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Issue 5:  November 2022



Welcome to Issue 5 of the Newsletter dedicated to our Company’s philanthropic efforts. The scope is broadly: updates on a selection of our pro bono assignments and the work of the Company’s charitable fund. (Ed: You can still find earlier issues here).  The past few months have been quite busy so there's plenty to read about this time: there is a case study of sorts about World Heart Beat, an update about the Company's Chariable Fund, reports on a recent Pro Bono evening and a Mentoring Forum and an update of Pan Livery Pro Bono. Finally, there is a volunteering opportunity, and a trailer for the Charities Supper on 18th January 2023. 

Before getting down to business I can finally report on being "Jailed & Bailed", which was postponed but is now scheduled to happen on 31st January. I will report on that, here, in due course but I did achieve more than my target, raising £1,280 plus gift aid. Many thanks to the many friends, family and colleagues who supported this fundraising effort.  

Thanks are due to all those who contributed content to this Newsletter, especially Liveryman Geoff Berridge.  Now read on...

World Heart Beat - Pan Livery Philanthropy in action

If you were at the Summer Celebration in Hoxton, you will remember the band – three lads from World Heart Beat (WHB) – a music education Charity that we know and support.  They really gave that event a lovely “groove”.  The WCoMC Charitable Fund supports a variety of charities aimed at ‘Transforming Young Lives’ and WHB fits the bill.  The Charity is based in Wandsworth and Nine Elms, London, and works with disadvantaged children to introduce them to making music. It currently supports 350 students, who typically stay for 7-10 years. While the musical education focuses on learning to play an instrument of their choice to a very high standard, WHB also provides for those wishing to turn professional, teaching them about important matters such as employment contracts, recording and production.

Master Chris, Cathy Cant and I were recently privileged to help celebrate the opening of the WHB’s new rehearsal and performance space at Nine Elms which will double the number of students. After the opening speeches, five students performed a brief concert and all are clearly extremely talented. Most impressive had to be ten year old Daisy who played a Tchaikovsky piano piece – without music – on a Steinway (this prodigy also plays trumpet and drums). I’m no expert, but the rich and mellow tones of that instrument had to be heard to be believed. And it wasn’t all classical music – another contributor played Latin American songs that he had arranged for piano, and Sian, a former student now teaching at the academy, sang her own songs whilst accompanying herself on the guitar. She’s looking forward to recording her second album at the venue. 

The venue itself is impressive:  a “boutique” concert venue, and the first concert venue to open in London since 2008. Offered as “planning gain” in the development of a series of high-rise apartment blocks, WHB fought off 41 other contenders in 2017 for the opportunity to develop the space. (Nick Bush is a Trustee and was a key member of the project team).  In an impressive display of negotiating skills many of the key elements – the top flight architects and soundproofing engineers, the “box in a box” design that guarantees the space is absolutely soundproof, the stunning interior finishes, even the luxurious tiles in the washrooms and innovative floor coverings – were secured at well below market rates. Even the aforementioned Steinway – one of three loaned by Steinway, including one previously played by Lang Lang.  The charity takes the view that their students deserve the best, and I’m convinced that this can only further the ambitions of the students to aim for the top. 

Interestingly WHB is supported by two other Livery Companies as well as WCoMC: the Clothworkers and the Fanmakers and between us we have helped to fund the development of a magnificent performance, learning and production space.  Apparently WHB even had a float in the recent Lord Mayor's Show. 

Our recent grant funded a new, and very necessary, CRM system that provides sophisticated booking functionality. This system is already in service for a performance programme that will start in January 2023 - booking open here.

The last word should come from the students who performed.  Each spoke about their experiences, using words like “home”, “friends”, “community” and about their love of performing. They gave me a real sense that the charity’s vision of “transforming lives through music” is bearing fruit – a perfect fit with our Company’s Charitable Fund’s vision.  Speaking of which.... 

Charitable Fund Update

Geoff Berridge - Trustee - provides an update:

New Chair - Following the death of PM John Corneille, who was Chair of the Trustees of the Company's Charitable Fund, the Trustees met recently to elect a new Chair.  IPM Steve Cant was duly nominated and elected and has agreed to take on the role. 

Strategic Focus for Fund -  The focus is “Transforming Young Lives” which builds on what the Fund has contributed to with the Sea Cadets and YBI for example. “Transforming” because that is the essence of what Consultants do. “Young lives” because we want to create opportunity.
What is new, is a proactive approach to meeting the needs of young people. The intention is to use the Fund to:

  • Offer opportunities to help them develop, especially making change happen for themselves and their communities,
  • Offer training to help them get into employment,
  • Offer mentoring and coaching for individuals.

This is about opening doors for young people and helping them seize the opportunity to have a better future. 
We recognise that the Fund has limited resources. An ambitious programme will require us to find funding and delivery partners, ideally with mature organisations which  have a track record in supporting young people, particularly disadvantaged ones. 

We envisage providing financial support to our delivery partners in their work with young people. Secondly, we want our partners to provide opportunities for WCoMC members to get involved in such work. The WCoMC Pro Bono and Mentoring Programmes will support this new focus and draw in more WCoMC members to be part of this initiative.

The starting point is to find a delivery partner to work with us. Their characteristics would include:

  • A commitment to a multi-year partnership
  • A  stable organisation, with good governance, reserves and an adequate income stream, and best practice procedures for working with young people.
  • Able to use the funding provided by WCoMC and their own resources
  • A strong track record in working with young people, with a proven ability to access areas of disadvantage 
  • Willing to provide opportunities for WCoMC Pro Bono and Mentoring and Coaching services with young people

Initially we would seek to work with the Sea Cadets where we already have an established relationship. There could be three year plan detailing deliverables, resources and outcomes. 

We would look to find a funding partner, potentially a Livery Company which shares our vision, using the links we currently have and focusing on activity in the London area.

The Fund would typically offer £10,000 a year into the delivery partnership programme. In future years we wish to expand this to three partners giving £30,000 in total each year. 

A second stage for the initiative would be to approach businesses whose charitable work is in the same field as ours to join the initiative. 
A pot of funds, say £15,000 per year, would be available for one-off grants proposed by members where our support can have a significant impact. The recipient can be supported by WCoMC Pro Bono activity. No award would be greater than £5,000.

The total distribution of funds each year envisaged is £45,000. This can be flexed based on available funding from our Charitable Fund. Once a funding partner is recruited, the amount which can be distributed to delivery partners would increase.

Pro Bono Workshop: Mergers and Acquisitions

About 20 members and guests attended the Pro Bono workshop on the 11th October, which was titled “Not for Proft Sector: Mergers and Acquisitions”. The aim was to share knowledge about the challenges and opportunities related to this topic for organisations in the charity sector.

Geoff Berridge - again - reports: The sector is going through a period of extreme pressure resulting from the upheaval of covid and now the loss of income from public and private sources. Many charities are considering mergers or acquisitions as a strategic response. In our Pro Bono work we come across clients who wish to consider merging with another organisation or acquiring one. Understanding the drivers for these initiatives, what is involved in mergers and acquisitions and how best to assist clients is increasingly important in our consultancy and advice work.

The workshop featured two case studies, one a view from WCoMC consultants and in contrast a view from the inside of a large charity.

  • The first was two Company Pro Bono consultants, Tom Jenkins and Mark Collins who described their experience in supporting the merger of the four Welsh Archaeological Trusts. The Trusts were in an environment of reduced public expenditure, individually too small to invest in new capabilities and lacked a national voice. Tom and Mark started work with the Trusts in September 2021 to build the case for a merger. This was facilitated by forming a Trustees Group to assist the development of the case for merger which was reinforced by the risk of financial failure by one or more Trusts. The work moved on to the design of a transition structure along with governance and organisation structures. In March 2022 the Trusts agreed to merge. Tom and Mark designed a Transition Shadow Board and facilitated Trusts Vision and Strategy workshops. More recently they have been acting as advisors to the Shadow Board, attending consultation meetings and designed a pro-forma Business Plan.
  • The second was Dr Carol Homden, CEO of the Coram Foundation, who shared her experience of acquiring a number of charities in recent years. The Coram Foundation now consists of the parent body with a number of service arms, six operating charities and two trading companies. Coram works to change children’s lives for the better from infancy to independence. It makes a difference by putting children first, using its knowledge and experience, amplifying the voice of the child and informing and influencing national policy. The acquisitions are thought of as amalgamations and are chosen because they contribute to Coram’s strategy and service outcomes. They are specialist charities with a significant niche presence and capability. They all require improved infrastructure and better management of finances, HR and technology which the Group can provide.

The lessons learnt from the two case studies are:

  • There has to be a strategic fit and purpose
  • Leadership, a shared culture and values are important
  • Implementation and integration need good planning and takes time
  • It's resource intensive
  • Ensure the good people stay on board.     

Mentoring Forum - Wednesday 2nd November 

This event was organised by Nanette Young and David Glassman who lead on our mentoring Pro Bono offer. The forum is run to enable the Company’s active mentors to exchange tips, tools and templates from their practice and, through peer support, up their game within the bounds of the absolute confidentiality we offer our clients. We also welcome those who have mentored, and hope to return to it, and those who are curious about the opportunities it offers to “give back”.

This time, 12 members, including the Master and two Past Masters, gathered at the Artillery Arms to share their mentoring experiences. During the first half of the forum, members used anonymised brief case studies of their own successful personal experiences to illustrate the many and varied ways in which they had helped clients through the mentoring process. While we agreed that the agenda was always the clients’ – and therefore varied and often handed to us out of the blue on the day – it emerged that our mentoring approaches were similar. That facilitated an interesting discussion with themes raised and pursued with insightful and respectful contributions that owed everything to the different backgrounds of those round the table. 

With more “consultants” present than “mentors” the discussion also covered the relationship between mentoring and consultancy assignments within the overall context of the Company’s pro bono work and how one could support the other. We also considered the different foci of mentoring, our own past work with the chief executives in not-for-profit entities and how we might bring value more widely through Pan Livery initiatives. 

Our guest for the evening was David Clifford from the Company of HR Professionals who spoke about his own previous practice as a psychologist and how that discipline had contributed to his ability to mentor. The framework within which his Company offered pro bono mentoring services was similar to ours and the exchanges on legal liability and terms and conditions generated value for us both in a conversation that will continue outside the forum.

As in mentoring sessions with clients, we requested feedback and learned that forum had been an enjoyable and engaging event. Even the failure of the chef to arrive did not dim the enthusiasm of those who attended and we dined on sandwiches and sushi which two of the party braved the rain to acquire from the local Waitrose. We look forward to holding another mentoring forum at some point in 2023. 

Pan Livery Working Group on Pro Bono 

A third Pan-Livery Pro-Bono workshop was held in October around the theme of ‘Funder Plus’ whereby both grant funding and professional support are provided to beneficiary charities to provide added value. Patrick Chapman and charity client Jonathan Collie described the pro bono and financial support that our Company has been giving to The Age of No Retirement. This was followed by a second case study describing how the grant funding provided by the Information Technologists Charitable Fund to a charity dealing with substance abuse was significantly enhanced by a range of pro bono and in-kind support. We then heard from the Mercers about how their grant funding programmes are supported by Funder Plus arrangements provided by external consultants.

This led to a lively debate about collaborative working across the livery, with the prospect of a new channel for our pro bono services complementing the grants made by other Livery Companies. Following the meeting, Bob Harris tells me that he received an enquiry from the Mercers about the possibility of providing pro-bono support to one of their beneficiary charities. Speak-Street provides support to refugees, asylum seekers and other recent immigrants in learning English. The covid pandemic led them to develop a range of workbooks to supplement their in-person support, and they are now considering whether they can publish and sell these workbooks within the UK and in other English-speaking countries - and thus both extend their reach and make some money to support their charitable objectives. They need help to think this though – and make it happen! If you believe that you could help, contact Bob here.

Charity Trusteeship - An opportunity with Carers Worldwide

Geoff Berridge has been supporting Carers Worldwide for some time and has highlighted the following opportunity...

Why become a Trustee?
Becoming a Trustee allows you to use the skills, experience and networks you have amassed during your career and is an inspiring and valuable way to engage with a charitable cause. At Carers Worldwide, our Trustee Board is closely involved in formulating and reviewing our strategic aims, ensuring our policies and practices reflect our charitable objectives and helping us to achieve best practice in whatever we do. Trustees challenge, advise and offer practical support based on their knowledge, skills and experience. Acting as a Trustee is immensely rewarding, and Carers Worldwide Trustees can be sure that they are playing a significant role in transforming the lives of unpaid family carers and their family members – over 120,000 to date and with our exciting new development plans, hundreds of thousands more into the future.

Why Carers Worldwide and why now?
As we scale up our reach and expand into new locations and sectors, we are keen to strengthen our Trustee Board and bring in the skills that we need to help us realise our vision of a world in which every carer is valued and their needs are met.
Now in our 10th year, we have transformed the lives of over 120,000 carers and family members through our partnerships with local organisations in India, Nepal and Bangladesh. Legislative changes implemented as the result of our advocacy work are improving the lives of hundreds of thousands more carers.

We are now embarking on the next exciting stage of the Carers Worldwide journey as we seek to amplify our reach and diversify our ways of working in order to reach an ambitious target of impacting the lives of 10 million carers by 2030 through a combination of policy change and direct work.

As well as continuing our significant programme working with carers and partner organisations we also have ambitious plans for expansion of our successful and sought after consulting skills with a variety of customers, many of whom are from the corporate sector as well as not-for-profit and government.

Who are we looking for?
We are looking for at least two new Trustees motivated to affect change through both charitable and business working, as we begin to apply the lessons from our implementation of the Carers Worldwide model to providing training and consultancy services. We particularly welcome applicants who bring one or more of the following: 

  • A commercial mindset combined with leadership experience and an understanding of the opportunities for the development of social enterprise and trading.
  • Skills and experience in training and consultancy services.
  • Understanding of the social investment market to support access to capital and the management of investment for our new consultancy enterprise.
  • Experience growing enterprises to achieve scale.

Applicants with other relevant areas of expertise would also be welcome to get in touch if the work that we do resonates, and you are excited at the opportunity to effect long lasting change at scale. 
For more information and/or an informal discussion, please contact:
Anil Patil (Founder and Executive Director) at: or 07745 608438

Charities Supper - Save the date

Finally, please save the date for our annual showcase event: The Charities Supper 2023, which will be on Wednesday 18th January - details to follow.

Steve Cant


This newsletter is produced by the WCoMC Communications Group. Please let us know if you have any items to include in relation to any topics that come to mind! The opinions expressed in this newsletter represent those of the contributors and not necessarily those of the Company.
​WCoMC is a Chartered Charitable Organisation (Privy Council Reference C877) and a Company Incorporated by Royal Charter (Company No. RC000819).