The Light Fund shares some good cheer for the festive season

Posted by Kelvyn Gardner on December 22, 2011

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On Wednesday evening the committee of The Light Fund met in London to agree final choices of which charities would receive money from the fund for 2011. For those of you unfamiliar, The Light Fund ( Licensing Industry Giving Help Together ) is the body we have here in the UK to raise money for charity. Indeed, as I write, the Light Fund is in the final stages of being registered as a charity itself.

Even in a difficult year, we have raised just short of £77,000, all of which, bar a small contingency sum, will be distributed in January next year to a total of fourteen charities, large and small. We have a small number of ‘house charities’ who receive funding every year. For the bulk of the money, on the other hand, charities are invited to apply via our Website ( ), specifying the work of the charity and the nature of the project or task for which they are requesting funds. Every member of the committee then votes as to where he or she thinks our money should go, a fully democratic process.

The UK licensing industry can take quiet pride in this achievement. Most importantly, I believe, is that virtually the whole of the £77,000 was raised at fun events around the country. The Light Fund does not solicit corporate or individual donations, but rather stages activities large and small, in which licensing folk and their friends and families can participate. In 2011 we did not have one single ‘tentpole’ event ( such as the round-Malta swim of a few years ago or the bob-sleigh challenge ). This year, money was raised from raffles and auctions at various trade functions, notably The Licensing Awards staged by Max Publishing in September, augmented by local initiatives such as sundry licensing males joining the ‘Movember’ sponsored mustache-growing fund raiser last month. The two key events of the year were the quiz nights, in Manchester and London, which were attended in total by almost 600 people, bringing in more than £25,000, whilst providing a really enjoyable social focus. Licensing folk like to get together, the quizzes allow some friendly competition, add in a bit of entertainment from a comedian or a guitarist/vocalist, and you’ve got the sort of evening that draws large numbers out for a good time and happy to see the ticket price go to good causes.

If you are in the UK when a Light Fund event is on, I can assure you of a good time if you can come along. The Website carries full details of our events timetable, which will be updated in the new year with dates for 2012. Meanwhile, thanks to everyone who participated in 2011: have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.