The Worshipful Company of Turners

Supporting the Craft, City and Charity for over four hundred years

Support & donations in 2020 & 2021

Throughout the 2020-2021 pandemic, the Charity has supported a number of good causes, including:

Livery Schools Link, a fundraising campaign to help buy laptops and tablets for the most disadvantaged students in secondary schools who are suffering device poverty.

Toynbee Hall – a charity working with disadvantaged people and families in inner London.

London Legal Support Trust – one of The Lord Mayor’s Charities, providing legal support for those in most need.

The Livery Kitchen Initiative – a pan-Livery scheme which provided meals to NHS staff in the early stages of the pandemic and subsequently to communities living in food poverty in northeast London.

Pembroke House – a south London community food distribution hub.

Barts Hospital Staff Fund – providing support for Barts Hospital staff during the pandemic.

Plane Sailing – a community-based group in Darlington, which supports veterans in the community with training in turning and other woodworking skills.

No Turning Back – a pan-livery initiative to provide skills-based training to assist offenders by giving them skills to enable them to find a job on release. HMP Brixton and the young offenders’ establishment, Isis at Thamesmead, are the key establishments. Often trained ex-offenders are offered jobs at the companies run by liverymen. The scheme involves training inmates in a variety of skills, including as painters and decorators or as HGV drivers. Over 50 ex-offenders have found jobs and remained in them without re-offending.

Other financial support was also provided to: a pole-lathe turner working in the northeast; the Clergy Support Trust; the Sheriffs’ Challenge, a competition to help children in London’s schools develop their debating and public speaking skills; the Lord Mayor’s Appeal and to the Mansion House Scholarship Scheme.



The Charity also agreed to sponsor, for two years, at a cost of £2,200, an Arkwright Scholarship under the auspices of the Smallpeice Trust, which works with schools to develop the young engineers of the future. The Scholarship will allow a female sixth form student – Colleen Duffy – from Northern Ireland, to pursue a two year project under the guidance of a mentor, a female officer from the REME.

The Scholarship will be named the “Worshipful Co. of Turner’s Lady Gertrude Crawford Scholarship” in honour of the distinguished ornamental turner and pioneering female engineer who was made a Freeman of the Company in 1934.


QEST is the charity of the Royal Warrant Holders Association and is dedicated to supporting excellence in British craftsmanship. Since its foundation in 1990, QEST has awarded scholarships and other funding to over 600 makers across a wide range of crafts. Over two-thirds of QEST alumni are currently teaching or training future craftspeople and passing on their skills. To date, the Turners’ Charity has committed £15,000 to fund three QEST Turners’ Company Scholarships, of which two have been awarded.

In 2016 the first Turners’ QEST scholar was Jack Darach, one of the UK’s leading recorder makers. He has recently been commissioned to develop the Pepys’ Recorder.

In 2018, the second scholarship was awarded to Eleanor Lakelin, who in 2011 was a recipient of a Turners’ Company Cockpit Arts award. She continues her practice at Cockpit Arts, Deptford.


Cockpit Arts is a unique London-based business incubator for craftspeople with centres in Holborn, London and in Deptford, close to the River Thames in South East London.

Recipients of the Cockpit Arts Turners’ Company Award work at the Deptford studios, where the Charity has lathes and other equipment on permanent loan for their use. The award includes business coaching so that award winners are better equipped to make a living from their craft. Recent award winners include Mike Groves (2020), Daniel Appiagyei (2017) and Arturo Soto (2019).


2021 saw the Tercentenary of the death of Grinling Gibbons, an Anglo-Dutch sculptor and wood carver known for his work in England. He is widely regarded as the finest wood carver to have worked in England, and the only one whose name is widely known among the general public. The Charity supported Grinling Gibbons exhibitions organised by the Grinling Gibbons Society and the Master Carver’s Association.

Lathe Programme

The Charity owns more than forty lathes, which are placed throughout the country, usually in schools or other training establishments as well as in community projects. The Charity retains ownership of the lathes, which are placed with the recipients under conditional gift agreements.

We have recently installed lathes at Amersham School and Countryways – a community-based charity in north Buckinghamshire, which works to improve the mental health of its clients. The Somerdale Shed, Keynsham, Bristol, a similar operation to Countryways.

Other turning centres which receive funding from the Charity on a regular basis include:

The Max Carey Woodturning Trust, equipped with 22 lathes, provides woodturning courses and training in Portishead, near Bristol.
London Greenwood, now located at Hackney City Farm, a mile north of the City of London.


Donations of lathes to the Charity

In recent months, the Charity was also fortunate to receive donations of two lathes: one from the family of the late Professor Jonathan Brostoff, a turner of North London; the other from Master Emeritus Gordon Sloan. The first of these was placed with Cockpit Arts. The second was placed on loan with Mike Groves, in 2020 a recipient of the Turners’ Company
Cockpit Arts Award.

The charity is extremely grateful for these donations.

For the Company’s Charitable Trust registered number and Annual Reports, click here

How you can support the Charity

The Turners’ Company Charity, An Historical Perspective

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