2019 survey commissioned by Aesop revealed that 74% of GPs now agree that public engagement with the arts can make a significant contribution to the prevention agenda – up from 66% in 2018.”

Tim Joss, Aesop Chief Executive and Founder

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