The idea of founding St Kyrel Trust arose during Christmas 1993 when one of the trustees was on a visit to Egypt. He was deeply touched by the extreme difficulties and hardships that poor universities students have to face. It was inconceivable to him that teenagers might go for days without having a single healthy meal or even being able to change their clothes.

In Egypt, students are sponsored neither by the government nor by any other organisation. They totally rely on their parents, who may have to look after four children or more. If the family income is limited, which is usually the case, that will have its inevitable sad impact on university students. Even the bright and hard working, due to the continuous deprivation may be forced to leave their studies and join any unskilled work in order to earn a living.

On his return to England he discussed the issue with a close friend. As both of them were working on their PhD theses whilst facing financial difficulties, they could relate to those in Egypt. They decided to establish a charitable trust through which they could reach out widely to as many such needy students as possible.

They collected donations from close friends and relatives and sent it to Egypt together with their own donations. Two years later, in September 1995 they recruited two other close friends, applied to the charities commissioners, and were granted a “trust” status. They called the trust after their patron St Kyrel, the previous patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church.