Royal Charter Appeal


Pieces by Abigail Butler and Oliver Goldie

Pieces by Abigail Butler and Oliver Goldie


In 2014 we successfully raised £10,000 to provide much needed grants for people from the furnishing industry at times of need. This made a great impact on our welfare work and so in 2015  we wanted to do the same for our fast growing education programme.

So we launched a new education initiative, the Royal Charter Scholarship Fund, to commemorate our Company being awarded a Royal Charter and to support promising young graduates, preparing them to become the future leaders, craftsman and innovators of this rewarding industry.

With the ever increasing cost of tuition fees, scholarships and bursaries are needed and appreciated more than ever. A scholarship can make a huge difference to the recipient and in many cases enable a student, who otherwise would not have the chance, to continue their education.

The fund will provide a scholarship to a minimum of four post graduate students each year.

We needed to raise £20,000 to establish the Royal Charter Scholarship Fund and we are delighted to announce that over £21,000 has been raised through the appeal.

The four beneficiaries this year, together with their sponsor comments and their own responses, are :-

Oliver Goldie, MA Furniture, The Cass Faculty of Art, London Met University

Oliver Goldie, is a bright and diligent student who has shown that he is willing to put hard work into his studies.  He is interested in the design element of his course and his ambition is to work in the design studio within the furniture trade. The bursary will enable him to buy the tools and materials needed to complete pieces to a professional standard and quality.

“I’m extremely grateful for this opportunity. I feel I will hugely benefit from this bursary both in my learning through this course and later in my career, especially with the chance of being part of a mentoring scheme.”


Charles Richards, MA Design Products, RCA

Charles is a second year student on the Design Products programme which focuses on creativity for purpose – educating students to be design-thinkers who address real world challenges through balancing high levels of creativity and technical capability.


“The financial help will be of huge assistance to my time here and used solely for material costs. It will also be a great opportunity to take up the offer for mentorship.”

Abigail Butler, MA Furniture, The Cass Faculty of Art, London Met University

Abigail Butler is an energetic and ambitious student whose interests include, but reach beyond, design and making.  She is particularly interested in how the trade works in terms of procurement supply and management and she has already been partnered with a mentor – Cynthia Wilkinson, Managing Director of Mark Wilkinson Furniture.


“I am very grateful to the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers and to London Metropolitan University for all their support and will be, far into the future. I hope that one day I will be in the position to support younger designers and furniture makers in the way that I have been supported.”



James Batstone, MA/MSc Innovation Design Engineering, RCA / Imperial College

James is currently focusing on furniture projects and learn more about process and form for his joint MA/MSc, a former financial analyst James is now in his second year of the course and is enjoying it immensely. He is passionate about developing both in his craft and developing innovative and useful designs.


I want to use traditional techniques in new ways and explore the potential of creating furniture that can make crafted pieces more widely available. In the longer term I want to turn my ideas in to a commercial reality and so the opportunity to connect with people who can help me set up a means of distribution directly or indirectly would be very useful.”

In addition to a scholarship bursary the new Furniture Makers’ Royal Charter Scholars will enjoy: membership of the Young Furniture Makers; automatic long listing for the annual Young Furniture Makers’ exhibition; priority booking on the Young Professional Industry Experience scheme; and dedicated support and mentoring from a matched professional within the industry

We would like to thank the many generous supporters who helped reach this target including all our Education Champions listed on the right.