In a year when the double dip recession hit the taxi trade hard, the London Taxidrivers’ Charity for Children has, with our supporters help, gone from strength to strength. The trustees of this Fund work hard and diligently for no financial remuneration, enabling us not only to keep our reputation as being the best, but also ensuring that for every pound we receive, 98p goes towards assisting London’s disabled and disadvantaged children.
Our year started in December 2011 where we were once again invited to take some children to Clarence House for lunch and to decorate the Christmas tree. The Fund’s Patron, HRH the Duchess of Cornwall, had a good rapport with the disabled children who we took from the Jack Taylor School, this school being renamed after our past Chairman. What a wonderful day we had and the smiles on the children’s faces said it all.
Also in December 2011 we held another Concert at St John’s, Smith Square. It was an excellent evening with performances by the London Charity Orchestra conducted by William Carslake, Soloist Simon Kodurand and the New London Children’s Choir amongst others. During the evening, many wonderful pieces were played including a new composition by a taxi driver from San Francisco who had contacted the Fund via our website. There were many surprises that night, including trustee Michael Son taking over the baton and conducting the Liberty Bell complete with ‘L’ plates! A good time was had by all and I would like to thank all those involved for making it the success it was.
In January 2012 we held our annual Mad Hatter’s tea party at The Grosvenor House, a JW Marriott Hotel, for 600 disabled and underprivileged children. This part is a mind-boggling event and the children lucky enough to attend never forget this day. I’d like to thank all the trustees, wives, partners, family and friends, the celebrities, the entertainers, face painters, toy suppliers, donors and the many people who make this event so special. I also give a huge thank you to the hotel management and their staff for their continued support, as without them we would not be able to stage the event.
In June of this year I had the great pleasure, alongside my husband Gerald and fellow trustee Michael Son with his wife Maxine, to attend one of Her Majesty’s garden parties at Buckingham Palace. In attendance was Her Majesty the Queen, HRH the Duke of Edinburgh and HRH the Princess Royal. The sun shone, their Highnesses were at their best and a tremendous day was had by all.
Also in June was our annual Southend-on-Sea outing. I had the honour there to present Mr Michael Henderson-Begg CC – retiring clerk to the Worshipful Company of Tin Plate Workers & Wire Workers – with honorary membership of The London Taxidrivers’ Charity for Children. The Worshipful Company have for a long time been supporters of this Fund and we look forward to a continuing partnership. The children on the outing had a marvellous time and we thank all the drivers, helpers and sponsors and everyone who made the day possible.
In June trustees attended the closing down part of the Jack Taylor School. This school for the disabled has a long association with the Fund and is now relocated to the new Swiss Cottage Academy.
In August, trustees and their partners visited Helen and Douglas House, a Children’s Hospice, to present toys and goodwill to the children and we thank them for their hospitality. The day was pleasurable and gave us a little knowledge into the workings of a hospice.
In September we were invited to the Pearly Kings and Queens Harvest Festival at The Guildhall, followed by a service at St Mary-le-Bow Church. It’s good to see this tradition of London promoted and we send our thanks to Doreen Golding and the Pearly Kings and Queens for their support of the LTFUC. The day was a great fund raiser and promoted this charity to a wider audience and I would like to thank the trustees and their wives who attended that day.
Also during the year, talks were given to various clubs and Women’s Institutes about this charity and I would like to thank the trustees and their wives who gave these entertaining and humorous and sometimes heart rending speeches about the Fund.
I’d also like to thank the Fund’s trustees and their wives and partners for their hard work and their continued support during a particularly difficult year, with a special thank you to my hubby Gerald.
Last but not least, I would like to pay our respects and give a moment of reflection to those who have sadly passed away this year…
Hon Chair, LTFUC