Who are the Fletchers and why do they want to help?

The Worshipful Company of Fletchers is a London livery company that was set up to ensure high standards of business standards and product quality. 'The first mention of the company is in 1371 when.  'for the common good - it split from the Worshipful Company of Bowyers - although the two companies still meet for an annual shoot in the Moat at the Tower of London. The Company's members supplied arrows to bowmen at Crecy and Agincourt and were kept busy throughout the Hundred Years War and the Wars of the Roses.

These days members use their talents to help charities and, particularly, archers with disabilities. So what do they do and how do they fund their work?

The Company receives no outside funding, other than occasional donations from archery clubs. Each year individual members pay into its charity The Fletcher's Trust which help, in the main, disabled archers.

Over the past few years it has helped to fund the 2016 Paralympic Rio Dream, provided equipment and support to individual archers and supported inclusion initiatives pioneered by Deer Park Archers. It worked with Maggie Woolf and Paralympian John Cavanagh to set up new archery schools in London to give children a chance to experience the sport, paying for equipment and covering the costs of a year's coaching. 

It has helped to develop perching stools for archers and gives grants to help individual clubs make their facilities more disabled-friendly.

Other organisations it supports include British Blind Sport, the British Wheelchair Archery Association. the Royal Toxophilite Society, the Blind Veterans' Association, the Mudchute scheme and events at Stoke Mandeville. It even supports schools and helps the City of London Orchestra run courses to give disadvantaged children the chance to make music.

Last year it launched the Disability Championships at Lilleshall in partnership with Archery GB - and it is going from strength to strength with this year's introduction of novice classes.

Archery GB's Director of Sport David Tillotson said: 'The Worshipful Company of Fletchers has a long-standing and important relationship with Archery GB. We are extremely appreciative of their on-going support of our successful Para programme and are very pleased with its increasing connection with other disability archery groups."

Now the Company's attention is firmly on Tokyo 2020. It is working with Archery GB to provide a stock of the very latest equipment so that our para archers can try the kit out to find out what suits them - and what does not - before investing.

It will fund the training of classifiers so that athletes can be advised and put into the right classifications at grassroot level.

So why do they give up so much time, effort - and money - to help disabled archers?

"It's our passion." said a spokesman. 'It's like being part of one big family. We all really do enjoy it. It's great fun. We like to be involved. The Disability Championships is wonderful. We get to meet the archers and get their feedback. We get to know them and they are terrific people, they really are.

We are really pleased to be able to help."

 

Archery UK Autumn 2018

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