Coachlines - May 2023

28.05.23 Assistant Eric Wallbank

The Coachmakers’ Charity – ambitious objectives for our 350th year

You will be aware that the Company will celebrate its 350th anniversary in 2027. The 350+ Committee has plans in place to celebrate this historic anniversary in an appropriate way.

That Committee has set some ambitious objectives for our charitable activities for the 350th year, which will be the next steps in developing our activities under our strapline, ‘an active Livery investing in young people’.

First, we need to expand our promotion of science and engineering subjects to school children by engaging directly with 350 young people to encourage and enthuse them towards careers in our associated industries. This year, we did so with around 150 young people through new and existing activities at the Livery Careers Showcase, the Science Museum Skills Fair, and the Saturday Engineering Club at Kingston University. To achieve the target of 350 in four years we will need more Liverymen willing to help run a stand at a careers fair or talk about their careers in engineering to groups of young people. We think we can find the opportunities, we desperately need more people from the Livery to get involved. Please come forward if you can help us.

Secondly, to increase the number of awards we make to 35. This year, our awards across all three sectors – coachmaking, automotive and aerospace, totalled around 20. We have improved our connections with a number of universities and other organisations so we are better placed to find worthy award winners. Indeed, for some awards this year we had more potential recipients than awards to allocate. To give nearly double the number of awards will need a larger budget to fund more bursaries and grants. We also need to beef up our industry sub-committees in all three sectors. Once again, if you can help, do please step forward. I promise you will enjoy the experience.

Thirdly, to get five young people from disadvantaged backgrounds into employment in our associated sectors. We haven’t done this before, so we are currently investigating how to make this happen. This is likely to involve funding, together with the provision of work placements and mentoring from within the Livery. All ideas are welcome at this stage.

The intention is that we will ramp up our activities between now and 2027 and sustain this increased level of charitable activity beyond the anniversary year – this is not so much a one-off, more of a step-change.

Achieving these objectives needs increased funding, broadly in line with the agreed Aiming Point for the Company to increase our Charitable Fund from £2m to £3m. The newly formed Fund-Raising Sub-Committee is putting plans in place with that sole objective.

Most importantly, we need more people from the Livery to get involved in supporting our activities ‘in the field’. Those among us who have done so find this can be enormously rewarding.

We look forward to hearing from you. Please contact Assistant Eric Wallbank.