The Master's Charity
This year, the Master's chosen charity is the Leather & Hide Trades’ Benevolent Institution.
158 years after its formation, the Leather & Hide Trades’ Benevolent Institution still continues the work for which it was set up – to help former employees and their dependents who are in financial need – and it still continues to receive applications for assistance. Today many of these are for grants towards, say, an electric scooter, a stairlift or the installation of a shower.
They are currently helping 44 annuitants. Of these 18 are married couples, 4 are widowers or single and 23 are widows. Many of our annuitants are now well into their 80s and 90s. The majority of companies they worked for no longer exist; they are geographically spread over the whole of England, the largest numbers living in Northamptonshire and Somerset. There are also currently 8 annuitants in Eire.
It currently costs around £50,000 a year to keep the level of distribution going by means of quarterly Charitable Allowance (formerly known as an annuity), bonuses, grants towards one-off payments for equipment, such as mobility scooters, and the Christmas Hampers. The letters of thanks received are evidence of the gratitude felt by the recipients and they also welcome the quarterly letters and Birthday and Christmas cards sent by the Secretary.
In addition to its investment income, the LHTBI is financed by means of annual donations from their many friends in the trade, either in response to the President’s Appeal or under standing orders.
Many individual donors contribute under the Gift Aid scheme, a very welcome gesture. They benefit greatly through the generosity of the Leathersellers’ Company and the International Golf Championship of the Shoe, Leather & Allied Trades. Other fundraising events in recent years have been the Waendel Walk in Wellingborough, the annual Cricket Matches, the Kindrochit Quadrathlon in the Scottish Highlands, the Tour of Ireland Cycling Event in 2009, the 2010 Jazz Concert at the Leathersellers’ Hall, and the 2015 London to Paris Cycle Ride.