The Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers' Charity

The Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers' Charity is a grant-giving body. It was established in 1998 when the Company established an endowment, the income from which is distributed in the form of charitable grants. 

Competition for a 3 year grant in 2017 resulted in a grant, worth up to £30,000, to Goalball UK.  Our Charity funding is help them to develop this fast-moving sport, originally designed for vision impaired people in the post-war years
A Trustees' visit to Southampton enabled them to see for themselves the results of a significant Macular Society project

The Charity has a separate Board of six volunteer Trustees, which meets quarterly. The Trustees are all members of the Company and ar experienced professionals - two are former national charity chief executives. together with an ophthalmologist, an optometrist, a dispensing optician and an accountant. 

This  mission of this Charity is to enable people with vision impairment, and their families, to lead full and active lives through:

  • Grants to national and international organisations that provide services for vision impaired people and conduct associated research
  • Grants to support eye health training and education
  • Grants to charitable organisations which increase access for vision impaired people in business and leisure activities

Regular committed giving by members of the Company and occasional but much-appreciated legacies, are key to this mission. We welcome all gifts and will acknowledge these in whatever way the donors feel to be appropriate.  We are so grateful to those who have given and to all those who continue to help us in a variety of ways.

If you wish to discuss a potential legacy or addition to your will via a codicil or letter of wishes, please contact the Clerk on 020 7236 2932 or All conversations on this matter will be treated as confidential.

How to apply for a Grant from The Spectacle Makers' Charity

The Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers' Charity (Registered Charity No. 1072172) supports particular projects rather than covering gaps in revenue expenditure.  Our grants are intended to help:

  • reduce vision impairment both within the UK and elsewhere
  • support the development of eye heath training and education internationally
  • improve the quality of life of people who have already lost sight.

We also have a designated fund to support lens research, through grants to organisations with established peer review processes for assessment of the progress of research and its benefits.  The Trustees invite and encourage applications which meet the above criteria.

Applicants should also note that the Trustees are looking to fund national or international initiatives which will have a substantial impact, or the results of whose work can be shared widely. Unfortunately, the Charity has only limited resources and cannot fund local charities or those  which reach a small number of beneficiaries,  no matter how worthwhile.  The Charity also cannot fund individual research studies undertaken as part of a doctorate or other academic course or practice or hospital equipment which cannot be funded through the NHS. 

Please note that causes which have no connection with eye health or sight loss, the City of London or the Spectacle Makers’ Company cannot be considered.

Standard Application Process

The Trustees meet quarterly, in February, May, September and November. The Charity's financial year ends on 31 March.

Applications for grants should be made by email, to The following deadlines provide an indication of the expected timescales:

February meeting: applications received by 7 January
May meeting applications received by 10 April
September meeting applications received by 31 July
November meeting applications received by 30 September

Appeals which relate to vision research can be received at any time but will usually be reviewed once a year, at the February meeting.

If approved, grants are usually paid within six weeks. Those who have heard nothing after six weeks of the above dates should assume that they have been unsuccessful, but should not feel precluded from re-applying. Successful applicants may be invited to attend a Luncheon with the Company at  Apothecaries' Hall to be presented with their grant.

In order for the Charity Trustees to be able to assess the impact of their giving, all successful applicants will be required to provide one or two reports by email in the year following receipt of their grant, summarising the project progress and outcomes and including high-resolution photographs. Information from these reports, and photographs, will be used to raise awareness of the work of the Charity and to encourage further donations.

To be considered by the Trustees, the following information must be supplied:

A. Applicant's details

  • The organisation's full title and registered charity number.
  • The address for correspondence, telephone number(s) and email address.
  • The position within the organisation of the person who is making the application.
  • The organisation's aims.
  • What the organisation does to achieve those aims.
  • Number of staff and/or volunteers.
  • Website address and weblink to the organisation’s most recent audited accounts.
  • Weblink to the organisation’s Safeguarding Policy, or a PDF copy of that policy, if the organisation works with children or vulnerable adults.

B. Project details

  • Details of the proposed or actual project that you wish the trustees to help fund.
  • Evidence of the need for the project.
  • The intended outcomes of the project.
  • The number and nature of intended beneficiaries.
  • The geographical scope of the project and/or its beneficiaries.
  • Any specific details as to why this project is innovative/difficult/may be of particular interest to members of the Spectacle Makers’ Company.

C. Funding

  • The total cost of the project.
  • The amount you are seeking from the Spectacle Makers' Charity.
  • The date by which receipt of funds would be most beneficial, and why
  • The length of the project. In particular, if the project is intended to continue beyond one financial year, whether you are seeking funding for one or more years and how you hope to fund the project throughout the period, allowing for inflation.
  • The three largest grants you have received from charitable trusts and foundations during the last three years. Indicate the source, the date given and the amounts.
  • Any funding already secured or committed to this particular project and the three most substantial donors.


Please give your undertaking to supply the WCSM Charity Trustees with a brief report or research paper on how the grant has been applied and the results achieved, accompanied by high resolution photographs which we can use for our own publicity material. At least one such report will be expected in the first year following receipt of any grant and further reports may be requested.

All correspondence for the Trustees should be sent to Mrs Helen Perkins, The Clerk, as Secretary to the Trustees. Email is preferred.

The Clerk,
The Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers’ Charity
Apothecaries' Hall
Black Friars Lane

020 7236 2932