The Winant Clayton community service programme grew from the World War II dreams of two extraordinary men. John G Winant was the US ambassador to Britain in the war and The Reverend Phillip (Tubby) Clayton was the private chaplain to the Queen Mum, founder of Toc-H and former Vicar of All Hallows–by-the-Tower.
All Hallows had been badly damaged by bombing, as had other churches and community centres in East London. The area was in desperate need with much poverty and social deprivation. Tubby wanted help for the East End in both cash and kind and John Winant agreed to help him find young Americans to come to London to assist him voluntarily, and so it started. Ten years later in 1959 British volunteers were invited to America to do similar work and the summer exchange began.
Many of those early volunteers are still involved in Winant Clayton in some way today and this is probably a testament to the profound impact this opportunity had on their lives. Obviously Winant Clayton has moved with the times but the essential spirit of the scheme remains the same. Each summer people of all ages and backgrounds continue to have life changing experiences by volunteering and living in the UK and USA and long may this continue.