The Makers of Playing Cards Charity

History of the charity formally known as the Cutler Trust

(Registered Charity no. 232876)
Charity has always been an integral part of Livery companies' raison d'etre ever since their formation, as Fraternities or Trade Guilds, in the Middle Ages.
Over the course of time, Livery Companies provided education and training for the young, including apprenticeships to practising members of the Livery's craft, and looked after Liverymen and their dependents in times of hardship and old age.
Our connected charity, previously known as the Cutler Trust, was set up on 25 October 1943 by two card manufacturers, John Waddington Limited and De La Rue Company Limited and named after the then Master of The Worshipful Company of Makers of Playing Cards in 1942/43, Lindsay W S Cutler Esq., (whose grandsons have been apprenticed to the Company and are now Liverymen). Consistent to the original Livery concept, it was initially for beneficiaries and dependents of those who were or had been employed in the manufacture of playing cards.
Later, the objectives of the Trust were widened to provide for the relief of need, hardship and distress, especially among children, and the provision of financial assistance for the education, and wellbeing, for those under 25.

How to Apply for a Grant

The Makers of Playing Cards Charity is a small grant-maker and grants are generally of £1,000 in the first instance. The Charity makes grants to charitable institutions only and does not give grants to individuals. The Trustees are keen to support smaller charities with an annual voluntary income of less than £500,000 per year and greatest priority will be given to those institutions with a voluntary income of less than £300,000 per year.

The Trustees meet to consider grant applications in May and October each year. Applications should arrive no later than the end of March for consideration in May or the end of August for consideration in October.

The application should be no longer than one side of A4, setting out on what you would spend a grant of £1,000, explaining briefly how the work for which you seek funds meets the Makers of Playing Cards Charity’s charitable objects and attaching a copy of your most recent annual report and accounts.

The application should be addressed to the Prime Almoner of the Makers of Playing Cards Charity at . All applications should be sent by email only.

Your application will initially be assessed by the Assistant Almoner. If it is considered to be ineligible for funding you will be notified promptly. Otherwise you will hear nothing until the application has been considered by the Trustees, when you will receive either an email to inform you that your application is unsuccessful or an offer letter setting out the terms of the grant and enclosing a cheque for the sum granted. By banking the cheque you are deemed to have accepted the conditions of grant.

The Trustees particularly encourage applications for projects which relate to playing cards and also applications from those charities where a freeman or liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Makers of Playing Cards is directly involved. If you know any liveryman or freeman of the company who is involved in your charity, an email or letter of support from the freeman/ liveryman concerned, addressed to the Assistant Almoner, will be helpful.

The Almoners are tasked with keeping in touch with our grant holders. This they do by working with the supporting freeman/liveryman, who will be appointed their Charity Liaison Partner. Those charities who are successful in making an application but do not already have the support of a freeman/liveryman as a Charity Liaison Partner, will be allocated a member of our Company to liaise with them and to get to know their work.

Existing beneficiaries who continue to have the support of their Charity Liaison Partner will be eligible for consideration for a further grant on the anniversary of the previous grant provided that they have applied in due form with accounts and have reported back on the expenditure of the previous award.

Charities may be considered for grants for periods of up to six consecutive years providing the terms of the grant have been met during the first year period. Depending on the availability of funds, charities in their fourth, fifth or sixth years may also be invited to apply for a larger annual sum.

Charities will not normally be considered for funding covering more than six years in any 10.

Objects of the Makers of Playing Cards Charity

The Objects of the Charity are:
“The relief or education of any person of either sex who is or has been at any time in the manufacture of playing cards or their dependents in poor and necessitous circumstances as directed by the Master Wardens and Court of Assistants of the Worshipful Company of Makers of Playing Cards.

If and insofar as income is not required for application in accordance with the above the same may be applied for one or more of the following;

1.  For relief of need in accordance with the provisions hereinafter contained
2.  In assisting persons who have not attained the age of 25 years who are in need of financial assistance and are preparing for, entering upon or engaged in any profession, trade, occupation or service, by providing them with outfits or by paying fees, travelling or maintenance expenses, or by other means for their advancement in life or enable them, to earn their living;
3.  In otherwise promoting the education (including the social and physical training) of such persons

The Almoners are tasked with keeping in touch with our grant holders and to do this they enlist the support of members of the Company to act as Charity Partner Liaison. Grant recipients who have applied direct to the Trust may be allocated a liveryman who will liaise with the charity on behalf of the company, to foster good relations and where appropriate to report back to the Almoners on the impact achieved through the grant. Details will be set out in any grant offer letter.

To suggest charitable grant proposals, please contact the Prime Almoner:  Court Assistant Mrs Barbara Ide

To download the Charity Brochure PDF  file, please click the following button:


Donating to the Charity

All Liverymen and Freemen of the Company are expected on joining the Livery, to make regular donations to the Makers of Playing Cards Charity according to their means, as all members recognise that supporting charity is a key element of belonging to the Makers of Playing Cards Livery Company.

The Makers of Playing Cards Charity  relies both on regular and occasional donations from Liverymen and Freemen of the Company to enable the Trustees to increase its investment funds.  By this method, the donations gifted by the Members go on contributing to the growth of the Charity over many years.  The annual income from the investments together with any income from fundraising activities is then used to make grants to beneficiaries.

From time to time Members are approached to start or to review the level of their giving or start to contribute in other tax effective ways, such as gifts of shares or legacies.  Currently 62% of Members make regular contributions.

Members wishing to create a legacy in their wills to benefit the Makers of Playing Cards Charity can download information of how to do this; by clicking the following download:

The 2012-2013 Lord Mayor Alderman Roger Gifford made philanthropy in the Livery a theme for his year and has asked liverymen to consider leaving a legacy in their wills towards their company’s charitable fund.  The attached letter to our Master from the Lord Mayor describes his support for legacies and includes guidance notes on leaving a legacy and a useful form (page 4) that Liverymen can use to record their legacies with the Company.

Lord Mayor Legacy

There are many ways in which Members or non-Members may make donations to the Makers of Playing Cards Charity fund.  The various methods are described in the summary available at the following download link:

To make a donation please contact the Makers of Playing Cards Charity Secretary:
David Barrett, 256 St. Davids Square, LONDON, E14 3WE.


Useful links to Beneficiaries Websites

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    Charity Partners

With any charitable activity, reliance on regular grants is very important to the charity concerned as it allows for stability and planning.  The Makers of Playing Cards Charity has formed relationships with Charity Partners from amongst the Liverymen to provide regular support, particularly with regard to City civic organisations, bursaries for senior school students, and the funding of equipment and facilities at educational and special needs establishments both in the UK and abroad.

Makers of Playing Cards Charity News

News relating to the Makers of Playing Cards Charity can now be found on its own page. Please click the button below.

 MPCC News Link

The Makers of Playing Cards Charity, Trustees Meeting:
The meetings of the Trustees in May and October, which are dedicated to the business side of the Trust, and will discuss nominations for grants.

To share any fundraising ideas please contact the Prime Almoner, Court Assistant Mrs Barbara Ide or the Assistant Almoner, Liveryman Dave Brennan.

Latest News

You should read the terms and conditions carefully before using this website (CLICK HERE)

Mansion House Banquet,6th December 2018, photographs now available to order.


"Echoes Across the Century"

Click the image above for more information and a video on the "Echoes" project in which WCMPC have participated.

Interlivery Bridge Competition Monday 4th March 2019


See the Makers of Playing Cards Charity Trust Brochure , Information and latest News

MPCC Brochure
MPCC Information

Next Livery Dinners
Tues. 2nd April 2019 - Livery Dinner with Guests at the Grocers' Hall.
The date of this year's Banquet at the Mansion House is Thursday 5th December 2019
Please save the dates.

Court Assistant Dr.Paul Bostock has been commissioned by Bridge Magazine to write monthly articles on Playing Cards.
The articles, including  June2018, can be

viewed here

P/M Roddy Somerville has an update to  bring  another interesting item about unusual packs from the Company's Playing Card Collection

Click the picture to go to the Curator's Corner.

Links to latest items in Member's area

Member's Gallery
(Including the Burn's Night Supper Photographs)

Members News

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Master's Programme for 2018 - 2019
The Master's calendar card for the programme of events for the year can now be downloaded here.

Please note corrections and updates if any:

Download Brochure

Download the PDF Document
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