All 110 Livery Companies give money and support each year to various charities, which often are connected with training and education. Some indeed, like the Carpenters’ Company have their own Building Crafts College in Stratford, east London. The Cutlers are no exception; we donate nearly £100,000 pa to various good causes – about two-thirds to various forms of education, including the Boot scholarships to help young men and women to travel and learn a new language; and there are other scholarships for maths, music, metal conservation, and engineering. We also offer match funding up to £500 to members of the Company raising funds for good causes; and the Master has a small discretionary fund each year for charities that he wishes to support. However, one of the unique gifts we make is providing sets of cutlery to hospices. Most hospices are voluntary organisations that have to raise all, or nearly all, of their income from the general public – and help with ‘backroom’ items such as cutlery is always appreciated.
So far in this financial year (1st July 2014 – 30th June 2015), we have provided cutlery for the following hospices: Bolton Hospice in Bolton, Greater Manchester; Hartlepool & District Hospice in Hartlepool; Dove House Hospice in Hull; Willow Burn Hospice in Lanchester, Co Durham; Lewis-Manning Hospice in Poole, Dorset; St Luke’s Hospice in Plymouth; Treetops Hospice in Risley, Derbyshire; Mount Edgcumbe Hospice in St. Austell, Cornwall; Weston Hospice in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset; and Haven House Hospice in Woodford Green, Essex. More will follow soon, although the demand always outstrips the supply. We are very grateful to everyone at Weston Hospice in Uphill, Weston-super-Mare for sending us some photographs in April 2015 of some of the cutlery in use. Best of luck to everyone with your treatment.
Many thanks also to Norah Crossling, who cheerfully posed for a photo in the Hartlepool & District Hospice in February 2015 to demonstrate some of the cutlery provided by the Cutlers’ Company. Hope that scone tasted as good as it looks!