From the age of six, he gave his time and talent to an innumerable number of charitable causes. This became a great part of his life and continued up until his last symphonic concert organised for Unicef at the Barbican in London in 1993. An illustration of his charitable works was listed by his father showing Roy’s different appearances from Jan 1954 until October 1959, and can be seen below as scans from his records.
In 1991 Roy organised a Parliamentary Appeal for Romanian Children who had been placed in terrible conditions in orphanages during the Ceausescu era. He organised this together with the Patrons of the Appeal, The Lord Chancellor, Mr. Speaker, Ronald Campbell MP, Emma Nicholson MP and Alan Beith MP. Roy called this event ‘Jazz for Romania’.
The Prime Minister of the time, John Major, wrote, “When Roy Budd asked me to lend my support I readily agreed. I am extremely pleased that some of the hot air we Parliamentarians are said to generate is being used to good effect by saxophone, trumpet and clarinet players to provide entertainment for jazz fans and raise money for the children of Romania.”
24 Hour Playathon
In support of his own anti-drug abuse Foundation, Roy played 24 hours non-stop with his Trio, being recorded by BBC Radio all day long and with sporadic interviews of celebrities who ‘phoned in to support the cause.
The Phantom of the Opera
The world premier was organised for the benefit of Unicef at the Barbican.
The Water Rats
For the last five years of his life, Roy became very close to the Water Rats, the British showbiz charity organisation. He enjoyed enormously meeting up again with old friends, especially Jim Marshall and Bert Weedon who had given an award to Roy when he was fifteen years old. Bert, in 1993, was President of the Water Rats and organised the most warm and poignant tribute with a lot of music and a long eulogy that he wrote with Davy Kay for Roy’s funeral.