The Livery

and Freemen Fund

The Livery and Freemen Fund (‘LFF’) is a fund that is entirely supported by voluntary donations which the Company can use to make a wide range of grants to charities. Each year the LFF supports two to four ‘nominated’ charities and makes a number of other donations, under the guidance of the Livery Committee and the trustees of the Merchant Taylors’ Company Charities Fund. The LFF will typically support a nominated charity for up to three years, although each nomination is reviewed annually. The parameters are:

  1. Geographic. Preference is given to work taking place in or benefitting the people of the London Boroughs of Lewisham, Southwark, Tower Hamlets and Hackney or Boroughs sharing a border with them, and, more occasionally, elsewhere in Greater London. Exceptionally, work which is national in scope may receive funding.
  2. Needy. Successful applications will typically address physical or sensory disability or mental illness; other health-related needs amongst elderly people or children; substance addiction; poverty related need including homelessness or educational disadvantage.
  3. Timed. Grants are made for between one and three years, and are not normally renewable without leaving a ‘fallow’ year. Multi-year grants may be conditional upon satisfactory annual reports. Applications for “seed” funding are particularly welcome.
  4. With outcome. Preference is given to funding discrete projects with defined outcomes. This does not however preclude revenue funding where such funding will similarly allow defined outcomes to be achieved.

The decisions taken by the Livery Committee reflect as faithfully as possible the views of the Membership whose ever increasing generosity they are charged with administering. It may be seen as a strong statement of intent, therefore, that in recent years they have chosen to nominate charities who are all closely concerned with delivering some sort of education, at a time when various other limbs of the Company are beginning to incline more strongly in that direction.

During 2017/18, the Mastership year of Mr Peter Magill, the Livery Committee are delighted to be supporting the following charities:

Resurgo’s year-long ‘Spear’ programme equips and supports 16-24 year olds from disadvantaged backgrounds who are not in education, employment or training to find sustained employment. Operating in London,  the programme not only equips young people with the hard skills they need to find a job, but also tackles the attitudinal and behavioural issues which employers find are the major barriers to long-term success in their young recruits.


VCM (Voces Cantabiles Music) is a choral music foundation. Founded in 2006 since worked with more than 150,000 young people all over the world. The charity has three distinct strands: VOCES8, Apollo5 and the Gresham Centre.

VOCES8 is one of the leading global vocal ensembles, Apollo5 are rising stars in the a cappella scene, and the Gresham Centre is a international centre of excellence for vocal music performance, outreach and education based at St Anne and St Agnes Church in the heart of the City of London. The two vocal groups perform approximately 200 concerts each year all over the world, working with some of the finest musicians and performing in leading concert halls and cathedrals. The Gresham Centre, in the beautiful Wren church of St Anne and St Agnes on Gresham Street, hosts numerous choirs every week and is a venue for numerous outreach programmes, teacher training events, rehearsal days, recordings and concerts.

The annual programme of education work overseen by VCM sees VOCES8 and Apollo5 work with more than 25,000 young people each year in partnership with Music Hubs, schools and other education organisations. The education programme provides teacher training, a unique Young Leaders programme, residencies with schools and communities in the UK, France and the USA and regular training events and singing celebration events at the Gresham Centre.

In particular, VCM’s ‘VOCES8 Method’ is an innovative resource for non-specialist teachers which encourages whole school music making in a way that links music with literacy, linguistics and numeracy.

Magic Breakfast aims to ensure that no child at school is too hungry to learn, by providing healthy breakfast food and expert support to schools. The charity’s breakfast clubs are based in schools throughout the UK, selected on the basis of poverty indicators amongst the school’s intake.

Click here to return to the main page about charities.