The funder’s view – Clare Richards, Harriet’s Trust


As part of our preparations for this year’s exciting Cockpit Makers’ Market, we’ve been speaking with one of our invaluable supporters about her love of craft, her involvement with Cockpit and our Winter Open Studios this year.

In this article, we’ve invited Clare Richards from Harriet’s Trust to share some insights.

Harriet’s Trust has been a supporter of Cockpit since 2019. Through the provision of an Award, they offer essential support to a talented maker working in any craft discipline with a commitment to high quality craftsmanship. The three-year Award comprises a fully subsidised place at Cockpit in the first year, followed by a partially funded place for two further years. Funding a long-term opportunity, in partnership with Cockpits’ support, offers a talented craftsperson a sustainable development opportunity.

How did you first hear about Cockpit?
Being Islington residents and art and craft lovers, we have long been aware of Cockpit’s presence nearby in Holborn.

Why do you support Cockpit?
Making and creating in general and Cockpit in particular play a crucial role in their communities, both as a cultural focus and as an important social anchor. Where the arts thrive, so do local communities and vice versa. Cockpit provides a wonderful service to both up-and-coming and established artists, across such a wide range of creative disciplines. A community of mutual inspiration and support, Cockpit also helps these creative entrepreneurs to establish sustainable business practices. We fully understand the value this offers. But beyond that Cockpit brings the wonders of making to the general public.

How has your support made a difference to Cockpit makers?
We hope that our support has helped artists and makers to draw the very best from their talents at a crucial time, as they make the transition from practitioner towards a thriving career.

What is the best thing about being a Cockpit supporter?
One of the best things about being a Cockpit supporter is seeing the transformation that takes place in the confidence and aspirations of the people we and the programme are able to support.

What are you most excited about at this year’s Cockpit Makers’ Market?
I just love seeing the range and quality of the work – and this is where I buy all my Christmas presents!

And finally, from Harriet’s Trust Award recipient, Jonathan Hill:
“My business has grown tremendously since being at Cockpit. Being here has made me much more professional and my reputation has really increased. My business now feels firmly established (which it didn’t when I first came to Cockpit) and I have gone past the point of no return. I have a waiting list of two years and the number of enquiries is growing exponentially – I cannot keep up!”


Tickets and visitor information for Cockpit Makers’ Market is here.

The next Harriet’s Trust Award at Cockpit will be open for applications from 1 November.
More details here.

Information on how to join Cockpit as a Supporter can be found here.


Photos of musical instrument maker Jonathan Hill by Gareth Hacker.