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 typical grants are of £500 or £1,000. It makes grants to charitable institutions only and does not give grants to individuals. The Trustees are keen to support smaller charities with an annual income of less than £1million per year.

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

Your application should be no longer than one side of A4, setting out on what you would spend a grant if it were of £500 or of £1,000, explaining briefly how the work for which you seek funds meets the Trust’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, Edward Copisarow, at Unless agreed otherwise in advance of submission, all applications should be sent by email.

Your application will initially be assessed by the Assistant Almoner.  If it is considered to be ineligible for funding you will be notified by the Assistant Almoner.  Otherwise you will hear nothing until the application has been considered by the Trustees, upon which you will receive either an email or a letter to inform you that your application has not been successful or an offer letter setting out the terms of the grant and enclosing a cheque for the sum granted.

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

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:  Edward Copisarow Esq.

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.

To share any fundraising ideas please contact the Prime Almoner, Edward Copisarow Esq or the Assistant Almoner, Liveryman Mrs Mavis Warner.

Cutler Trust Grants made to Beneficiaries

The Trustees have completed their allocation of grants for the past year in accordance with the Charity's objectives, namely the relief of need, hardship and distress, especially among children and to provide assistance to deserving students under 25 for their education.

Grants totalling a record amount of £41,500 have been allocated as follows:

Beneficiary Group
Amount Awarded
Children's Needs (1) £14,600
Educational Bursaries (2) £10,300
Hardship & General Need (3) £7,650
City related Charities, including
the Lord Mayor's Charity
Master's discretion £1,500
Grants for the production of Playing
Cards by Charities
Total Grants £41,500

1) The Children's Needs figure includes £4,000 specifically to hospices, £3,300 to enable some underprivileged primary school children in a deprived area to join a trip to the world war battlefields, and £3000 to the Treloar Trust.

2) The Educational Bursaries are to specific pupils at King Edwards School, Witley, Reeds School (both of which are City Foundation schools), The Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and the Central School of Ballet. In addition this year a bursary has been given to the City academy in Southwark in memory of a Past Master.

3) Most of the Hardship and general need has been given to charities in which Liverymen are involved and grants have been allocated to enable playing cards to be produced to help charities publicise their work.

    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, Edward Copisarow Esq or the Assistant Almoner, Liveryman Mrs Mavis Warner.

Latest News

2017 Interlivery Bridge Competition 6th March


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

MPCC Brochure
MPCC Information

Next Livery Dinners

6th April 2017 - Livery Dinner with Guests at the Skinners' Hall.
Please save the dates.

Court Assistant Dr.Paul Bostock has been commissioned by Bridge Magazine to write 12 monthly articles on Playing Cards.
The articles, including April 2017, can be

viewed here

P/M Roddy Somerville has a new page to bring interesting items 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 2016 - 2017
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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