Who we are


The Four Lanes Trust was founded in 1974 by Christopher Makins, the second Baron Sherfield “ to support groups that bring improvement and richness to our life in the fields of education, the arts and social and community action.”

Since its first meeting in July 1974 where £250 was awarded to the Horseshoe Theatre Company, the Trust has given almost £1.5 million (£1,414,399 as of April 2022) in support to a wide variety of local causes. The Trust has continued to meet three times a year since that date, awarding an average of £10,000 per meeting.

The Four Lanes Trust awards grants to local groups with ideas which will improve the lives of people within Basingstoke and the surrounding district. Our interests lie in three areas:

We support small capital grants rather than general running costs with the majority of grants awarded being between £500 and £1,500. However, occasionally a higher sum may be awarded.  The Trustees consider that the important thing is to provide the right amount of money for the project and evaluate the value provided to the community.

The Trust has given grants to a whole range of different groups: schools, community centres, sports clubs, music societies, environmental, playgroups, theatre groups, village halls and youth organisations.

It’s worth trying any good idea on us but please bear in mind that we do not support individuals and those benefiting from the proposed grant must be local to Basingstoke.

The Team

Simon Breuning


Simon Breuning moved to the Basingstoke area in 1994 and has lived in Sherborne St John since 2003. He is married with two children, both of whom are studying at university. He works in the finance industry and currently runs the operational arm of a growing bank owned Asset Finance business. Other than his role as a trustee, Simon has been involved in a number of community based activities and groups, including ten years as Head Coach of one of Basingstoke RFC’s age group teams. He is also a keen gardener and can regularly be found on his allotment in the village trying to grow ever more interesting fruit and veg!

Dwight Makins


Dwight Makins has lived within 4 miles of Basingstoke all his life. He is the brother of the Founder of the Four Lanes Trust, Christopher Makins, who died in 2006. Dwight has been a Trustee since the inception of the Trust in 1975 and has seen it evolve into an established part of the grant-making sector in the Basingstoke area.

Arabella Davies


Arabella Davies has lived in Sherborne St John with her husband and 2 teenage children for 18 years. She runs a bespoke education consultancy assisting families with their children’s school plan. She also helps young adults with their future career opportunities compiling their CVs and guiding them through interviews. Over the years, Arabella has taken part in a variety of community projects including that of LEA governor of Sherborne St John Primary School Church of England Primary School and more recently as an active volunteer at the local vaccine centre. 

Amanda Britton


Amanda Britton recently retired as a GP principal in Basingstoke after 29 years. During this time she also worked for the North Hampshire CCG, as Clinical Director of the North Hampshire Alliance, in Women’s Health and recently as a Clinical Lead at the COVID vaccination program in Basingstoke. She held a national position within the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare for 10 years. She has been a Parish Councillor and charity work has included for NSPCC, the North Hampshire Medical Fund and the Ark. Amanda is a governor of Lord Wandsworth College and has lived in Sherfield-on-Loddon for 31 years with her family and husband John.

Anne Blackmore


Anne Blackmore has lived in Basingstoke since 1997. Following 19-years as the Manager of Shopmobility Basingstoke she moved into the corporate sector but missed being involved with the local charity and community sector. Anne was appointed Director of the Four Lanes Trust in October 2020 and enjoys finding out about local community groups and supporting them with their application. Anne is married with a teenage daughter and in her spare time enjoys gardening, cooking and competitive ballroom dancing.