16.05.20 Assistant Sarah Holt

The Coachmakers provides support during this difficult time

A few weeks ago, the Coachmakers’ Charity Committee was challenged by the Master to make proposals to offer support in these difficult circumstances when so many may now be struggling where previously they were not.

Some of the awards that the Company was proposing to make this year are no longer possible because of restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic and, in addition, the Company has received a very generous donation of £10,000 from PM James Smillie.

The Charity Committee engaged quickly and agreed a proposal which included causes outside our usual focus, and a distribution of funds in excess of the budget, on the basis this was appropriate when the country is facing its biggest crisis in many decades. Following the presentation of the details by electronic means, the Court agreed the following:

  • £15,000 to Kingston University’s Hardship Fund. Kingston has an established record of recruiting the under-privileged, first generation from low income families to attend university, and we normally support a bursary for a student studying aerospace engineering. Many Kingston students have to do part time jobs to make ends meet, and a lot of that work is no longer available as a result of COVID-19. Kingston will direct our donation to support STEM students with a right of residence in the UK.
  • £15,000 to City University’s Hardship Fund. Again, we normally support a bursary for a City student. City has a hardship fund specifically helping students directly affected by COVID-19, and it will also direct our donation to support STEM students with a right of residence in the UK.
  • £5,000 to a London Food Bank. The Charity Committee identified two on the outskirts of the City, run by the Trussell Trust. The Trussell Trust makes a point of directing people to where they can get ongoing help to address the situation that resulted in them needing to come to the foodbank, and will use our donation to support its London activities.
  • £5,000 to the Cavell Nurses’ Trust, which supports UK nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants. It was seeking additional funding as a result of COVID-19 for grants in support of nursing and midwifery professionals affected by coronavirus.
  • £5,000 for any of our award winners who need help as a result of the pandemic. All have been contacted and we await their responses. If this allocation is not used, these funds will be split between the food bank and the Cavell Nurses’ Trust.

In the broader context, this financial support is modest but we have received some heart-warming messages of thanks and the recipients are all extremely grateful to the Coachmakers for helping them at this difficult time.

Court Assistant Sarah Holt
Coachmakers’ Charity Committee