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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.