News and views from the Carmen Benevolent Trust
SPECIAL INSTALLATION ISSUE
A message from Neil Coles, Past Master Carman, Chairman of the trustees, Carmen Benevolent Trust …
WE COULD ALL DO BETTER
Welcome to this special issue of the Bulletin, reporting on the donations received and the grants given during the year ended June 30, 2023.
Donations (including Gift Aid) totalled £34,100, while grants were £95,600. These figures are subject to independent examination, but show that some £61,500 had to be found from elsewhere. Investment income was some help, but it couldn’t bridge the gap.
Rather than reduce spending on the disadvantaged, your trustees did the only thing they could. They released a significant sum from reserves. The reserves have stood at about £2 million since2019, but they should be rising with inflation to provide long-term security of funding. The sad fact is that the Trust is now receiving only two-thirds of the donations it was five years ago, despite broadly stable Carmen membership and increased needs. This is the result of many newer entrants to the Livery either not being aware of its philanthropic and benevolent heritage and objects, or choosing not to play their part. At the same time, we should appreciate existing donors increasing their donations in the light of inflation, if they feel able to do so.
PLEASE sign up to donate whatever you can afford to help the Livery’s benevolent work. Click here to download a standing order form.
Read on to see how some of the grants have been used to help the disadvantaged. The Carmen Ben Trust is playing its part on behalf of the Livery and the City of London – we appeal to every Carman to examine what s/he can do to help. The Trust simply cannot continue its mission on behalf of the Livery unless every Carman contributes generously.
Thank you, Neil
NEW LANGUAGE LAB AT ALDGATE SCHOOL
The needs of many disadvantaged persons unfortunately change little. There has always been (and regrettably will probably always be) poverty, hunger, homelessness and poor housing in our society. The Trust helps by sponsoring children for education which will help lift them out of disadvantage, and by helping educational institutions provide the necessary resources and support to the vulnerable. Aldgate School is the only State school in the City of London, and the Trust has paid for a room to be converted into a language laboratory so the children can learn communication skills and improve relationships. We are presently discussing with the school what help we might give in 2023/24.
CBT WORKING WITH ‘VOICES’ CHARITY
Singing in schools is a vital activity which helps develop not just voices, but language and personality. The charity VOICES works with schools to deliver the necessary classes, and the Trust has been donating £5,000 a year to help their work in London
SUPPORT FOR TWO UKRAINIAN SCHOOLS IN BRITAIN
While so many needs sadly continue from year to year, others are caused by new events. The war in Ukraine has forced millions to uproot, and there are many families (usually without fathers, who are in the armed forces) living in Britain. Recognizing the challenges of welcoming, integrating and educating the children affected, the Trust is supporting two Ukrainian schools, one each in Barnet and Croydon. We intend to continue to help Ukrainian refugees, especially children.
HELPING ADULTS GAIN VALUABLE LIFE SKILLS
It’s not just schools helping those who are struggling to gain life skills. Adults of all ages can fall out of work, and face obstacles getting back into employment. The road from a full-time job to poverty and degradation can be a very short one and bodies such as Spear help those out of employment re-enter the world of work. Spear’s work is in the Lambeth and Wandsworth areas of London, but it is associated with similar bodies working in other areas. The Trust has been donating £5,000 a year to Spear, a trustee of which will be present at Installation to answer any questions.