The Weaver's Company's Millennial Fund was set up in 1995 to develop a fund to celebrate the Company's millennium in 2130. At the outset it was recognised that the best way to encourage long term legacies and donations was for the Fund to have a social purpose. The current purpose of the Fund is to support struggling primary schools and the Fund is managed by the Millennial and Primary Schools Committee.
Since its formation the Company has developed a long-term relationship with a number of schools around the boroughs of London. The schools all present different and challenging issues but inevitably have a high degree of free school meals, high levels of mobility and a poor position in league tables.
Whilst some funding is provided to each of the schools it is the personal involvement of members of the Company that has the greatest impact on the adopted schools. One company member is designated as the lead relationship holder and in all instances is a member of the school's governing body. Additional support is provided by other members either through reading with the children on a regular basis or supporting individual school initiatives.
Over the last few years our involvement has provided a range of support. This has included:
- Re-establishment of a summer fete
- A library of books
- Musical instruments
- Pump priming for an early years building extension
- An orchard
- Home/school liaison support
- Financial support for school trips
Recognising that shared learning and knowledge dissemination of best practice in the primary sector is also a part that the Company can play, the Company sponsored a lecture to launch the interim findings of the Cambridge Review, the first independent review of England's state of primary school education since the 1960's. The lecture, held at Church House, Westminster was attended by over 350 guests drawn from academia, the education sector, trade unions and local government.
Longer term the Company is committed to the ongoing support of primary school education. We intend to add to our existing schools via an Associate Schools Programme, inviting Weavers (and partners) who have a connection with a primary school to benefit from our work and grants. Through such an approach we will continue to demonstrate the charitable work of the Company and so provide a rationale for long term gifts and legacies to meet our objectives of raising a substantial fund for our second millennium.