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John Lyon’s Charity launches Perspectives – advice and guidance for Arts organisations, special schools and Music Education Hubs

28th 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.

Perspectives 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.

This is just the start of the conversation – we are keen to do more and learn more from you. You can download a copy of Perspectives here or you can contact the Communications Team for a hardcopy (  If you have any comments or suggestions on how the Charity can take this work forward, please do contact us and let us know.

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!

The summary and the full report can be downloaded here. 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 and can be downloaded here.

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 £78million 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, advisors 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

How to order a copy of The Story of John Lyon’s Charity

An order form can be downloaded here. This needs to be returned to the Grants Office.

Copies can also be obtained by emailing

For further information please contact the Charity on 020 7259 1700.