The Livery

& Freemen Fund

The 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 charities’ trustees. It 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 and their environs, 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 the elderly 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 the 2016/17 Mastership year, the Livery Committee are delighted to be supporting the following charities:

XLP, spent three years as one of the LFF’s nominated charities and after seeing the fantastic work, they were chosen as the Master’s charity by Mr Christopher Keville.  XLP is Church of England based youth project that turns traditional, uninformed stereotypes of the Church of England well and truly on their head.

Founded in response to a school stabbing in 1996 by the dynamic Patrick Regan, who was awarded the OBE for his work in 2012, and supported by an equally dynamic team, the organisation works right in the heart of some of the most divided communities in Inner London, addressing diverse yet interrelated issues such as drug misuse, violence, poverty, prejudice, relationships and identity through media such as the arts, sports, mentoring and socialisation.

Over the years XLP has grown from working in a single school to operating in over 75 schools and numerous communities across Southwark, Lewisham, Greenwich, Tower Hamlets, Newham, Islington, Camden and Lambeth. Whilst much work is still based in the schools, XLP also works on 22 inner London estates using both community facilities and XLP’s own double-decker bus facility that has computer equipment for homework support upstairs, and a youth “chill” space downstairs.


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.


For Jimmy was founded by the parents of Jimmy Mizen, a boy who was murdered in 2008, one day after his 16th birthday. The charity works to make young people safer by building a legacy of peace in Jimmy’s memory. The charity’s mission is to help all our young people fulfil their potential and build the types of communities that we want to live in.

The work of the charity was originally concentrated in Lewisham, but has spread across the UK. The charity has implemented an innovative programme of ‘Safe Havens’. These are shops and local business that children can turn to in times of need and are identifiable by a sticker on the window. If a child feel threatened or in danger they can enter a Safe Haven and the shopkeeper will agree to lock the door and call a parent, guardian or the police. This fosters a sense of mutual care and responsibility between children and adults in the community.