Almshouse Charity

Greater London

St Giles in the Fields and Bloomsbury United

We are looking for a trustee who can bring their knowledge/experience of supporting older people to our charity to ensure we are meeting the needs of our almshouse residents, thinking about now and into the future.

Closing date for applications

Who we are

The charity was set up to relieve financial and medical hardship for people living or working in the church parishes of St Giles-in-the-Fields in Holborn, St George’s in Bloomsbury and St Paul’s in Covent Garden.
We do this through the provision of:
- almshouse accommodation in the area for 8 older women; and
- grants for individuals and organisations within the area of benefit.

The St Giles Almshouses comprise a small community of eight self-contained flats situated around an attractive courtyard - an oasis of calm in busy Covent Garden. All the residents live independently and there is no warden care. The accommodation is available to women over 60, who have lived or worked in our area for at least 10 years. Most of the flats were refurbished during 2019 with new kitchens and bathrooms and the charity continues to ensure they are maintained properly and fit for purpose.

Our individual grants scheme (in partnership with St Andrew's Holborn charity) offers up to £500 for household goods for people on low incomes. Last year, we awarded 21 individuals grants for washing machines, fridge freezers, furniture and flooring.

Our grants to organisations focus on supporting isolated older people and rough sleepers. We have awarded several multi-year grants to local organisations addressing these priority areas. We do not accept unsolicited for funding but are happy to discuss proposals.

The Trustees recognise that the charity faces a number of challenges in supporting our current residents to continue to live independently at the almshosues for as long as possible. Our residents are inevitably getting older and several of them do not have family members who support them. There is an increasing demand on staff tme for assistance. 

The new Trustee should have ecperitse and commitment to provide guidance on older prople's issues. At a strategic level, this would mean helping the other Trustess to understand the current social care environment and whre oour almshouse provision fits within a braod range of housing options. Also, to help navigate future care options for our residents. At a practical level, it may mean supportng the Clerk to identify the most appropriate ways to encourage residents to think about their future needs and how we can help and support them to do so.

IN addition, the person would be expected to undertake the statutory duties of all trustees and contribute to Trustees discussions on other issues, including operational matters, making decisions on grant applications and the management of investment properties.

Our ideal trustee is someone who has significant experience of social care services, whether that is in a professional capacity or as a carer themselves. We are looking for someone who can help the Trustees navigate the the world of social care, and plane for potential scenarios with residents where;

- a resident gets frail and needs additional support and adaptations to stay in the almshouses; and

- a resident can no longer live independently at the almshouses (even with additional support) and needs to move into residential/nursingcare.

You would be able to help us build relationships with individuals at local authority and local agencies. Prior knowledge of these agencies in London Borough of Camden would definitely be advantageous.

The charity is seeking people with the following qualities;

- caring and compassionate to focus on individual people's needs

- able to articlate options and recommend courses of action

- understanding and acceptance of legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of trusteeship

- commitment to the organisation

Closing date for applications

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