Who We Are

Meet our Founders

The Clothworkers' Foundation was founded by The Clothworkers’ Company in 1977. Today, The Company is a membership organisation that aims to use its position and wealth to support British textiles, champion trusteeship, and invest in social good and philanthropy – following the initial endowment, The Company transfers more than £2 million in surplus funds to The Foundation each year.

The Clothworkers' Company has a long history of charitable giving, going back almost 500 years when one of the functions of The Company was to support members who had fallen on hard times. In the 1500s, to fulfil the longstanding object of ‘relief of poverty’, The Company began to pay pensions to members in financial difficulty and, by 1540, it maintained alms houses in locations including the City of London and Islington. The Company has also worked to improve the lives of blind and visually impaired people for at least 300 years. Over the centuries, as The Company’s wealth increased, and it started to help non-members, but it was not until 1977 that The Company created and endowed The Clothworkers’ Foundation as its primary channel for philanthropy.


 

Meet the Team

Chief Executive: Jocelyn Stuart-Grumbar

Director of Finance, Property and Investments: Hamesh Patel

Foundation Director: Jenny North

  • Learning and Development Manager: Patrick O'Kelly
  • Grants Manager: Laura Street
  • Grants Officer: Ayesha Tariq
  • Grants Officer: Nelly Koko-Konan
  • Grants Officer: Jack Abbotts
  • Grants Assistant: Catherine Godack

All staff are employed by Ramteazle Limited (a wholly owned subsidiary of The Clothworkers' Company) and are engaged under a service agreement together with staff of The Clothworkers' Company; staff of both The Foundation and Company work together to support the mission of The Clothworkers' Foundation.


 

Meet the Board of Trustees

Dr Lucy Rawson (Chair)

Lucy chairs The Clothworkers’ Foundation and has been a trustee since 2014. Previously, she was closely involved in the proactive autism programme. She has been a GP principal at Brockwood Medical Practice since 1994 and is a GP trainer and appraiser. Her practice covers 100 square miles of rural Surrey, with 13,000 patients from diverse backgrounds, including 250 asylum seekers. She is the practice lead for mental health, child health, learning disability and safeguarding, and sits on the locality Primary Care Network. She is deeply committed to supporting people facing the greatest disadvantage and discrimination in our society.


 

Hanif Virji (Deputy Chair)

Hanif started working in the City in investment banking at various financial institutions, including Lazard Brothers and JP Morgan. He now acts as a financial services expert in litigation. Hanif gained a first-class degree in Physics from the University of Bristol, where he continued with research in theoretical solid-state Physics. He is married with two children. He has wide-ranging interests from photography to electronics, reading to fitness. In addition to serving as the Deputy Chairman of The Clothworkers’ Foundation, his is also a member of the Court of Assistants of The Clothworkers’ Company.


Andrew Blessley Photo

 

Andrew Blessley

Andrew has been a trustee since 2015, when he retired as Chief Executive of The Clothworkers' Foundation. A banker by background, he has been involved with the not-for-profit sector for many years. Andrew is a former trustee of such charities as Prostate Cancer UK, the NatWest Group Charitable Trust, Vision Foundation, BlindAid, and a regional committee member of the Heritage Lottery Fund. He is currently also on the board of another grant-making charity, South Square Trust, and the Holly Lodge Centre, which delivers educational programmes for young people with disabilities.


 

Denis Clough

After a degree in Economics in the early 1980s, Denis spent most of his working career as a fund manager investing in Japanese equities, and most of that time working at Schroders (which included a few years in Tokyo). He is passionate about wine; as a result, after leaving Schroders, he spent a couple of years working in a small local wine business based in Suffolk. This was very enjoyable and improved his wine knowledge significantly, but was not a great business success. In 2010, he moved back to working as a Japanese equity fund manager at a small firm called Morant Wright. Denis is married with three grown children – and now has time to indulge his enthusiasm for sports. His wife might call him obsessed with tennis. He is also involved with local societies and charities in Hertfordshire where he lives, including a church restoration fund and, of course, the local tennis club.


 

Chloe Holness

Chloe has 10 years’ experience developing programmes to support communities in the third and public sector. She has particular expertise working to support young people the furthest from opportunity, as she has led teams at two national youth charities. Chloe currently works at the London Violence Reduction Unit leading on youth work policy and programmes. Away from work, she also volunteers as an Independent Visitor for Action for Children. 


 

Charlie Hutchins

Charlie has been a trustee of The Clothworkers' Foundation since 2019. Professionally, he works in executive search, where he focuses on leadership and talent development across the hedge fund sector globally. He is most interested in groups that support neurodiversity and inclusion as well as men’s mental health charities. Outside of this, his hobbies are wide ranging so long as they involve a ball of some kind.

 


 

Emma Ingham Clark

Emma joined The Clothworkers’ Foundation as a trustee in 2020. She is passionate about partnering with public sector and charitable organisations to drive impactful and lasting change. Emma is a Management Consultant by profession, specialising in Business Transformation for Public Safety agencies. She began her career at Accenture, following varied international experience in the Middle East, working with NGOs. Emma is based in London and holds a degree in Politics and Arabic from the University of Cambridge.


 

Michael Jarvis

A former Chair of The Foundation, Michael is a member of the Court of The Clothworkers’ Company and occupies an ex officio role on The Foundation board. His professional background was in forensic accountancy. Michael's particular interests in education and the arts and follows The Foundation’s Dramatic Arts Proactiv Initiative closely. He held a part-time position as Finance Director of The Rambert School of Dance and is a keen supporter of Chickenshed theatre company in north London. He has long been a UK trustee of pioneering multiracial school Waterford Kamhlaba in Eswatini, where he spent a year as a volunteer teacher in 1970.

 


 

Susanna O'Leary

Susanna is a solicitor in the Property Department at Farrer & Co, having trained and previously worked at Allen & Overy. She is a member of The Clothworkers’ Company Court of Assistants and became a trustee of The Foundation in 2018. She is currently Chair of the Small Grants Committee and also sits on the Proactive Grants Committee. She has a particular interest in the Care Leavers and Better Futures Proactive Initiatives and is excited by what these have achieved so far. Susanna is also very keen to make sure that smaller grassroots charities are able to access grants from The Foundation. 


 

Ola Opoosun

Ola is an accomplished senior manager with more than 21 years’ experience within the charity sector, specialising in managing programmes, service delivery, grant management, and partnership service development. She is the interim Project/Grant Lead for The London Community Foundation. Ola was formerly the Head of Services and Grants at the Bank Workers Charity and spent more than a decade at the Terrence Higgins Trust, first as a casework supervisor, then Head of Advice Services and finally Head of the Hardship Fund. She was previously a trustee for Hackney CVS.


 

Neel Patani

Neel has been a Trustee of The Clothworkers’ Foundation since September 2020. He has over 10 years’ experience in the Finance industry with leading investment banks, including RBS, Nomura and MUFG. He previously served as Chairman of the City-based voluntary organisation, City Hindus Network, organising networking events for Hindu professionals, raising funds for charitable purposes and commenting on topical issues in print and broadcast media. He was recently Co-Chair of Mosaic, an employee network at his current employer, MUFG Securities plc, championing a number of diversity initiatives such as the Ethnicity Pay Gap Reporting and the Race at Work Charter. In his spare time, Neel enjoys playing squash, exploring Hertfordshire on his bicycle and taking his son to swimming lessons.


 

Dhruv Patel 

Dhruv is a Livery member of The Clothworkers' Company. He is a businessman with interests in Property, Retail Pharmacy and Insurance. Other roles he has held within the Charity Sector include: Trustee of The Lord Mayor's 800th Anniversary Awards Trust (2015-2019), Council Member of The Heart of the City (2019-2021), Chairman of the City Bridge Trust (2019-2021) and Deputy Chairman of Bridge House Estates (2021). Dhruv was awarded an OBE for voluntary service to the British Hindu community and to Social Cohesion in the Queen's Birthday Honours 2018.

 


 

Philip Francis Portal

Philip joined The Clothworkers' Company in 1978, was elected to its Court of Assistants in 2010 and is serving as its Master (2021-2022). He first served on its Grants and Small Grants Committees. He became a trustee of The Clothworkers' Foundation in 2020. He is a former Samaritan volunteer and is a trustee for CALM (Campaign against Living Miserably). His other key focus is on global giving – to causes in the developing world. He was educated at Radley College and graduated in Politics (Hons) from Durham university. Philip's business, founded in 1984, helps families with their personal finances. He is married with three adult boys.


 

Tom Stoddart-Scott

Tom became a Qualified Chartered Surveyor in 2003. He worked for Cluttons, GVA Saxon Law and Hanover Private Office specialising in UK and Central London commercial property investment and development. In 2012, he became the property director for Armila Capital and London Resort Company Holdings for Middle Eastern shareholders. Since 2013, Tom has served as a trustee of the Harrow Club, a charity that operates six youth clubs in West London and delivers youth work and other specialist interventions to 500 young people each week. Tom was educated at Harrow School and Reading University (BSc Land Management).

 

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