Charitable Work and the Foundation
It is unclear when the Clothiers ceased to be entirely a trading organisation and solely a charitable one, but the reduction in cloth making throughout the 1700s led to a situation where, by 1800, there were allegedly no looms left in the city at all.
But in the previous centuries many wealthy members of the Company had bequeathed to it sums of money for various charitable purposes. When the Cloth Trade ceased and the Company ended its active life, there still remained those funds and so the Company continued to exist in order to administer them. Loaves of bread on Good Friday and overcoats at Michaelmas were distributed until recently. Clothiers funds were transferred to the City and are now incorporated within the Worcester Municipal Charities.
Each year the Company gives grants to a charity selected by its High Master. In recent years these have included:
Maggs Day Centre, Hereford and Worcester First Responders and the Mercian Regiment Museum.
On the 25th May 2018 the High Master of the Worcester Clothiers Company, Andrew Perrins, presents a cheque of £600 to the Chairman of Trustees of the Mercian Regiment Museum (Worcestershire), Mark Jackson. The museum, which recently, had its Ministry of Defence support removed, is hugely grateful for this support from Worcester’s last surviving Livery Company. Also in the picture are Allan and Nigel Fish, representatives of the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regimental Association, who are the Beadles of the Clothiers Company.
The Clothiers Company of Worcester
Over the centuries, the members of the Clothiers Company have been supporters, founders and Trustees of numerous charities in Worcester and the surrounding county. That tradition continues today, with the large proportion of the current membership being actively involved in a very wide range of charitable bodies.
However, the Company did not previously have its own Charitable Foundation and so Ian Smith, during his year in office as High Master, led the project to set up a Foundation in 2014.
The Foundation has been set up by the members of the Clothiers Company with the following charitable objectives:
· To preserve, restore and display to the public for historic reference and education, the historic documents and artefacts of the Clothiers Company of Worcester
· To promote and support trade and entrepreneurial endeavour within Worcester and Worcestershire for the benefit of the local community
· To support the education of young people in Worcester and Worcestershire through the granting of bursaries, awards and prizes.
· To support the charitable aims of other livery companies and trade guilds
Annual Award at the University of Worcester
In 2014, the Foundation set up an annual award at the University of Worcester in support of the third charitable objectives noted above. The award rotates each year between the Arts, the Humanities and Business. The Awards made and recipients so far have been:
2014 Holly Khraibani (Art and Design) – Illustrator - https://www.behance.net/HKhraibani
Kelly Warwick (History) – Paper on Apprenticeships in 18th and 19th
2016 – Rowena Simmons – (Business School) – Most Promising Entrepreneur - https://www.francoflorenzi.com/
2017 – Grace Wyld – (Art and Design) – Textile design - http://www.worcesterdegreeshows.co.uk/student/grace-wyld/
2018 - Kevin Brooke (Creative and Professional Writing) Children's Author http://www.kevinbrooke.com
Photograph © Jodie Stilgoe
Funding the Foundation and donations
The Foundation is funded by donations by members of the Clothiers Company – these include both annual donations and one off gifts. Donations from others are welcome and can be made by using the attached Gift Aid form and contacting Ian Smith at the email address below.
The Foundation will be supporting the major project for the development of The Tudor House Museum in Worcester where some of its artefacts will be displayed (the Tudor House was built by a Clothier). It will also be supporting the restoration of the 16th and 17th century banners which the Company owns and is currently investigating.
The Foundation has agreed charitable status with HM Revenue and Customs under reference EW24232.
Enquiries can be addressed to Ian Smith on: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gift Aid Donation Form available to download: