City of London Lord Mayor Alan Yarrow reveals his charity plans

Alan Yarrow
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Alan Yarrow, the 687th Lord Mayor of the City of London and his wife Gilly

New Lord Mayor of the City of London Alan Yarrow has set his sights on raising funds for Mencap and Scope – two charities close to his heart.

I am honoured to be The Lord Mayor of the City of London. Amongst a raft of business and civic duties, my wife Gilly and I are committed to my Lord Mayor’s Appeal, which is supporting Mencap and Scope, as well as three UK Arts organizations. The cause is a personal one. We know, from experience, the importance of support for families and carers of people with a learning disability or physical impairment. Mencap and Scope make an immense contribution to family wellbeing, which is critical to the development of a disabled child. These charities have been so important to us, and we want to help others to access the same help and opportunities.
Our eldest son Max was born in 1981. Following a difficult birth, it became apparent that he was not developing at the right phases and had a learning disability. Gilly gave up her job as a teacher in order to support Max’s personal development – a path made all the smoother by support from Mencap and Scope.
Like any couple whose son or daughter is born with a learning disability or physical impairment, Gilly and I found our lives taken in an unexpected and often challenging direction. We were so fortunate that Scope and Mencap were there for Max – and for us as a family. This Appeal is our way of supporting others in return. All families in a similar situation want the same thing. We want to ensure our children have everything they need to fulfil their potential. Charities like Mencap and Scope work hard to make the world a place where disabled people can participate fully. They are lifelines for people with a learning or physical disability, and for their families.
As a vice president of Mencap, and a beneficiary of its services, I am more familiar than most with the facts. Every 10 minutes, a family learns that their child is disabled. Why do these families so often feel marginalized when their experience is so mainstream? It’s in all our interests to understand additional needs, and support those living with them. We are all part of society so we should support every part of it.
The theme for my Mayoralty is: “Creating Wealth, Giving Time and Supporting People”. Six, simple words which reflect the timeless role and responsibility of the City of London: creating and investing in rich pools of both human and financial capital; providing a wealth of time and resource; encouraging talent and opportunity.
My Appeal will raise funds and awareness for its selected charities through a packed programme of exciting events. From gala dinners in the Guildhall, to fashion shows at the Mansion House, to a golf day at Royal Wimbledon Golf Club. In addition to supporting two world–leading disability charities, part of the Appeal’s proceeds will go to three organizations which are an important part of the UK’s pre– eminence in Arts and creative industries: The Royal Ballet School, the City and Guilds of London Art School, and The Royal Academy of Arts. They also play a key role in supporting social mobility, building ambition and encouraging the pursuit of excellence.
We in the City of London are so proud of our uniquely rich and diverse talent pool. We want to invest in our communities for the future – and we want to support success for every part of our society.


For many decades the annual Lord Mayor’s Appeal of the City of London has raised millions of pounds for the charities. The Appeal’s purpose is to be an illustration of the philanthropy the Square Mile has to offer. Each year highlights the inspirational and transformational ability of those involved.


The funds raised during this year’s Appeal will enable Scope and Mencap to further develop two exciting flagship programmes. Scope will create the Scope Family Fund for parents of disabled children. Mencap will develop a helpline and advocacy service, able to provide essential support to families and carers.


Mencap works to support the 1.4m people with a learning disability in the UK, and their families and carers by fighting to change laws, improve services and access to education, employment and leisure facilities. Mencap supports thousands of people with a learning disability to live their lives the way they want.
Richard Yorke, Director of Fundraising at Mencap, said:
“There are 1.4m people with a learning disability in the UK. There are almost a million family members caring for someone with a learning disability. We know that 8 out of 10 families that include someone with severe or profound learning disabilities talk about feeling isolated and exhausted.
“We need to increase our capacity to support people to fully understand their choices and empower them through helping them access information, advice and support to improve the quality of their lives. With the generous support of the Lord Mayor’s Appeal, we can make a start.”
Thomas Bachofner, whose young daughter Rosie has a learning disability, and participated on the float said: “Having a learning disability doesn’t mean there can be no quality of life and people need to know it’s not the end of the world. That is why having support is so important. My family joined in the Lord Mayor’s parade to showcase to the families of people with a learning disability that there is support out there and raise awareness of how important it is to continue to fight for what we deserve.”


Scope exists to make this country a place where disabled people have the same opportunities as everyone else. They provide support, information and advice to more than a quarter of a million disabled people and their families every year.
Scope supports families of disabled children in many ways:
  • Through a nationwide Face 2 Face network, which connects parents with disabled children for emotional and practical support.
  • A free national helpline for disabled people and their families who are in need of information and support.
  • An online community for people connected by disability that provides expert adv ice, tips and forums for parents and disabled people.
  • Sleep Solutions, a tailored service that helps support families of disabled children and those with additional needs, aged between two and 19, who have severe sleep problems. Support includes workshops, clinic appointments and home visits where appropriate, as well as vital telephone and email support.
Alan Gosschalk, Director of Fundraising at Scope, said: “Life can be really tough for families with disabled children. They face many challenges and often find it hard to get the right support. Scope provides information, advice and support to more than a quarter of a million disabled people and their families every year.
“The Lord Mayor’s Appeal will support the Scope Family Fund for parents of disabled children, enabling us to support as many families and disabled children as possible.”


Bell Pottinger
James Henderson, CEO
Tel: +44 20 3772 2700
Tom Buchanan, executive
Tel: +44 20 3772 2716
City Of London
Greg Williams
020 7332 1455
Jonathan Caleb-Landy
Tel: +44 207 696 6937
Pasca Lane, head of PR
Tel: +44 207 619 7201
For the full World Charity Index 2014 list take a look at our interactive graphic

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