WHITELEY RETIREMENT VILLAGE RECEIVES £1.7M CHARITY DONATION BOOST FOR BUILDING OF MORE ALMS HOUSES
2017 marks the centenary of Whiteley Village in Walton-on-Thames and this special year is off to a great start thanks to a charity donation of £1.75m from Richard Wyatt’s Trust, an almshouse trust based near Godalming, of which the Worshipful Company of Carpenters had been trustee for almost 400 years. This generous sum represented the final disposal of all funds held by Richard Wyatt’s Trust after the sale of its premises last year.
Run by Whiteley Homes Trust, Whiteley Village provides a vibrant retirement community to 500 people of limited financial means. The vital cash injection of £1.74m will help fund the building of an 62 additional almshouses in the village. The existing 262 almshouses are designed to enable independent living for the majority of Whiteley Village residents. For less-able residents there is also an assisted-living care centre of 51 apartments and there is also a nursing home on-site.
This generous donation will provide a massive boost for fund-raising efforts to build new alms houses at Whiteley Village in the next few years, and brings together the legacies of both Richard Wyatt, Master of The Carpenters’ Company, with that of William Whiteley, both of whom shared a passion for the provision of secure housing for poorer people in later life and created long-lasting legacies that continue to benefit society in 2017. In their day, both men were seen as visionary philanthropists providing care for older people, long before the creation of the UK’s state care system in the 1940s.
Chandra McGowan, Chief Executive of The Whiteley Homes Trust comments: “We are over-whelmed at the generosity of The Carpenters’ Company with this wonderful cash injection that enables us to build more homes and to continue offering the best possible accommodation for our residents. Whiteley Village is a unique place to live and age well and, there’s no doubt, its success comes from the incredible community spirit of the villagers and their passion for creating a deeply connected community that cares for each other and makes for a life full of social interactions and opportunities through the many clubs and activities in the village.”
The Richard Wyatt almshouses in Godalming date back to the seventeenth century when Richard Wyatt, a London timber merchant and Master of the Carpenters’ Company provided a fund in his will of 1619 to build the almshouses.
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