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The Bowyers' Charitable Trust


Guided by a small committee and overseen by the Master and Trustees, the Bowyers' Charitable Trust selects for donation, visits and maintains links with a wide range of worthy causes where it hopes that it can make a positive impact.

The Trust receives financial contributions from Company members to which is added income from our Charity Capital Fund and a proportion of the Company's operating surplus, allowing the Bowyers to make a range of worthwhile donations every year. The total figure for donations given by the Charity has grown from £12,786 in 2010 to £29,575, ten years later, in 2019. The Bowyers are, in a small way, helping to make a real difference and we ensure all of our members' donations are committed, every year, to this aim.

2020 was a challenging year for so many and our support, over the last year, has helped charities who have lost normal fundraising revenue to continue to provide their much-needed services. This year has seen the Trust's giving rise to £36,750 and make one-off grants to COVID-focussed appeals and charities including the Cavell Nurses Trust and the Livery Kitchen Initiative (LKI). At the end of the LKI's first phase (on 31st July), £110,000 of the funds raised by 32 Livery companies, other organisations and individuals had been spent on delivering over 34,000 meals to NHS staff working in high-risk COVID environments at Barts, Royal London and Newham University hospitals. The Trust has also made one-off grants to support laptop provision for disadvantaged school pupils.

To achieve all of this requires a judicious and targeted approach to ensuring that donations are diligently awarded. Our current focus areas are:

The Bowyers' Charitable Trust is a separate entity to the Company. It is registered with The Charity Commission for England and Wales. Registered Charity Number: 270702.

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How the Trust Works

Applications for support are normally received by the Clerk, Chairman of the Charity Committee or a Charity Committee member. They are then considered by the Charity Committee which meets four times a year. New bids are considered against continuing disbursements which are made every year and against available funds. The Committee reviews the objectives of the applicant, the charity accounts and the likely purpose of the requested donation. If possible, the Committee likes to send a couple of members to make a visit before making a final decision. Successful applicants are informed by the Clerk, Chairman or a Committee member. Requests for grants from the Charitable Fund are welcome from any source in line with the objectives of the Charitable Fund.

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History of the Trust

The Company is proud of its lengthy charitable tradition which dates back to the seventeenth century – and before that in medieval times when support was given to families of members of the trade who had become impoverished.

On his death in 1629, James Wood, a Past Master, became the Company's most significant benefactor and the legacies in his will set us on a charitable path. His bequest to the Company of his Manor at Isley Walton in Leicestershire was the original source of the Company's charitable funds.

1879 saw the Company begin to disburse funds to hospitals in London, with an inaugural donation to the London and Charing Cross Hospital. The Company's support for the Lord Mayor's appeals started in 1877 when funds were given to alleviate a famine in India, followed by donations to support the London Agricultural Exhibition and the fund for the relief of distress in the West Indian Islands caused by a hurricane.

In 1906, the Company made a donation to the Treloar Fund for Christmas Hampers for disabled children. Sir William Treloar became Lord Mayor of London in 1906. The Company continues this connection with regular donations to Treloar's school and college in Hampshire. During the First World War, the Company made donations to a wide range of war-related charities. Beneficiaries included: the Blinded Soldiers and Sailors Fund; the Indian Soldiers Fund; the Waterloo Station Buffet for Soldiers; and many more. The Company continues thissupport today through its current military affiliations and support to those involved inarmed conflict.

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The Trust in Action Today

Over 40% of the Bowyers' charitable giving goes to supporting education and training. An MA Scholarship is funded at the History Department of King's College London and from 2018 a further MA scholarship is funded in the History of Warfare. Funding support is given to KCL's 'Widening Participation' programme of outreach to schools, which helps greater numbers of deserving students from underrepresented groups apply for university places. Prizes are funded, and a hardship fund supported, at the Central Foundation Girls' School in the East End of London; two governors of the school also come from the Company, one of whom is Vice Chair of Governors. The Charity also supports the Treloar's Trust, a school for severely disabled children.

The 2020 Pan Livery Philanthropic Giving Survey estimated that the Livery Movement is in the top five grant makers in the UK. In addition, Liverymen and Freemen have also volunteered around 130,000 hours of their time to charitable causes. We should be proud of the generosity of our members toward the Bowyers' Charitable Trust alongside their voluntary support to many worthy causes. Set out in this brochure are some of the regular causes to which the Trust provides financial and voluntary support.

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Central Foundation Girls' School

Students at CFGS.

Past Master Seaton gave an enormous amount of his time during his ten years or more as a Governor, particularly over the period from 2001 – 2004 when as Chairman of Governors he presided over two very important initiatives. Firstly, he oversaw the school's move from Voluntary-Controlled to Voluntary-Aided status and, secondly, he was a major force in negotiating and executing the School's participation in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets (LBTH) Joint Schools PFI Project. This enabled the School to secure major new facilities, including a new sports hall, all-weather pitch, dining facilities and kitchen and other major refurbishments. Past Master Seaton stood down as a Governor in 2008 but continued to support its events where he could.

The Company's current links with the School are maintained by Past Master Clive Arding, who became a Governor of CFGS in July 2004, and more recently by Court Assistant Lionel Green. Clive has served as Vice Chairman since 2009 and also chairs the Resources Committee. Lionel is able to bring his skills and experience to bear as he is currently a Bursar at a well-known independent school and sits on the Personnel Committee.

During his time as a Governor, Clive has been significantly involved in developing and executing a strategy, initially conceived in Peter Seaton's time, which was for the School to be located on a single site rather than being split a mile or so apart between the Harley Grove and College Terrace Campus. Using his skills as a Chartered Surveyor and with the benefit of financial resources provided by the Trustees of CFSL, in 2007 he was able to secure a site on the opposite side of Harley Grove fronting Bow Road – thus in practical terms adjacent to the main Harley Grove Campus.

The Charity Committee of the Company also makes a regular donation to the School for prizes, which are presented by our Master, and to support the School's hardship fund. A special additional donation to this fund has recently been agreed which addresses to hardship arising specifically from COVID.

Teachers & Students at CFGS.

Visit the Central Foundation Girls' School website

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King's College London Widening Participation and MA Programmes

The Bowyers have supported education since 1629, when James Wood established legacies of three scholarships at Oxford and Cambridge Universities for sons of Freemen.

Whilst these scholarships no longer exist today, support for university education is focused on King's College London, where every year we sponsor two students who are studying for postgraduate degrees, one in History and one in War Studies. In addition to these two postgraduate students, we also support the King's College K+ Programme. Led by the Widening Participation Department, this programme is aimed at selecting and mentoring students from under-represented groups. Specifically, students from non-selective state schools in Greater London whose parents or carers have not themselves been to university.

K+ is a two-year programme of events, activities and academic workshops created to help encourage and support the students from age 16 with their university application and provide the skills they need to succeed as an undergraduate student. TheProgramme is outstandingly successful. The most recent figures we have available, from a recent cohort on the Programme, showed an overall progression rate to university of 91.2%, and even more impressively 56.6% enrolled at Russell Group universities. It is pleasing to think that, after almost 400 years, we are still helping students realise their potential.

K+ Participants.

Visit the King's College London K+ Programme website Visit the King's College London MA in History website Visit the King's College London MA in War Studies

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Treloar's School

Treloar's started in 1907 when the then Lord Mayor of the City of London, Sir William Purdie Treloar, set up a fund with the aim to build a hospital and school outside the City for children with non-pulmonary tuberculosis. In 1908, Sir William opened his school and hospital in Alton, Hampshire. A few years ago, the government made local authorities responsible for caring for disabled youngsters in their own communities, which left places like Treloar's to look after the severely disabled children.

The students at Treloar's are contending with the most complex disabilities, and with those disabilities come further conditions such as learning difficulties, visual impairments, no verbal communication, medical and dietary issues, lack of social awareness, mental health problems and life-limiting conditions. Treloar's has steadily grown and developed, becoming one of the country's leading providers of education, care, therapy, medical support and independence training for disabled young people. They take early learners from age 2, then through the school to 16, the Sixth Form to 18 and the College to age 25. Every child has a plan of what they can achieve and Treloar's helps them achieve that.

Over 98% of the students are wheelchair users; over 40% are non-verbal and require support from alternative communication equipment; 18% have visual impairments; and 8% have degenerative or life-limiting conditions. Most of the chairs and other equipment are individually designed for each student and will need replacing and improving as the youngsters get older.

Treloar's is partly funded by local authorities but they just pay for the basics, and the City, carrying on from Sir William Treloar (and including the Bowyers as part of the Livery), contribute towards the shortfall. Visitors to Treloar's are often overwhelmed by the sense of community spirit and happiness there.

Treloar School Student and Staff Member.

Visit the Trealors website

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The Sick Children's Trust

Tucked behind The Royal London Hospital in three converted houses is Stevenson House, operated by The Sick Children's Trust, the charity which gives families with a seriously ill child in hospital a comfortable place to stay and a friendly ear to listen – all free of charge. Due to the cost of accommodation, these families from outside the local area could not hope to stay in London while their children are undergoing treatment. For some years now the Bowyers' Charity has supported the work of Stevenson House with a regular donation, and when we can we have also contributed on a one-off basis as well for a special and pressing need. The Charity has bought a state-of-the-art fridge, paid for more suitable lighting and most recently has contributed to the provision of new beds.

Stevenson House has been running for 16 years. During that time, it has housed over 5,000 families which equates to over 20,000 nights of accommodation. The cost per family per night is £30 and the charity is wholly reliant on voluntary donations. We bolster our relationship with regular visits and written communications. From these contacts we know both of the excellence of the service they provide and how much it costs to maintain these properties. All of us who have been to Stevenson House are impressed and humbled by the dedication of the staff and the immensely important work that they do.

Supporting a family.

Visit The Sick Children's Trust website

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Suited & Booted

Suited & Booted client Jeffrey being fitted for a new suit, pre-lockdown March 2020.

Based in the heart of the City, Suited & Booted, takes in City workers' donations of business clothing (suits, shirts, ties, cufflinks, belts and shoes); it uses the clothing to kit out impoverished job seekers to help them look the part for job interviews, then adds some interview coaching, and sends them out with confidence high. It's a highly worthwhile small charity that meets a real need and makes a real difference; it changes people's lives, and everyone who comes in contact with it is greatly impressed.

No money changes hands in either the donation of clothing or the kitting out of the job seekers, and Suited & Booted relies on volunteer labour to do the fitting out and coaching. It is however totally dependent on charitable donations, from City businesses and livery companies, to cover its premises and operating costs, and the Bowyers' Company is delighted to be one of its long-term supporters.

Each year the Master and members of our Charity Committee visit the Suited & Booted premises to meet their staff and present our cheque. In addition, the charity normally organises several fund-raising activities each year, from tastings to quiz nights, which a number of individual Bowyers regularly support.

Visit the Suited & Booted website

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Brentwood Sea Cadets

Brentwood Sea Cadets and Instructors Sail Training.

In 2016, initiated by Past Master Michael Wren and inspired by one of the charities of the then Lord Mayor, the Bowyers formed an association with Brentwood Sea Cadet Unit. The affiliation with TS St Vincent is now in its fifth year, and in that time our primary help has been to enable twenty-four young people to experience offshore sailing activities, inspiring their self-confidence and developing life skills. This will continue once we return to normal times after the pandemic; however, in the meantime, the unit is using some of our contribution to promote archery amongst the cadets. Many have been inspired by the success of a TS St Vincent Petty Officer Cadet who has recently passed her GB Archery Instructor Course.

Currently meeting twice a week online for training evenings, many skill-badges are still being earned. The cadets have the opportunity to sign up for a week on the Sea Cadets' much-prized tall ship, TS Royalist. The week's cost per head is £300, which many can't afford. The Bowyers' Charitable Trust donates £1,500 per annum to fund six places at £250 each, meaning that the cadets only have to find £50 themselves. These weeks are life-changing experiences for the cadets, and our support is very greatly appreciated.

Visit the Brentwood Sea Cadet's website

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338 West Ham Squadron Air Cadets

Cadet Mohammed switched his talents online and has been learning how to code.

The Bowyers also have a strong affiliation with 338 (West Ham) Squadron Air Cadets and continue to support their education and training activities, including archery. As for a good number of our other charities in this exceptional COVID year, we have made an extra donation to 338 Squadron to underline our support for them and to provide additional educational opportunities.

With few of the 28 Air Cadet units in the London area having Livery support, we chose 338 West Ham Squadron; their crest is a bow and arrow – borrowed from a Norwegian Air Force Fighter Squadron. Flt Lt Billy Moore, Officer Commanding 338 Squadron, recently wrote a word of thanks to the Company: 'We're also immensely grateful for the online tuition which has been taking place thanks to your tremendous support.'

Visit the 338 West Ham Squadron Air Cadet's website

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British Blind Sports Archery

The Bowyers' Company sponsors the annual British Blind Sport Outdoor Archery Championships, which usually take place each September in the magnificent National Sports Centre grounds at Lilleshall, near Telford. 15-20 of the UK's best visually-impaired archers take part, competing with either recurve or compound bows. Each archer is accompanied by their own personal spotter or coach, who describes where the shot landed and advises any tiny adjustments to the stance or aim. As can be imagined, a huge amount of time is invested by their friends and families to help and encourage the blind archers, and it makes for a very moving social as well as sporting occasion.

Visit the British Blind Sport website

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The Mercian Regimental Benevolent Charity

The Worshipful Company of Bowyers continues to support the excellent work of the Benevolent Charity of our affiliated Army unit, The Mercian Regiment. The Bowyers' Company provides financial support each year and we are also happy to provide further individual support as and when we can. Court Assistant Mark Elliott is also a Trustee of the Regimental Charity and sits on the Regimental Council in a non-executive capacity. This year we were very pleased to be able to host The Mercian Regimental Secretary, Brig (Retd) Peter Dennis CBE, and the Regimental Through Life Care Officer, Lt Col (Retd) Bill Temminck BEM, for a charity supper evening at The Market Porter pub in London in September. As well as maintaining our much-cherished close relationship with The Mercian Regiment, the aim of the evening was to raise funds for the Mercian Regiment Benevolent Charity.

An Update From Lt Col (Retd) Bill Temminck:

Dan attending his local Gym.

'The Mercian Regimental Charity Fund has been privileged to have close ties with the Worshipful Company of Bowyers since our Formation Day on 1st September 2007. The aim of the Charity is to provide help and support to any soldier or veteran from the Mercian Regiment, including all of our Antecedent Regiments, who find themselves in need, hardship, or distress. The aim is always to get members of our Regimental Family the best support possible for their difficulties. We have completed a review of cases actioned over the last five years from April 2015 to March 2020 to give an overview of the Benevolent Charity activity. The benevolence team have actioned a total of 1194 cases received, with 827 applications coming from veterans of our Antecedent Regiments and a further 367 from Mercian soldiers/veterans. The oldest veteran we have helped is 91 years old with mobility issues, to the youngest serving soldier of 20 whose daughter was seriously ill. The fund paid out £337,105 in grants and applied to other service charities for a further £212,701 of extra funding. Overall, we distributed £549,806 in assistance to our Regimental Family who found themselves in need, hardship or distress. We continue to promote the signposting of veterans who need help to specialist organisations (mental health, loss of limbs, pension/medal queries). Like most Charities we spend more money per year than we receive from our Regimental resources, hence why the support we receive from the Worshipful Company of Bowyers has helped us meet our commitments.

We continue to maintain close contact with our bereaved families of soldiers who have been killed on active service, by writing to them on the anniversary of the soldier's death, every Christmas, and inviting them to attend our Regimental open air Remembrance Service which is held on the first Sunday of July each year at Crich in Derbyshire. Over 97 Mercian soldiers were seriously injured in Iraq and Afghanistan, so maintaining a link with these people is important to us as the majority have lifechanging injuries and have been discharged from the military. This can be as simple as a phone call to see how they are doing, through to providing support to get these soldiers to engage with society. Of the accompanying pictures, one is of Dan, a triple amputee. Dan was not getting out and mixing with people, so we organised a trip to the Chester Military Museum to link in with some other veterans. To get him engaging more regularly, we paid for a year's membership of a local gym where he attends with staff-trainer support.

Chelsea Pensioner, WO2 John Byrne.

We remain in regular contact with both of our Chelsea Pensioners who have been in lockdown for most of this period. Sgt James Fellows requested help in the purchase of an electric powered scooter to get around the hospital grounds, as he is having difficulty walking distances. WO2 John Byrne has been busy helping to raise the profile of the Hospital by supporting the Royal British Legion Poppy Day Appeal. He also took part in the very reduced Remembrance Sunday Service at the Cenotaph on Sunday 8th November 2020 and laid a wreath on behalf of the Royal Hospital.

We thank the Worshipful Company of Bowyers for your continued support and close links with The Mercian Regiment and the Regimental Benevolence Charity; it is truly appreciated.'

The Mercian Regimental Benevolent Charity website

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Royal British Legion

The Bowyers’ Wreath Remembrance Sunday 2020.

'We are very grateful that the Trustees have chosen to support the Legion this year. Your support is particularly welcome during these unprecedented times. The Legion is working hard to support the most vulnerable in our society, be they older veterans that we care for, those who suffer from social isolation, or those who are simply overwhelmed by the challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, members of the Armed Forces community who never imagined they would need support have come forward to us to seek help. We have adapted how we work, to ensure that we keep the people we support, ourstaff and our volunteers safe and well, whilst ensuring our vital services and support remain available…on behalf of the veterans, volunteers and staff, thank you for your support.' – Extract of a letter of thanks to the Bowyers' Company from Emma Casley, The Royal British Legion, November 2020.

Visit the Royal British Legion website

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West London Mission

Using premises provided by the West London Mission and under their umbrella, we support a couple of hostels where ex-service people can find their feet and live in a supportive community while they reorganise their lives in the aftermath of personal setbacks. We have taken a particular interest in the Camberwell hostel. The finance is largely provided by the users of the service from wages or benefits and money is very tight, with almost no surplus funds available for maintenance and improvement. The small staff are very dedicated and devoted to their work, providing a base and practical guidance with a view to getting their clients back on their feet. This charity fits very closely with the Company's commitment to supporting ex service people who are having troubles on leaving their Service.

Visit the West London Mission website

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In addition to charitable donations, we have formal affiliations with the following:

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