The Printing Charity is helping more people than ever before, as its remit stretches beyond those struggling in retirement to helping those in distressed circumstances and those who want to join the industry at the start of their careers.
Jon Wright, chairman of the Printing Charity, told guests at the annual Stationers’ Hall luncheon that “in 2016, 1650 people were helped – a 44% increase on 2015”. That covered those made redundant through emergency payments or grants for white goods, to helping with apprenticeships and training.
“A recent example was 64-year-old Anne, 29 years in the printing industry, when a car accident killed her son. She was living below national standards and we could provide bereavement counselling and we committed to pay for the funeral,” he said.
At the other end of the scale he paid tribute to Terry Ulrick who had started the Print Futures Awards. This year 78 grants were make to successful entrants from a record 275 applications. Four of those that had been successful joined the 190 guests at the even which Printing Charity chief executive Neil Lovell called “the best networking event in the printing industry”.
Guest speaker was Baroness Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde who looked into the annals to discover that when Charles Dickens was president of the charity, guests had sat down to an eight-course lunch “costing £1 11s 6d”.
“When I began my career in Manchester my boss at the time told me ‘there’s no such thing as a poor printer, it’s that some of them are tighter than others’,” she said. And she had advice for those being elevated to the House of Lords. Determining an appropriate title is a job for the College of Heralds.
Her first suggest, Baroness Dean of Wapping, was turned down she said “because it might embarrass the Queen’. A second suggestion that Manchester should be the title because that is where she is from and where her trade union career began, was also refused. This time because as a large city, such titles are reserved for grander appointments and higher echelons of the aristocracy. Baroness Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde she became in 1993 with a number of appointments in public service both inside parliament and beyond. “But I never forget I had my time in this great industry.”