Pudsey has a number of wonderful groups and charities within the town. Each month we want to shine the spotlight on one and let them tell you more about what they’re up to. This month we caught up with Julie of the Thomas and Sarah Lund Almshouse Trust. The Almshouse Trust is a unique charity, they look after 6 Almshouses in Pudsey centre giving elderly people a beautiful home to call their own.
The Thomas and Sarah Lund Almshouse Trust consists of six almshouses, originally built in 1899 thanks to a sum of money being left by Thomas Lund, a local mill owner. The original governing document, drawn up in 1899 states that the almshouses should be administered and managed by a group of trustees from the Pudsey area and gives the criteria for people who can apply to live in the almshouses.
Poor Persons who are not less than 60 years of age and are infirm residing in the Borough of Pudsey
It’s obvious that someone aged 60 in 1899 was very different to someone aged 60 nowadays so we tend to judge on financial need as well as age. The charity provides accommodation only and the almshouses are for people who can live independently.
Almshouse charities are all over the country and each provides accommodation based on the wishes of the original benefactor.
Providing accommodation for people who meet the charity’s criteria and ensuring the almshouses are kept in good condition for future generations.
I have always been involved with charity work from being a child and have been the Secretary for the Robert Salter Almshouse Charity for many years. When the opportunity came last year I agreed to try to form a new committee of trustees to take over the management of the Thomas and Sarah Lund Almshouses. Sadly, the almshouses had been without proper management and trustees for quite a while. I felt we needed to make sure they continue for many more years. I didn’t want the almshouses taken out of Pudsey’s control and managed by a large company, they were left by a Pudsey person for Pudsey people.
We are lucky in Pudsey to have four sets of almshouses and we should look after them as they are part of Pudsey’s history.
When the new committee finally took full control earlier this year, four of the almshouses were occupied but two were empty and needed work. Recently we have just advertised one of those properties and the other almshouse, which looked like it hadn’t been touched since the 1970’s has been modernised to make it suitable for a resident to live in. We hopefully will have all six almshouses occupied by the end of the year. The charity constantly has to follow all the regulations set up by the Charity Commission to ensure the charity continues for many years.
Yes! What seems like an old fashioned charity these days is actually really interesting and worthwhile. If anyone wants to become a trustee or get involved in the future you are very welcome. We work closely with the Robert Salter Almshouse Charity, also in Pudsey, and we are constantly on the look out for new trustees and people to get involved.
For further details including how to apply to live in one of our Almshouses please check out our Facebook page.