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Worshipful Company of Cordwainers

Charity Report

The Cordwainers Company is proud of its long history of supporting good causes through charitable giving.

Our current 2020 Vision includes an aim to double the amount of grants given in 2012 to targeted external charity beneficiaries by 2020, thereby cementing the Company’s ongoing commitment to our philanthropic work.

To learn more about our charitable giving download the 2018-2019 Charity Report or view an interactive version online.

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Supporting education

The Cordwainers provide scholarships, bursaries and prizes to students of footwear and leather goods at the London College of Fashion (part of the University of the Arts), the University of Northampton, Capel Manor College, Enfield, and De Montfort University.

The Cordwainers’ BA Footwear Scholarship is a prestigious prize awarded each year to a talented student at the London College of Fashion to fund their final project. This prize was worth over £3,000 last year.

At the University of Northampton, the Cordwainers offer scholarships to the top three Footwear Fashion students in all three years. Similarly, the Cordwainers give prizes to leatherwork students at Capel Manor College in Enfield.

At De Montfort University, we award grants for the most outstanding portfolio design work in each year of the course, as well as bursaries for travel and innovation.

The Cordwainer Footwear Student of the Year Award  was launched in 2014, and has grown to become the most significant accolade for footwear design students in the UK. Supported by some of the most notable names in the industry, it is a fabulous evening, when Britain’s best footwear students mingle with designers, journalists and industry heavyweights.

In 2014, we commissioned a short, snappy film of  the footwear awards, which encapsulates the spirit of the occasion, the joy of the winners and shows a little of the Cordwainer traditions at our Livery Dinner. It showcases the Company’s passionate support for the emerging footwear designers of tomorrow and our commitment to the British shoe industry.


Below is a list of all the scholarships, bursaries and prizes awarded in 2015 by the Cordwainers’ Company.

University of the Arts, London College of Fashion

– Cordwainers’ Cup for Excellence in Footwear
– Cordwainers’ Travel Scholarship
– Cordwainers’ BA Placement Bursary
– Cordwainers’ Prize for Sustainable Fashion
– Dato’ Professor Jimmy Choo BA Award
– Dato’ Prof. Jimmy Choo MA Award

Capel Manor College

Katherine Bebbington-Moore – 1 x Cordwainers’ Undergraduate Bursary
Lydia Newsome – 1 x Cordwainers’ Graduate Bursary
University of Northampton

Year 1 Cordwainers’ Scholarship

Year 2 Cordwainers’ Scholarship

Year 3 Cordwainers’ Scholarship

De Montfort University

Alex Blackman, Joanna Eden and Hayley Kim – Cordwainers’ Footwear and Design Scholarships

City University

Ben Schoeman and Annie Yim – Cordwainers’ Musical Scholars

Royal Free and University College
London Medical School

Rachel Cox-Davies Leadership Scholarships
Scott Johnson, Justine Lacquiere and Laura Palone

The Urswick School

Husyin Suzen – Cordwainers’ Award for English

Hong Vu – Cordwainers’ Award for Maths

John Herbert – Cordwainers’ Award for Science


Social housing

The Company of Cordwainers owns almshouses in Chesham in Buckinghamshire and Shorne in Kent. We let these out at low rent to the needy of the local community. The Company also assists beneficiaries with bills and provides gifts at Christmas.

Cordwainers Court has been voted most preferred Hall of Residence at the University of the Arts, London for several years running. Students benefit from attractive rooms, a high standard of furnishings, internet access in each bedroom and a large common room. This popular accommodation has recently been expanded, with the opening of Gifford House, a new wing of an additional 15 rooms.


Blind and partially sighted people

The Cordwainers have supported societies for the blind and partially sighted for centuries, strongly believing that visual impairment should not be a barrier to personal fulfillment.

We support the Royal  Society for Blind Children and share their vision that no blind child in the UK should grow up poor or lonely just because of their visual impairment. The Company also backs specialist charities that help blind people with financial difficulties, such as  Blind in Business and Blind Veterans UK.

This was the Master’s Charity for 2015–16. To read more about how we raised funds, follow this link.

Army Reserve and Cadets

The Cordwainers have supported the C’ Company of the Army Reserve of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers for over 50 years.

Each year the Company hosts an annual dinner for the Army Reserve, where we award prizes to cadets nominated for their outstanding service to the force.

The Cordwainers also support Cadets. The Company has provided funding for annual training camps, boots and minibuses. In 2008 we funded the setting up of the new Corps of Drums. This year, we have raised some £19,000 for the Fusilier Aid Society by undertaking the Fusilier Challenge.

We strongly believe that the Army Reserve and Cadets develop self-confidence, teamwork and leadership skills in people of all ages, and that these are extremely worthwhile causes.