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Livery Companies

No Going Back is an initiative of The City of London’s Livery Companies who both fund and provide support and jobs.  But what exactly are the Livery Companies?

There are currently 110 Livery Companies in the City of London, all of which evolved from London’s medieval guilds when most companies had a guild or a ‘meeting hole’. Many of these old halls were lost in the Great London Fire of 1666 and during World War II. But, 39 out of 110 companies still remain in their historical buildings.

Livery Companies offered mutual support to their members and set the standards for their trade. Almost all of them are styled the ‘Worshipful Company of…’ their respective craft, trade or profession, and now as well as the traditional ones there are many new modern ones.

Today, the purpose of Livery Companies has changed.   Whilst important goals today include education, fellowship and networking opportunities, it is philanthropy that plays a major part in their role as they give over £75m a year.  A considerable amount of their money is given to education which makes a massive impact on the next generation of professionals and some may say that Livery Companies are even more important today than ever in light of the huge societal need.

In recent years, the Livery has been keen to modernise and communicate the range of services that they provide. They also realised that many Livery Companies donate to similar organisations and that they might have more impact by co-ordinating an element of their giving. This process led to the birth of the Pan-Livery initiative where a number of Livery companies come together to fund projects. Because so many companies were already supporting people in contact with the criminal justice system,  “reducing reoffending” was chosen as one part of their philanthropic focus.  From this, No Going Back was born and over 40 Livery Companies have been involved in the programme.

Find out more about the Livery Companies tradition of philantropic giving here.

Livery Company Crests

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