Wheelwrights Charity

The Worshipful Company of Wheelwrights set up the Wheelwrights’ Charity in 1983. The appointment of trustees, who are all members of the Company, is governed by the Trust Deed.

The Trustees meet four times a year to agree the broad strategy and areas of activity for the Charity, including consideration of fund raising, grant making, investment and risk management.

The current trustees are:

Trustees

  • S Hay (Chairman)
  • M J Bithell
  • Mrs E M Drury
  • Lt Col S J R Halliday, TD
  • Mrs S Holt
  • D C Mortlock

 Secretary

  • Susie Morris

To donate or make an enquiry contact charity@wheelwrights.org

Charitable Objectives

The main charitable objectives are to support

  • Education and training in the craft of wheelwrights
  • Mobility for disabled people, especially children and young people
  • Access to sport, educational and recreational activities for disabled people, especially children, young people and disabled ex-servicemen and ex-servicewomen
  • City charities and causes including the Lord Mayor’s chosen charities each year and
  • Other relevant causes

As a small charity ourselves, we tend to focus our support on:

  • Charities with limited funds where our giving can make a real difference; and/or
  • Specific projects with which the Wheelwrights’ Charity can be identified, rather than funding day to day running costs.

In recent years, donations and grants have been focused through three main areas. The General Fund, the 2020 Fund and most recently a specific Craft Fund.

In these sections you can find out considerably more about where grants have been made and the impact this has on those who receive them.

The General Fund

The General Fund is the fund to which the donations and bequests from Liverymen are normally channelled where the donations are not specified to be used for a specific purpose.

2020 Fund

To mark the 350th anniversary of the granting of a Royal Charter to the Worshipful Company of Wheelwrights an appeal was launched in 2013 to raise funds over the seven years leading up to 2020. These funds to be allocated to a dedicated 2020 Fund that would make grants predominately focused on the provision of equipment for disabled people participating in sport and elite sports activities, including achieving Paralympic status.

By the end of 2023 over £175,000 in grants had been distributed by The Fund, which would not have been possible without the generous support of liverymen and in particular the tyre industry.

The donations from the tyre industry have arisen through the establishment in 2016 of a formal link with the National Tyre Distributors Association which pledged to promote the Wheelwrights’ 2020 Fund as its preferred charity for a period of five years.

The fund, which is now closed, has been used mainly to support:

WheelPower – Inter Spinal Unit Games

The Charity has been the principal sponsor of the annual Inter Spinal Unit Games held at the Stoke Mandeville Stadium by WheelPower, a national charity which provides opportunities to introduce people to wheelchair sport.

Total grants in support of the Games over the period 2017-2023 were £72,000. There was no event held in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic.

   

2016 Inter Spinal Unit Games at Stoke Mandeville

WheelPower – Individual Grants

Grants for equipment have been made annually to individuals identified by WheelPower and considered jointly with the Wheelwrights’ Charity trustees.

Total grants in respect of 2017-2022 were £52,800.

Treloar School

A contribution of £40,000 towards installation of a wheelchair racing track.

The Craft Fund

In 2018, a separate Craft Fund was created through which the Charity channels its ongoing support for the Wheelwrights’ craft, thus recognising our increasing involvement in training of wheelwrights of the future.

The main source of funding comes from donations made by members of the Company’s 100+ Club, which is a small lottery that has 4 prize draws during the year.  Of the money raised by the lottery, half goes to the prize draws and half to the Craft Fund.  Details about joining the 100 Club are available here or from Nick Dutt on nickdutt60@gmail.com.  Liverymen are also able to make donations directly to this fund rather than the General Fund if they wish by contacting the secretary of the Charity by email charity@wheelwrights.org.

Grants have primarily been made to support wheelwright apprentices in their training for the Worshipful Company of Wheelwrights’ Apprenticeship. The grants have covered such items as travel costs to college, tools for apprentices, training costs of the wheelwright, assessment costs and admin support provided by the Livery Companies Apprenticeship Scheme. By 31 March 2024 three apprentices, Tom Carroll, Ted Shepherd and Sam Phillips had been supported through the fund to complete their 3-year apprenticeships. In the case of Tom Carroll his apprenticeship was jointly funded by the Wheelwrights’ Charity and the Charity of the Worshipful Company of Coachmakers and Coach Harness Makers.

Tom Carroll is pictured below with his final project piece to complete his apprenticeship. It is fair to say that without such funding his Master, in this case Yeoman and Master Wheelwright Douglas Andrews, would not have been able to take on Tom.

App Tom Carroll with Timber Nib

Charity Fundraising

Since 2022, Charity fundraising activity has sat under the Livery Committee with the aim of getting greater engagement from the Livery in fundraising.

The Causes Supported

The causes we have supported in recent years are detailed on the web pages relevant to that year or in the latest news section.

Details of the Battle Back Appeal Fund set up in 2009 to help rehabilitate members of our armed forces, seriously injured on the battlefield, can be found on page 128 of the book ‘Wheels and Wheelwrights’ by Clive Birch.  Over the lifetime of the Fund (2009-2018), the Charity has made grants totalling almost £175,000 enabling 170 disabled veterans to participate in disabled sport and in several cases train and participate in Paralympic sport.