This spans the retired living in sheltered accommodation to the Print Futures Awards winners and includes those receiving welfare grants or back to work support. In all 724 people were helped in this way Jon Wright, the charity’s chairman, told guests at its 191st annual luncheon last week.
“We are often the very friendly voice at the end of the telephone,” he explained, “Nine-hundred-and-six have been offered grants, a third up on 2016. There have been 500 educational education initiatives, including 91winners of the Print Futures, 70% of them women. We are targeting 100 winners this year.
“We are very relevant to our sector: Katherine was referred to us because she had had no heating for two years and the electricity in her house was dangerous. We provided money to install a new boiler and wiring which has made a huge difference to the quality of her life.”
Among the guests was Keith McDowall, husband to Brenda Dean, the charity’s previous president who died weeks after giving the president’s address at Stationers’ Hall last year.
She was remembered and Wright played tribute to her engagement with both young and old in working for the charity. Financial Times editor Lionel Barber stepped into the post and will continue as president for a second year, falling in the footsteps, he said, of “Dickens, Disraeli and the Duke of Edinburgh, some elected – some not. I stand on the shoulders of giants.”
He recalled his progress in journalism from Oxford to Scotland and to Fleet Street where he has overseen the transition of the FT from a successful newspaper selling four times as many papers as it had online subscribers into a global news brand with four times as many digital subscribers as those purchasing the printed newspaper.
“At a time when the print industry faces diverse and important challenges. The Printing Charity does crucial work in both protecting the industry’s heritage and supporting its future.
“I am delighted to be involved with the charity as its president this year and look forward to meeting the many people who make the British print industry, which I have been a part of for almost 40 years, such a rich and varied business.”
Guests attending the 191st Printing Charity at Stationers' Hall heard how the charity has helped more students, retirees and the needy than ever before. And Lionel Barber, FT editor who stepped in on the death of Brenda Dean, has agreed to carry on as the charity's president.