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NL July 2020

 

WCoMC is a collegiate forward looking Modern City Livery Company; we maintain City traditions, share expertise and information between fellow members and give back to the community through our pro bono activities.

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What’s up?

New Freemen

At our first virtual admissions ceremony the following new Freemen, pictured top left clockwise,  were admitted:

 

Peter Johnson

Sarah Vickers

Valentina Lorenzon

David Trafford

 

Congratulations to each of them. 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

Freedom of the City

Word has finally reached me that Freeman Chris Wilson, was granted Freedom of the City on 16th March. Congratulations to Chris.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Read about the Review of the Charitable Fund below.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Read about upcoming events here.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Read the message from Helen O'Sullivan here.
 
 
 

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Issue 67:  July 2020

 

Our Master's Voice

It’s been an eventful and event full six weeks since the last newsletter.  Lock down is being lifted and those who have less to fear from the virus are beginning to venture out more.  We recognise that this will increase the feelings of isolation amongst some and we will be bearing that in mind in future planning.

The world has been rocked by the death of George Floyd and #blacklivesmatter. You may be aware that City University with whom we have strong links particularly through our jointly founded Centre for Charity Effectiveness, have dropped the Cass name from its business school. We are asking ourselves as a modern livery Company whether we are doing enough to improve and maintain diversity of thought amongst our membership. 

 In general, at the end of this period we want to be able to feel that we have done all we can not only for ourselves but also for others less fortunate.  I am very proud of the work being undertaken in the areas of philanthropy and education to support organisations currently impacted by the crisis and to help them begin to recover.

Many thanks to all who attended our admissions ceremony and celebration on 7 July.  It wasn’t the wonderful summer event that I’d originally been planning at Drapers’ Hall, but I was delighted so many zoomed in to welcome four new freemen to our Company.  The sleight of hand passing framed certificates through the ether seemed to work, as well as the introduction to each new member read by the Clerk before they made their oath.  

We will keep the latter in our ceremonies in the future.   It was good to catch up with fellow members in the breakout groups afterwards and I was pleased that so many of you wore business attire to recognise the formality of the occasion.  Brian and I are attending a white-tie virtual Mansion House event next week in the presence of the Lord Mayor.  We’re interested to see how that pans out!

The Shoptalks and ‘My Most Interesting Project’ events have been fascinating, confirming that we are a talented bunch.  Some of the best attended events have been led by the interest groups particularly the recent faith group debate and I have been off collecting my Chablis for the wine tasting evening.

It feels as though we are keeping the spirit of Fellowship, Education and Philanthropy strong within the Company. I do hope that holds true for you too.

Be safe, be kind. 

Denise.

Events

We have enjoyed a good range and number of events over the last six weeks, including the admission ceremony, and shop talk, referred to by the Master.  Here’s a recap of the other recent events:

Effective Home Working with Sue Ells

On 1st July Sue Ells led a very topical virtual seminar exploring how to achieve effective home working with some tips to make it easier for individuals and teams.  She explored the in’s and out’s, pro’s and con’s of homeworking which I will not attempt to repeat here.  There was a lot to think about:

It was also interesting to see what sprung to mind for the participants when they were asked what home working meant to them.  Sue, with help from 3W Bob Harris, had put together an engaging and interactive session which stretched our use of Zoom’s capabilities.    Sue ran a quick poll to engage everyone, (fast and effective), used the whiteboard feature (everybody scribbling virtually – see below) to get a feel for the expectations of the participants with entertaining results. Then there were breakout rooms to share homeworking views.

If you missed the session, you could refer to a pdf of Sue’s supporting slide deck which can be accessed here.  Alternatively click here to download a short video in which Sue provides an “Executive Summary” in a Zoom interview with Bob.   (A full recording of the event is available [NOTE: it’s a very large file] on request to Bob.) Sue’s also happy for anyone in the Company to contact her for a chat about home working, as one thing was noticeably clear: it’s different for every person and for every organisation.

Wine Tasting Events

The Wine Club held two virtual wine tasting events, and I know a lot of effort went into organising them so thanks to Patrick McHugh and Patrick and Ann Chapman. Both events were well attended and were convivial, entertaining, and educational.  Who knew that Kiwi Cab Sauv was SO temperature sensitive? (I do now and treat it differently).  A third wine tasting is scheduled for 17th July (but if you haven't signed up already you missed it).

Faith Group - The Longer-Term Impacts of the Pandemic

A wide audience from our own and other livery companies were privileged to hear contributions from two eminent speakers at our virtual Faith Group event on 23rd June.  We had thoughtful reflections by Bishop Graham Tomlin and Rabbi Jonathan Romain, both of whom spoke on the subject of “the longer-term impacts of the pandemic and the contribution that faith communities can make.” John Watson is Chair of the Faith Group and you can read his full report here

John adds: “A new book by photographer Niki Gorick, 'Faith in The City of London' illustrates with over 170 photographs the unique interaction between faith and commerce in The Square Mile.  It’s available the usual online suppliers and here”.

My Most Interesting Project

On 17th June, Bob Harris kicked off our new series of virtual events with a fascinating presentation on “How we helped win the 1997 election”.  For reasons explained at the event we can’t recap or share any more than that here now.   If you missed out, I'm afraid you missed a good one!

Our second edition of this series, in which Members talk about an interesting and challenging project, will be next week on Wednesday 22nd July at 5.30 pm.

  • Karol Szlichcinski will discuss: "Consultant in a conflict zone"   On the face of it this was a straightforward procurement in the telecoms sector, but the project produced some interesting take-aways on conflict resolution, negotiation, and cultural differences between the UK and the US. 
  • Andy Miles will describe how “David saved Goliath …… from the regulator and himself” This started with a call from a major transport company in the parcel sector and the COO saying ‘Our audit department tell me we’re very good, but I don’t believe them.

Join the session and contribute your thoughts - it will start at 5.30pm and continue until around 7.30pm.  Please click on this link to make your reservations. Login details will be issued a couple of days before the event.

There will be a break in events during August but before then there are two other events planned:  the previously mentioned wine tasting and a CMCE showcase on 28th July: Consulting on Cyber Resilience: Lessons from the FTSE during Covid-19. 

Pro Bono Round Up

In this edition of the newsletter we take a deeper look at a couple of the Charities we’ve been supporting recently.  Previously we’ve reported on our on-going work with Youth Business International.  Here, 1W John Pulford reports on his recent engagement with them:

“One welcome yet unanticipated engagement for me has been a virtual visit to Cambodia. As a pro bono consultant for Youth Business International, I’ve conducted five in-country assessments of YBI network members in recent years. I was therefore delighted to be asked to ‘go’ to Cambodia during lockdown. Google.org, the philanthropic arm of Google, have provided US$5m over 12 months to support 32 members of the YBI network and other organisations in specified countries.

YBI had no previous involvement with “SHE Cambodia”. SHE’s mission is to support women micro/small business entrepreneurs to scale up, create long-term impact and to promote women’s empowerment. I was delighted that my positive assessment of SHE’s finances and the capabilities of their financial systems matched the operational assessment by YBI. They have now received funding, as have 16 other organisations in countries new to YBI, which have been assessed by fellow pro bono consultants”.

In addition to these financial due diligence reviews as part of the Google partnership, we are about to re-commence our long-standing programme of accreditation reviews of existing YBI Member Organisations.  In view of travel restrictions, these will also adopt a “virtual approach” but with a full documentary review and interview programme.  We are currently preparing to assess YBI Members based in Peru, Rwanda, Serbia and Uganda during July and August.

My own involvement as a Consultant Grant Assessor with The Fore has now come to an end (for now).  Over the past 10 weeks I assessed over 20 applications and took 8 forward to funding panels.  I helped to secure funding of nearly £40k for charities ranging from “Kinetica Bloco”,  a music, dance and carnival charity, to the delightfully named “Laughter Africa” which supports and educates street children at risk in Freetown, Sierra Leone, to “The Batten Disease Family Association” which is a "patient organisation" that supports families who have a child or young person with Batten disease.  (I’d never previously heard of this life limiting, degenerative condition).  

I was also able to help one of our Pro Bono Clients get £5k funding too.  I’ve been helping “Art History Link-Up" (AHLU) to develop a business plan since the start of lock down.  (I’ve never met anyone from Charity in person – all done via Zoom).   AHLU is a charity providing opportunities for students from diverse backgrounds to study Art History. It exists to inspire and educate young people from diverse backgrounds throughout the UK, who otherwise do not have the chance to use art history and its appreciation to: build skills and knowledge, enhance their educational and life experience, achieve their full potential and enjoy and engage with the world of culture around them.  During our work I suggested that AHLU apply to The Fore, and then helped to frame their application.  Result - Success!

NEW - Welcome Pack and Induction Information

The Membership Committee is pleased to announce two new documents now available via our website. Just click on the “Join Us” tab and you will see the links in the bullet points on that page.

  • First, a Welcome Pack that is aimed at new members but serves equally well as an introduction to the Company.  If you know someone who might be interested in joining the Company, please point them here. 
  • Second, our Induction Pack which is aimed at those who have just joined. This provides a short ‘checklist’ to help new members navigate their way around our Livery Company and to provide them with a rapid route to inclusion in our various activities. If you have recently sponsored a new joiner, then please check this document to ensure that you are playing your part in helping your new member to get “acclimatised”. Download the induction pack.

   

For more information, please contact Kanan Barot – Chair of the Membership Committee.

Review of the Charitable Fund

This review, being carried out by Geoff Berridge and Steve Cant, is nearing completion and we’re now forming our Recommendations.  These will be shared with the Trustees of the Charitable Fund over the next few weeks and we plan to include a summary of the agreed recommendations here in Newsletter Issue 68 – in September.   For now, it is fair to say that we’re not advocating a “Status Quo”… change is on the horizon, so watch this space.

Enduring City Values

The City Values Forum was formed in 2011 on the initiative of the Company, to deliver the recommendations of The Lord Mayor’s Initiative ‘Restoring Trust in the City’.   (Read more about the Forum here).  The output from the Forum was a series of best practice guides, practical resource materials and training programmes, all of which. have now been permanently located on our Centre for Management Consulting’s (CMCE) website

Message From Our Chaplain, Helen O'Sullivan

Many if not most of us will have had the painful experience of not being able to be alongside family and friends following the death of a loved one in recent weeks. There are two initiatives which you may find helpful in these circumstances. The first can be found here and allows you to light a virtual candle for someone during a time of quiet reflection. The second is a permanent memorial at St Paul's cathedral which links to an on-line 'book' of remembrance to which short personal obituaries can be added. More information about this can be found here.

The next issue of the Newsletter will be in September when our regular “Get To know... ” feature will be back, featuring Chair of the Membership Committee, Kanan Barot.  Also,  we'll feature an important long term pro bono assignment for the Jack Petchey Foundation, carried out by 3W Bob Harris.   And, after dipping our toe into the world of video content in this issue, I hope that there will be more. We're working on it!

And Finally ....

Last time we were on the Tube, this time we're on the train….

Thanks to all those who contributed to this issue and thank you for reading this far. Don't forget to let me have your stories about how we're making a difference as we all emerge from lock down. Stay safe.

Steve Cant

Editor

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).