Philanthropy Supports Aspiring Paralympian

Herne Bay based Ruben Harris is being supported in his quest to become a wheelchair tennis Paralympian by philanthropists working with Kent Community Foundation.

Ruben Harris, who was born with congenital talipes equinovarus which is more commonly known as clubfeet and had both feet removed, is determined to reach the top in wheelchair tennis.

Ruben’s passion for wheelchair tennis began when he wanted to join clubs and play sports like his friends but was set back by his disability. Ruben and his parents explored wheelchair sports clubs and in January 2018, discovered he excelled at wheelchair tennis. Just four years later in 2022 Ruben topped the wheelchair tennis medal tally at the School Games National Finals in Loughborough and in May this year Ruben and team GB won the Junior wheelchair tennis world team cup (the wheelchair equivalent of the Davis cup).

Ruben needs financial support to help him with his dream to excel in his chosen sport and Kent Community Foundation was approached for some financial assistance. As experienced grant makers, the foundation contacted some of the ninety philanthropic funds they manage and one fund was only too pleased to help. Over the last five years the fund has awarded Ruben grants totalling £4,785 to help him buy a lightweight wheelchair and cover some of the costs associated with his sporting passion.

Josephine McCartney, Chief Executive, Kent Community Foundation said, “Because of the generosity of individuals, families, and businesses who establish charitable funds with us, Kent Community Foundation has distributed over £60 million to good causes in the county. These generous philanthropists trust us to use our expertise to find grassroots voluntary organisations where small grants can make a huge difference. It is unusual for us to support individuals in this way, as our focus is on community groups and charities working within our five funding priorities but we are delighted that a fund wanted to support Ruben and we will follow his career with great interest.”

Lissa Harris, Ruben’s mother said, “To know that there are people, families and businesses who not only want to help my son reach his dream of becoming a Paralympian, but support hundreds of small charities in turn helping thousands of individuals and families across the Kent is so reassuring. I don’t think many people realise how much these philanthropists are contributing towards communities in Kent and I would like to thank the team at Kent Community Foundation for everything they do.”

To contact Kent Community Foundation about funding for charities and community groups visit or to discuss opening a Fund email

About Kent Community Foundation

Grant-maker Kent Community Foundation has been finding, funding, and supporting some of the smallest voluntary organisations in the county for over twenty one years. In this time, it has distributed almost £60 million to support thousands of small charities and deserving causes where a modest sum of money can make a significant impact.

They are part of a UK wide accredited network of forty-seven Community Foundations who are committed to improving the lives of local people and communities, particularly the most vulnerable, isolated, and disadvantaged by matching those who want to help, with those who need the help.

Responsible for more than ninety philanthropic funds, Kent Community Foundation is unrivalled in its knowledge of local causes and assists individuals, families, and businesses, who want to help, to establish and administer their own charitable funds.