Young people who have the potential to become the high-flying leaders of tomorrow are being given the chance to achieve their dreams, helped by grants given in memory of a fast jet pilot who died aged just 25.

The grants are available through the Ajvir Singh Sandhu Leadership Foundation (ASSLF), which was established in 2017, and also awards grants through the independent charitable trust, Essex Community Foundation (ECF).

Ajvir lived in Essex and achieved his boyhood ambition, becoming a trainee fast jet pilot in the RAF, but he died in 2016 when the light aircraft he was in crashed in North Yorkshire.

His inspiring determination and his quest to help others lives on, as the grants given in his name will transform the future for many young people.

Ajvir's father, Amrik Sandhu, said: “We want to support the talented young people of today, helping them to become the leaders of tomorrow, allowing them to spread their wings and fly as high as Ajvir.

“Our mission is to work closely with Essex Community Foundation to identify local young people who have the drive and potential to be the best in their respective fields but may face challenges reaching their goals.

“We also encourage those who receive grants to become generous leaders who give something back to others, reflecting one of the core values which Ajvir lived his life by.”

The fund's most long-standing project is a mentoring programme at Riverside School in Barking which helps high potential students to have the confidence and self belief to reach their academic goals.

Another long-term relationship for ASSLF is with 241 Air Cadet Squadron in Woodford, Essex, where Ajvir’s interest in the RAF and love for flying began. Each year, the fund awards a grant to the squadron to provide extra opportunities to the top performing cadets and those who most reflect Ajvir’s attitude and commitment to achievement.

ASSLF’s largest programme is a partnership with Warwick University Business School. The university identifies candidates who are not only extremely committed to their education but also display strong signs of entrepreneurial potential.

Caroline Taylor, chief executive of ECF said: “Ajvir’s focus and determination made him who he was and ECF is very pleased to be working with his family and the foundation they set up in his memory.

“It is a tribute to Ajvir that grants are awarded to support talented young people in Essex, particularly those who excel in sport, music, academics and military disciplines.”

Details about the Ajvir Singh Sandhu Leadership Fund can be found at

If you are interested in supporting your local community and would like to talk about how giving through ECF can help, call 01245 355947 or email More information can be found at