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LVS Oxford; the new school for the Licensed Trade Charity

On 30/10/14 by Brigid Simmonds (Chief Executive)

I was fortunate enough to visit the new Licensed Trade Charity school this week in the company of James Clarke, Chief Executive of Hook Norton, and a former Chairman of the BBPA Midlands region. The Hook Norton brewery is about 20 miles from the new school.

The Licensed Trade Charity helps people in need in our industry. In 2013, the charity spent more than £1.2 million on support and care services. This includes bursaries for children at the non-selective school they operate for 900 students at Ascot.

In 2009, the LTC opened a school for those on the autism spectrum in Hassocks. One in ten children in the UK suffers from autism. While not all need to attend a special school, Hassocks, and now Oxford, cater for those who do need special care. Many are funded by local authorities through a ‘statement’ as they have a legal requirement to provide for their educational needs. Just 15 per cent of young people with autism achieve full-time jobs. The LVS schools make beating these odds a top priority, and every effort is made to meet the special requirements of each child.

LVS Oxford is a former priory. Although it only opened in September, the school already has 16 day pupils and in the New Year there will be week-day boarding too. It was half term when we were there, but this allowed us to admire the beautiful building and refurbishment. The dining room is the former chapel for the nuns. The stained glass windows have been retained and protected, but as everywhere else, the impression if one of light and space. There are extensive grounds and plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities.

The Licensed Trade Charity clearly has expertise in education, but this is not just a philanthropic venture. The income from their schools goes to fund their helpline, website and the lifeline for those working in our industry who need help. Under the stewardship of James Brewster, their CEO, they have recognised that simple fundraising is just not possible in the current climate. Of course they appreciate the support of BBPA members and we raised over £3,000 at our annual dinner, but there are other ways of showing support. You can raise awareness of their services to your licensees; both active and retired, whether they worked in a brewery or a pub. Think whether you could offer work experience or an apprenticeship within your workplace for some of their alumni from Hassocks and now Oxford.

I ended my visit with a trip to the local pub. In this case; the Royal Sun at Begbroke where we had an excellent lunch. It had of course to be owned by a BBPA member; in this case Punch Taverns, and I was delighted to see a BBPA Challenge 21 poster just as we went through the door!

For more information about the work of the LTC; please visit


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