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The Charity is an amalgamation of five former charitable trusts (see 'Benefactors' in the left menu), of varying ages of foundation, which have derived their income from bequests made throughout the Company's history and the distribution of this income is governed by the Charity’s constitution.
The Charity was granted formal approval by The Charity Commission in December 2013. The Trustees are responsible for the proper distribution of funds, which in practice is administered by the Charities Committee which reports to the Trustees annually.
The former charitable trusts comprise the Ratcliff Pension Charity, the Palmer Foundation, the Harold Griffin Gift Fund, the Strode’s Egham Pension and Eleemosynary Charity and the William Alexander’s Coopers’ Liverymen Fund.
Objects of the Charity
The Charity is established for the public benefit to make grants for the following charitable purposes as the Trustees in their absolute discretion may determine:
- To assist persons in conditions of need, hardship or distress in the Greater London area, the County of Surrey and members of The Worshipful Company of Coopers, their widows and dependants;
- To advance education generally, in particular but not exclusively connected to the trade of cooperage and pupils of the schools associated with The Worshipful Company of Coopers, namely The Cooper’s Company & Coborn School (Academy) and Strode’s College;
- To preserve the history and heritage and to advance the public’s education of the ancient trade of Cooperage; and
- To support such other general charitable purposes as the Trustees may in their absolute discretion determine.
The Coopers' Livery Housing Fund (CLHF)
In partnership with the Shaftesbury Housing Group and the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, the CLHF created an innovative project and a significant step in the improvement of services for older people in Tower Hamlets through the building of Coopers Court. To celebrate our quincentenary in 2001 the Company raised over £500,000 to create sheltered accommodation, comprising of 40 flats, in Tower Hamlets.
This was the historic centre of the cooperage industry, from which the City, port and river were served. The loan of £500,000 was returned to the Company when Shaftesbury Housing Group sold its stake in Coopers Court and the Company then looked for another deserving case and potential recipient. In 2010, the CLHF loaned £500,000 for a new building, latterly named Coopers Chase, in Enham to house rehabilitation and training courses for Service personnel, injured in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The building contains ten study bedrooms fully equipped for the disabled with private bathrooms and communal areas. The CLHF has entered into a co-operation agreement with Enham to ensure that the centre would continue to be used for the purpose it had been made. Whilst the intention was to assist Service personnel, it has not materialised as first thought, but Coopers Chase is being used to great effect by those needing remedial training and preparation to live within the community.