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After the population has followed the guidance to stay at home and follow safe distancing measures there will be a period of change for all.

At this point in time, new measures are being put in place following governmental and professional body guidance. It is important to consider the impact any lockdown measures may have on families and children and subsequently to explore potential changes to working practices to support the best outcomes for organisations and their subsequent work with children, families and the community.

It may be a good time to review working practices to ensure they are fit for purpose, appropriate to circumstances and make best use of time and resources. It is important that all organisations are open-minded about how to develop, adapt and create new opportunities for engagement in the Arts and the role that Arts and Culture may play in the future.

Click here to read ‘Working Practices Guidance Autumn 2020’ brought to you by John Lyon’s Charity.


Young People’s Foundations: Cross-sector collaboration to build better futures (John Lyon’s Charity, 2020)

A Young People’s Foundation (YPF) is a member-led charity comprised of organisations that work with children and young people in a local area including public, private and voluntary sector.

This leaflet was used at the launch of the YPF Trust by John Lyon’s Charity.  The YPF Trust is a national body that coordinates the work of the individual YPFs and maintains the integrity of the YPF model. It outlines the values, components and delivery of Young People’s Foundations.

Click here to read the YPF Leaflet

 Stand up for SEND

(John Lyon’s Charity, 2019)

John Lyon’s Charity has been a long- term supporter of Arts activities for young people with special needs and disabilities (SEND).

Over the years, the Charity has seen huge variances in both the quantity and quality
of activities on offer for young people with SEND and how vital the support of both parents and schools can be.

Using its networks across the Arts, SEND schools, Music Hubs and funding sectors, John Lyon’s Charity has challenged these groups to think about how they work together to benefit young people with SEND.

Click here to read the Stand up for SEND leaflet

Annual Report 2019: Funding Charities, Realising Dreams
(John Lyon’s Charity, 2019)

John Lyon’s Charity believes that there is life-changing value in investing in children and young people, in the place where they live.  As a place-based funder, we have been in the privileged position to fund, support and champion our grantee organisations, as well as the young people accessing their services, since 1991.  This longevity of funding forms a stable foundation from which grantees can develop their services and thrive, enabling them to provide consistent support and aspirational opportunities to the children and young people they work with.

The Annual Report 2019 endeavours to provide insight into the work of ten of the Charity’s grantee organisations, through the stories and voices of young people who have benefitted from their services; gaining newfound confidence, experiences and support networks that have led to success – in whatever way they define it.

Click here to read the Annual Report 2019 – Lower Res 4.5MB
Click here to read the Annual Report 2019 – Full size 54MB

 Support, Provide, Champion: Impact Report 2009-2018 (IVAR, 2019)

In early 2019, John Lyon’s Charity commissioned the Institute for Voluntary Action Research (IVAR) to look at the Charity’s grant-making over the past 25 years.  Using the last ten years as a focused study, we asked IVAR to use this information to consider what impact the Charity has had in the Beneficial Area over that period.  Using five of the Charity’s key Programme Areas:

  • Children & Families
  • Youth Clubs & Youth Activities
  • Emotional Wellbeing
  • Special Needs & Disability
  • Education & Learning

The report sets out the impact of the Charity’s funding throughout the Beneficial Area.  It looks at the context within which the Charity and its beneficiaries have been operating, and using interviews with 45 grantee organisations, our staff members and case studies, examines the impact of the Charity in each area.  In doing so, IVAR has compiled recommendations from the voices of our grantees to help inform the Charity’s strategy over the next 5-10 years.

Click here to read the full Impact Report

Press Pack (John Lyon’s Charity, 2019)

For any press enquiries, please refer to the press pack for:

  • John Lyon’s Charity: Why? What? When? How?
  • Spokespeople
  • Key Statistics
  • Testimonials
  • Publications & Contact

Click here to open the press pack

Change of Perspectives: Arts partnerships for young people with SEND (John Lyon’s Charity, 2019)

Perspectives (2016) aimed to provide guidance to support the sector to be brave, ambitious and help them share expertise to create new and stronger Arts partnerships for the children and young people of North and West London with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Three years on, the Charity once again engaged its Arts Adviser, Jean Carter, who has a wealth of experience in the sector, to research systematic and attitudinal change within the Charity’s Beneficial Area since the original Perspectives report. The resultant report, Change of Perspectives, offers experiences of change, best practice and issues still impeding the progress of the sector from the perspectives of those who understand it best: Arts organisations, special schools, music hubs/services and funders.

Click here to read the full report

 Annual Report 2018: Celebrating £100 million of grant spend since 1991 (John Lyon’s Charity, 2018)

Since 1991, John Lyon’s Charity has distributed over £100 million in grants to support children and young people through our nine principle Programme Areas. In addition to looking at 2017/18, this Annual Report provides insight into each Programme Area, featuring some of the key grassroots organisations that are so essential to their communities and the young people within them.

Cathryn Pender, Grants Director, also provides an overview of the last twenty five years of the Charity’s grant making in her article The Road to Now (pages 4-5). Click here to read the full report.

 More, better, together: A strategic review of giving in London (Centre for London, 2018)

‘John Lyon’s Charity in particular has seeded local membership organisations known as Young People’s Foundations across seven of the boroughs in which it works. These aim to bid collectively for funding, and distribute money and capacity-buildling support on the basis of open dialogue with members.’ Page 60

Centre for London’s strategic review of philanthropy in the Capital also features John Lyon’s Charity in relation to the Grenfell Tower response: CYP Funder Coalition and featuring the Young People’s Foundations as a successful model of collaborative practice to support youth services (pages 57-60) and better co-ordinate support for the sector from smaller businesses (page 96).

Click here to read the full report

Civil Society Statement (DCMS, 2018)

‘The Government recognises that despite the pressures on public sector finances, new thinking has
emerged supporting innovation, new partnerships and collaboration, spanning public, private and civil
society partners. One model is local Young People’s Foundations, where imaginative local trusts, such
as John Lyon’s Charity, local government, business and the independent youth sector, have come
together to develop new partnerships and services for young people.’

– Civil Society Strategy: building a future that works for everyone. DCMS 2018

In August 2018, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport published its Civil Society Strategy, setting out its proposals for how it should interact with the wider charitable sector. John Lyon’s Charity’s work features twice: Firstly on pages 35 and 36, the Charity’s Grenfell response was profiled in a case study; secondly, on pages 41 and 42, in which the Young People’s Foundations are identified as a solution to local youth service delivery.

Click here to read the full report

The possible, not the perfect: Learning from funder responses to emergencies (IVAR, 2018)

Conducted by the Institute of Voluntary Action Research (IVAR), this report considers funder responses to, and learning from, three major emergencies that hit the UK in 2017: the Manchester Arena bombing, the London Bridge terror attack and the Grenfell Tower Disaster.

The Charity features throughout as part of the Grenfell Tower Response: CYP Funder Coalition. Click here to read the full report.

 Annual Report 2017 Cultivating Change: Enabling Ideas to Flourish (John Lyon’s Charity, 2017)

In our 2017 Annual Report, we celebrate the contribution that the Charity has made above solely ‘grant-giving’ to the development of a number of key projects and initiatives within the Charity’s Beneficial Area. Featuring: English National Ballet, Primary Shakespeare Company, quality marking with the NRCSE and London Youth, Young People’s Foundations and Schools Counselling Partnership. Each of these organisations has enthusiastically embraced the expertise offered by the Charity and this true partnership approach has has led to the development of innovative, ground-breaking, high-quality projects for children and young people.

Click here to read the full report

 £100 Million (John Lyon’s Charity, 2017)

This book is the Charity’s celebration of awarding over £100 million in grants since 1991. It features 100 projects to celebrate the £100 million milestone with vivid, colourful imagery of the breadth and quality of work with children and young people across our Beneficial Area.

The £100M book was released during our celebration event, hosted at Westminster Abbey on 27th September 2017.

Click here to read the £100 million book


 Working in Place: A framework for place-based approaches
(IVAR, 2016)

The Institute of Voluntary Action Research (IVAR) has conducted research into place-based funding approaches, featuring John Lyon’s Charity, Association of Charitable Foundations (ACF), Big Lottery Fund, City Bridge Trust, Comic Relief, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Lankelly Chase Foundation, Tudor Trust and UK Community Foundations.

Click here to read the full report

John Lyon’s Charity: Perspectives – advice and guidance for Arts organisations, special schools and music education hubs (June 2016)

We are pleased to announce the launch of Perspectives, a report that collates the responses of Arts organisations, special schools and music education hubs to questions on what makes good and effective partnerships.  The research and report was produced for John Lyon’s Charity by the Charity’s Adviser, Jean Carter.  Jean has many years’ experience working in the Arts sector, most recently as the head of the Tri-Borough Music Hub until 2014.

The report outlines – in the words of those working in each of the different sectors – what factors matter to them most in delivering Arts projects: what their priorities are, what they perceive the barriers to be and what they see as the main roles of the different members of the partnerships.  It is designed to inform those working in the area and to give confidence to those who have not yet engaged in the process.

was launched on Tuesday, 28 June 2016 at Lyric Hammersmith.  The event was attended by over 70 representatives of Arts organisations, special schools and Music Education Hubs in the Charity’s Beneficial Area.  There were also representatives from other funders interested in working in this field. Click here to read the full report.

Invest in Quality: an evaluation of London Youth’s Quality Mark

On 25th November 2015, London Youth launched an evaluation report into its Quality Mark scheme in an event held at Tallow Chandlers’ Hall. The report by Shephard & Moyes was funded by John Lyon’s Charity, who have supported the Quality Mark accreditation for youth organisations in the Charity’s Beneficial Area since 2011. The report evaluates the accreditation process and the impact that the Quality Mark has on groups and sets out actions for London Youth to ensure the Quality Mark can maximise the benefits it offers. 86% of youth clubs said that they now have a robust, regularly reviewed set of policies in place as a result of their Quality Mark certification, and 64% agree that possessing the Quality Mark helped them secure funding and increased their influence on local stakeholders.

susan-whiddingtonSusan Whiddington, Chair of the Grants Committee of John Lyon’s Charity, comments:

“A tool such as the Quality Mark, which meets the needs of youth clubs and youth work providers at a time when resources are increasingly scarce, is critical. John Lyon’s Charity is proud to lead the way and hopes that other funders will recognise the rigour and hard work that youth clubs undertake to achieve the qualification, and the significance it holds as a trusted badge of excellence.”

The evaluation report affirms what we at JLC have long believed: that the Quality Mark helps ensure good youth work!

Click to read the summary and the full report. More information can be found on the Quality Mark webpage or under our Capacity Building inititives.

Saturdays for success: how supplementary education can support pupils from all backgrounds to flourish

On 17th September 2015, the Institute for Public Policy Research published its latest research into supplementary schools and important role they can play in supporting the mainstream school sector.  Mainstream schools can benefit in a number of ways from the work of community-led educational programmes and this report makes recommendations for how pupils, schools and communities can gain from the rich, extracurricular learning environments that these ‘supplementary schools’ offer. The report was funded by John Lyon’s Charity.

Click here to read the full report. More information on the Charity’s work with supplementary schools can be found here.

John Lyon’s Charity publishes A Long and Winding Road – The Story of John Lyon’s Charity May 2013

441 years ago John Lyon’s Charity was established to spread gravel to maintain the Edgware and the Harrow Roads. As a grant-giving trust, we celebrated our 21st year of grant-giving in 2013. To date we have distributed over £78 million to charitable causes.

A Long and Winding Road – The History of John Lyon’s Charity records the intriguing story of how, as a result of the Founder of Harrow School giving its Governors the responsibility for laying gravel to repair these roads, the foundations for a modern grant-giving trust with assets now worth in excess of £300million were laid. There are disputes in the courts and issues with the Charity Commission, culminating in ten years of tortuous and frustrating negotiation to change the purposes of the Charity.

The book was written by Nick Owen, the Harrow School governor with primary responsibility for the Charity through its transforming years. It includes extensive features of recent grant programmes with contributions from the Charity’s staff, advisers and those directly involved with the recipient charities and boroughs.

“I set out to write a story, not a history, and to track the Charity through all of its 441 years in the context of the social, educational and political events and customs of the time. As a former Governor myself, I am astonished at how the Charity has blossomed under the light touch of its trustees. It was indeed fortunate to be left what became the most valuable of the Founder’s investments and to find the right time to start on its new objectives.” Nick Owen

If you would like to order a copy of the book, please email