One of the distinguishing features of the City’s Livery Companies and Guilds and their 47,000 Liverymen and Freemen is their remarkable philanthropy. For centuries they have given funds and provided pro bono professional support and volunteering to improve the welfare of disadvantaged groups and helped with education and the nurturing of skills. The grants and volunteering provided reach a wide area far beyond the City’s Square Mile. The Livery movement is in the top six charitable grant makers in the UK.
Over 140,000 Hours Of Volunteer Support
A major element of the philanthropic giving is provided by the time, talent and effort volunteered by Liverymen and Freemen.
More than 1,000 School Governors and Charity Trustees are appointed by their Livery Companies, and a wide range of volunteer support is provided to front-line charities.
Much of this activity is targeted towards the disadvantaged in the community – in particular, homelessness, hunger, domestic abuse, mental health and to address prevention of re-offending.
Many Companies also help their professional bodies and trade associations by supporting training and apprenticeships, often providing mentoring and tuition and by sponsoring awards and prizes designed to nurture enthusiasm and encourage excellence.
Thousands of hours of pro bono activity are undertaken to provide professional support by Livery Company members, much of which goes unrecorded.
These activities are merely the tip of the iceberg of the support provided by members of the Livery.
The Livery Committee’s website contains a wealth of information including a number of organised initiatives:
Livery Education Support
• The Livery Skills Initiative (New skills and career options)
• Livery Schools Link (Career events for schools)
• Livery Companies Skills Council (Forum for vocational training)
• Livery Apprenticeship Scheme (Modern vocational learning)
• Livery and Guild Charitable Trust grant applications (A wide range of philanthropy)
Livery Philanthropic Initiatives
• Livery No-Going Back (Getting Ex-Offenders trained, into jobs and housing)
• Sheriffs’ & Recorder’s Fund (Supporting Ex-Offenders and their families)
• Treloar’s College for the disabled (Specialist education and opportunity)
• The Lord Mayor’s Appeal (A significant and targeted annual fundraising campaign)
• City Giving Day (An opportunity for city workers and firms to contribute)
• Philanthropic Giving by Livery Members (£12m in 2021-22)
• The Livery Charity Chairs Group (The sharing of information and expertise)
• Pan Livery Philanthropic Giving Survey (Highlighting the collective force for good)
• The Pan Livery Pro Bono Interest Group (Pooling ideas and opportunities)
Livery Companies Responded To The Covid Pandemic
The Livery Kitchens Initiative turned unused kitchens and their staff into producing and delivering over 175,000 fresh meals and energy providing refreshment packs over many months to exhausted NHS staff working long stressful shifts in full PPE in several London hospitals.
Working in partnership with specialist Charities providing support for the homeless and those living in poverty and hunger, further meals were delivered to relieve the need and hardship of many, particularly in East London.
Many other pandemic relief initiatives and projects were undertaken by the Livery.
£75m In Financial Support
Education £30 million
40% of this sum goes to educational bursaries and scholarships for disadvantaged pupils, the funding of Academies, Schools and Further Education Colleges across the state-maintained and independent sectors, and to trade related research.
Young People £4.9 million
7% goes to young people for training, apprenticeships and other support to their career development.
Alms Housing £15.3 million
20% to almshouses and caring for the elderly and infirm. Some £6m is donated annually by Livery members through regular giving, plus as much again in pro bono value. Every Company and Guild maintains a charitable trust fund, and all members are expected to contribute donations regularly according to their means.
Three quarters of financial support comes from income or drawdown from historical assets. Some Livery Companies have, through careful stewardship, accumulated assets since the 12th century onwards allowing them to make larger grants annually. The Modern companies formed from 1926 onwards also play their full part with member donations, fundraising and pro bono support adding to the annual charitable endeavour.
Article courtesy of The Livery Committee | www.liverycommittee.org