In addition to the considerable support for Dame Alice Owen’s and Aldenham Schools the Brewers’ Company act as the trustee for, administer and provide funds to numerous other charities and charitable causes. The coats of arms of some of our main benefactors are shown above. The main areas of contribution are to education, care of the needy and the promotion of brewing.
Educational projects in Islington
The Upward Bound programme provides a model for breaking the cycle of low aspiration and achievement in Islington – it is a genuine life-changer. It aims to increase the success of targeted 13-16 year old pupils from the eight state maintained secondary schools in Islington by:
- Enabling the pupils to achieve (at least) five A*-C grades at GCSE.
- Supporting their progression to full-time Further Education or Sixth Form education.
- Helping pupils to obtain a University place.
It provides a programme that runs on Saturday mornings during term time at London Metropolitan University. All students participate in the course for two years allowing them to feel a sense of community and importantly stability. Students also have the opportunity to return to the project as peer mentors once they have completed the project.
The programme provides an alternative learning environment within a university setting, addressing the academic, social and cultural needs of the cohort to ensure that students complete secondary school with a minimum of 5 GCSE A*-C. The exceptional staff of group leaders, specialist teachers, university lecturers, school teachers and undergraduate students from London Met work collectively to deliver an exciting alternative education programme with strong links to the national curriculum, that re-engages learners, builds confidence and motivates the students to achieve.
Philosophy for Children
Philosophy for Children, or P4C, engages learners in thought-provoking dialogue in response to intriguing stimulus material, often a picture book, film clip, image or artefact. Children learn to raise increasingly philosophical questions, probing concepts such as ‘fairness’, ‘freedom’, ‘friendship’ and ‘truth’. Regular practice in P4C deepens children’s caring, creative, collaborative and critical thinking, and has been shown to accelerate progress in reading, writing and maths—especially for disadvantaged pupils.
Support from the Dame Alice Owen Foundation has brought together eight Islington primary schools in a project to develop P4C within their own classrooms and through inter-school ‘Philosothon’ events. Joint training for teachers and classroom support staff are at the heart of the project, giving thinking time to educators as well as learners as we work together to embed enquiry-led learning through high-quality P4C.
Company Three (formerly Islington Community Theatre) is one of the UK’s leading theatre companies making theatre with young people. They train and support a permanent ensemble of 75 young people from Islington aged 11-19, all of whom are referred to Company Three by teachers, youth workers or social workers as someone who will benefit from participating. Members attend weekly workshops as well as taking part in intensive projects during school holidays. Alongside this core company, Company Three reaches a further 500 young people each year through a programme of satellite projects.
Music in Secondary Schools Trust
The Music in Secondary Schools Trust (MiSST) promotes the education of young people by providing classical musical instruments, 3 years of group tuition, and performance opportunities to over 3,700 students. The programme aims to improve a range of outcomes. Since MiSST was founded 5 years ago the charity has reached almost 5,000 teenagers.
Science for Life
Science for Life is a partnership of a dozen primary schools and two secondary schools in the borough of Islington, collaborating on a common goal: to work together to develop the science capital of the children in the Borough. The aim is to address the problem of limited and imbalanced science aspirations among school children and young people in the UK. Children in Science for Life partner schools benefit from an enriched curriculum, and they are given science leadership opportunities. The project works in three strands:
- Strand A: the Hubs are professional learning communities, through which science leads can collaborate on their own school priorities.
- Strand B: subject-specific continuing professional development (CPD) and resources are developed and delivered to all schools. This includes consideration of how all four dimensions of science capital can be developed and embedded.
- Strand C: opportunities through the network are offered to all schools. For example, they are invited to take part in national and local competitions, training, trips etc.
Promotion of Brewing
The Brewers’ Company supports excellence in higher education, with particular reference to brewing. It awards prizes for the best student from a member company on the General Certificates of Brewing and Packaging courses at the Institute of Brewing and Distilling, as well as offering scholarships to students undertaking a project on brewing for the Masters course in Brewing and Distilling offered by the Institute of Brewing & Distilling at Heriot-Watt University.
The Brewers’ Research and Education Fund
The Brewers’ Company is Trustee of the Brewers’ Research and Education Fund (BREF), a major grants fund for the brewing industry supporting relevant scientific research and education. The aims of the fund are to:
1) Promote brewing education, research and training
2) Research and educate the public about beer consumption
3) Research the composition and nutritional value of beer in relation to diet and wellbeing
4) Promote research relating to the environmental and economic sustainability of the brewing sector
Applications to the fund are welcomed. Further details can be found here.
The Brewers’ Lecture
The Brewers’ Company organise annual lectures at Dame Alice Owen’s and Aldenham Schools to introduce sixth form students to the world of brewing and highlight potential study opportunities and career paths that are open to them in this area.
Care of the elderly and disadvantaged
The Brewers’ Company has a number of Almshouses in South Mimms for the benefit of elderly residents of that parish. They were built in 1856 to a design by Arthur Patrick Mee (1802-1868), a pupil of Sir John Soane. You can find out more about the history of these, and other almshouses formerly administered by the Brewers’ Company, on the Herts Memories website.
Support for the needy
The Brewers’ Company has a number of funds for the relief of poverty of specific beneficiaries including: those who have been engaged in the brewing trade, their widows and children; widows in the parishes of Christ Church Spitalfields, St Mary’s Islington and St James’ Clerkenwell; and more generally, the poor and needy in the parish of Aldenham.
The Benevolent; The drinks industry charity
The Brewers’ Company is proud to support the Benevolent. The Benevolent is the trade charity for people who are currently working, or have worked, in the UK drinks industry in any role and in any trade sector. The Benevolent is the only charity that supports employees, or former employees, from every area of the UK drinks industry providing practical, emotional and financial help. The mission of the charity is to support those facing a variety of difficult circumstances, including serious illness, disability, issues with stress or depression, with debt or any family crisis such as a seriously ill partner or child.