Based within one of the world’s cultural capitals, John Lyon’s Charity’s Beneficial Area is fortunate to contain a significant number of London’s world class Arts organisations.  The Arts are a vehicle for educational and personal growth, building confidence and facilitating self-expression in young people. Recognising this and the challenge in ensuring these high-quality institutions are accessible, Arts & Science is the largest area of the Charity’s giving, representing 17.5% (£20 million) of its expenditure to date.  These grants enable young people from across North and West London to access the culture, education and creativity that is on offer, right on their doorstep.

Heath Robinson Museum commemorates the life and work of William Heath Robinson, a well-known cartoonist and illustrator who documented the early 19th century through his art and cleverly drawn contraptions, which would achieve simple objectives in an overly complex and often humorous fashion.

When the Charity was first approached with a proposal to equip the new education and community floor at Heath Robinson Museum, it recognised an opportunity to bridge the gap between arts, sciences and education. With a grant from the Charity in 2015, its successful, curriculum-focused learning programme was launched. Over its three year grant, the programme captured the imagination and interest of schools and pupils alike, increasing the number of pupils accessing the Museum tenfold (from c.200 in 2014/16 to more than 2,600 in 2017/18) and tripling the number of in-house school sessions run annually. The Museum’s extracurricular offer brings arts and sciences to life, from illustration classes to sculpting figures, ‘mini-engineers’ days and cultural celebration events for families, turning the Museum into a true community hub.

Funding from John Lyon’s Charity over the last three years has helped establish the Museum as a cultural hub for the wider community. Our learning provision has expanded to “real world” projects for students from FE and HE institutions, ranging from Art and Design HND students and Engineering students at Cambridge University to post-graduate students at Central St. Martin’s, London. We have also been able to offer serious and fun arts and crafts, school activities and subsidised workshops promoting creativity and problem solving.

– Claire Linge, Learning Officer for Children, Young Adults and families

Further information about the Museum can be found on their website.