A brief history of Carmen benevolence....
The origins of Carmen's benevolence, in common with all livery companies, was 'the relief of necessitous Carmen' - those members of the Company who had fallen on hard times. But from the early twentieth century, the focus on others' needs increased. An oak alms box was bought to collect cash, and in 1939 a Fund was launched, starting with ten Court members each giving £100.
The Carmen Charity Box, circulated during every
meeting of the Carmen's Court of Assistants
The London Cartage Fund (which was founded in 1864) ran alongside the Carmen’s Fund until they were merged in 1995 to form the registered charity, The Worshipful Company of Carmen Benevolent Trust.
In 2016 this charity merged with a new one by the same title, but with the addition of the letters CIO (Charitable Incorporated Organization). This is the modern form of charity which gives it a specific legal identity, which the former Trust did not have. The Worshipful Company of Carmen Benevolent Trust remains a registered charity (No 1164687).
The accumulated funds of the Trust are almost £2 million, the financial returns on which are essential to supplement the income from Carmen themselves. The Trust is controlled by seven trustees – all of them Carmen.