A benevolent family which has long had close ties to Braintree is still helping the local community.

The Courtauld family, who set up their textile business in Braintree, were firm believers in philanthropy, and four funds that members of the family established are still giving money to local causes.

So far, the funds have distributed nearly £160,000 through the Essex Community Federation (ECF) who manage them.

The Marion Ruth Courtauld Educational Fund was founded by Marion Ruth, one of seven daughters who were a formidable force in the progressive world of female emancipation. Although she died in 1966 at nearly 100-years-old, her benevolence lives on in this trust, which supports educational and cultural opportunities for young people from the Braintree area.

William Julien Courtauld, born in 1870, set up his Medical Fund to help those in need of medical support in his home district of Braintree, providing funding to organisations that need to buy medical equipment, such as hoists or wheelchairs.

The Reverend Christopher Courtauld established the Duet Fund in 2012 to give young people, particularly those who are disadvantaged, the chance to achieve personal development through the challenge of voyages at sea on the yacht Duet, a 15 metre iconic gaff-rigged yawl based in Bradwell-on-Sea.

The Cecily Courtauld Scholarship is being revived by the ECF to benefit young people in Essex by supporting their aims in education.

George Courtauld, vice president of ECF and former Vice Lord Lieutenant of Essex, whose ancestor and namesake set up the Courtauld textile empire in Essex in 1794, said: "I am delighted that members of the Courtauld family have been reunited under the auspices of ECF.

"It gives me great comfort and confidence to see that the philanthropic wishes of my ancestors are continuing to help local people year after year."