Robert White Legacy Fund

Who was Robert White?

Robert White was born in Sandbanks, Poole. The son of a hotel worker who lived in the workers accommodation, he was an extraordinary man who sadly lost his life to neuroendocrine tumours (NETS) at the age of 62.

From a very early age, Robert became interested in motorcycles; their engineering and design grew into an appreciation of all things beautifully manufactured, be it motorcycles, motorcars, engines, steam engines, watches and cameras. Robert was eager to see the commencement of his legacy within his own lifetime and decided to sell his prized lifetime collection of Brough Superior vintage motorcycles so that he could make a substantial donation to Poole Hospital. He approached one of his close friends, Jay Leno, the US chat show king and comedian, who agreed to purchase the collection for £3.5 million.  Shortly after the sale, Robert made a donation of £3.5 million to Poole Hospital so that work on The Robert White Cancer Centre could commence.  

Robert was an entrepreneur, a self-made successful businessman, and founder of Robert White Photographic. The company was established in 1982 and became internationally recognised, attracting a world-wide customer base with an enviable reputation for quality products and excellent service.

Robert also wanted to acknowledge the exemplary care given to him by the Dorset Cancer Centre, at Poole Hospital, under the supervision of his clinical oncologist, Dr. Mike Bayne.  Robert appreciated the need for additional funding so that the best level of care could be available to others confronted by cancer in Dorset.

In particular, Robert wanted to help those who, like him, faced the challenge of cancer and its devastating effects.

It was Robert’s wish that at the end of his life he should leave a lasting legacy – something that would benefit the community for many years to come. His stipulation was “all expenditure should be over and above that which would be normally funded by the NHS and conventional paths for NHS funding should be sought before considering the legacy as a source of funding.”

Robert wished to leave his mark on the world and for the money to be used in the way in which it was created, focusing on quality and value. He wanted us to purchase the gold standard equipment / staff, but should always ensure that the best possible deal is obtained.

All proposals submitted seeking funding are to cover the specific purchase of items/services to improve the diagnosis and treatment of cancer patients in Dorset resulting in a ‘step change in cancer provision’.  The RWLF will help improve outcomes; extend the availability of effective cancer treatments; ensure earlier diagnosis and deliver tangible, evidence based improvements to cancer services in the region.

Click here for video: The Robert White Story