The Foundation was established by Lady Meriel (Mu) Richardson after the untimely death of the Richardsons' only son, Charles, to relieve the need, hardship or distress of British actors and actresses who have professionally practised or contributed to the Theatrical Arts (on stage, film, television or radio) and their spouses and children.
It was Lady Richardson's wish that the assets and collections which had been put together by Sir Ralph and herself should be sold for the benefit of the Foundation so that, with the help of donations and the ongoing royalties from their work, a meaningful fund could be established and maintained.
The Foundation has made grants for wheelchairs, for hospital treatment, residential care, surgeons fees, medication and a variety of short term help to a large number of those seeking assistance. An applicant's request for a grant, (with a CV and letters in support) is assessed on its merit in light of the objects of the Foundation. A majority of the Trustees is required for approval of every application. Applicants must have been active in the profession for a minimum of 15 years, save in exceptional circumstances.