Community philanthropist Irving Carter dies of virus, aged 76
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Community philanthropist Irving Carter dies of virus, aged 76

Former property developer donated to numerous charities including Magen David Adom UK and Norwood

Jenni Frazer is a freelance journalist

Irving and Gillian Carter (second and third from left) opening their Sylvia Carter Medical Clinic, a treatment centre for Israeli children with severe, complex disabilities.
Irving and Gillian Carter (second and third from left) opening their Sylvia Carter Medical Clinic, a treatment centre for Israeli children with severe, complex disabilities.

One of the community’s quietest but most active and beloved philanthropists, Irving Carter, has died of Coronavirus, aged 76.

Mr Carter, a former property developer, used his family foundation, the Locker Foundation, to donate to many charities, but principally was a supporter of Magen David Adom UK and Norwood, the children’s charity. He and his wife Gillian helped Chai Cancer Care, Jewish Care, CST, Emunah and Kisharon, as well as a charity in the Ukraine looking after at-risk Jewish children.

As recently as February, Irving and Gillian Carter were happily posing beside their most recent donation, a minibus given to Norwood’s Buckets and Spades division, a short breaks service for children with learning disabilities and complex health needs.

The bus was given in the name of Mr Carter’s mother, Sylvia, who died in 2019 aged 103, and a cousin of Mrs Carter, David Ordever, who also died last year but was aged only 37. The minibus was bought to provide transport for the Buckets and Spades children to take them to various activities.

For Magen David Adom, Mr Carter donated different kinds of transport: the Locker Foundation was a key supporter of MDA’s work in Israel, and at the last count had funded at least 50 ambulances, 12 bikes, two mobile blood banks and a mobile intensive care unit. The latest Carter ambulance was due to have been dedicated in Israel next week.

Mr Carter, who was a vice-president of MDA UK, donated the mobile intensive care unit in the name of his grandson, Jack Segal, at the time of his barmitzvah. He was also the only diaspora member of the Magen David Adom board in Israel.

The Carters also funded a youth centre at St John’s Wood Synagogue, named for Irving Carter’s mother, Sylvia, and co-sponsored DCafe, an initiative of the Jewish Deaf Association. Two years ago they opened a medical clinic in Israel for children with acute disabilities, again named for Mr Carter’s mother.

Daniel Burger, chief executive of MDA UK, said Mr Carter had been “larger than life. He was always in our office, looking at unique one-off projects. What interested him most was MDA’s work in saving lives and the fact that it didn’t discriminate, it looked after every kind of person. He will be very much missed, not only by his family and friends, but by the whole community.”

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