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A best selling author and humanitarian

Catherine Cookson

The Catherine Cookson Charitable Trust continues Dame Catherine’s generous philanthropy

Picture of Catherine Cookson

About Catherine Cookson

Dame Catherine Ann Cookson was one of the most popular and beloved writers of her time.  She wrote over 100 novels and had a fan base that spanned the globe. Her writing style was both powerful and captivating, and her stories often explored the complexities of working-class life in Northern England.

Cookson’s childhood was difficult and full of hardship. Born out of wedlock in South Shields, she grew up in poverty and faced discrimination from society. Despite this, she was a gifted storyteller from an early age and loved to read books about strong women who faced adversity. These experiences inspired her to become a writer and share the stories of working-class women who faced similar struggles.

Her books captured the hearts of readers all over the world. Her powerful and emotional storytelling continues to captivate audiences, and her legacy as one of the greatest British authors of all time remains unchallenged.

 Following her death in 1998, aged 91, the Catherine Cookson Charitable Trust continues Dame Catherine’s generous philanthropy in supporting charitable, medical and academic research organisations through grants and funding.

Read Catherine's biography


Available worldwide in over 20 languages. The trust receives royalties from every book or DVD sold and this money makes up the bulk of the charitable donations.

View her books

Longlasting Legacy

Dame Catherine became a multi-millionaire. She donated over £1 million to medical research examining vascular diseases, including that conducted by the University of Newcastle with particular focus on detection of deafness in children. She also helped the university fund its Hatton Gallery and library. Furthermore, financial support went to less fortunate writers.

Today the Catherine Cookson Trust continues to make donations to worthy causes in the UK, especially to young or disadvantaged people in North East England, where Dame Catherine grew up.

The Catherine Cookson Trust

If you're in education and training, environment and conservation, arts and culture, as well as general charitable purposes, your organisation could be eligible for a grant from the Catherine Cookson Charitable Trust. Grants are generally awarded between £100 and £100,000 but occasionally larger sums are donated where there are exceptional circumstances. In particular, we aim to meet the needs of North East England, where Dame Catherine grew up and lived much of her adult life.

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