The family of late cabinet secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood have set up a foundation in his memory that will promote diversity and innovation in the civil service and the wider public sector.
Overseen by former colleagues, the organisation aims to support charitable causes that Heywood believed in. It was formally registered on the day before his funeral – which took place last week at Westminster Abbey’s Henry VII Chapel.
In addition to promoting the efficient public administration of government through innovation, the Charities Commission lists the Heywood Foundation’s specific aims as advancing equality of opportunity on a spectrum of criteria including age, disability, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation and realigned gender.
Heywood’s family sought donations to the foundation rather than flowers at his funeral. It has so-far amassed £10,500, including a contribution from surgeon-turned-health-minister Prof Lord Ara Darzi.
Heywood died on 4 November, less than two weeks after retiring from the civil service on health grounds and being bestowed with the title Lord Heywood of Whitehall by the Queen.
He had been on leave receiving treatment for cancer since the summer after an earlier bout of treatment in 2017.
Paying tribute, prime minister Theresa May – the fourth premier Heywood advised – said he had been a man of extraordinary talent and led the civil service with distinction.
“I will always be grateful for the support which he gave me personally and will remember his achievements across his career as we regret that he did not have the chance to offer his talents for longer in retirement,” she added.
“Jeremy will be sorely missed and I send my deepest condolences to Suzanne and the children and to all his family and many friends.”
Suzanne Heywood said her husband had “crammed a huge amount into his 56 years”.
In a statement, she said: “He loved his work as a civil servant and was hugely proud of his colleagues while always believing that they – and he – could and should do more, that there had to be a better way, a new way of looking at things or a fresh approach which would bring differing sides together. Those who worked with him found it a challenging, inspiring and rewarding experience.
“He saw it as a huge privilege to work so closely with four prime ministers and two chancellors and was unwavering in his efforts to help each of them reach their goals. He was always conscious of the need for civil servants to see the world through ministers' eyes while at the same time respecting the boundaries between politicians and civil servants.”