MR WALCOT’S GIFT TO THE PEOPLE OF LAMBETH CELEBRATING 350 YEARS OF THE WALCOT CHARITIES
Published by the Walcot Foundation 2017 127 Kennington Road London SE11 6SF 020 7735 1925 walcotfoundation.org.uk email@example.com © The Governors of the Walcot Foundation ISBN 978 1 9997459 0 5
A note about the Foundation We are four charities, operating as The Walcot Foundation. Two of the charities carry Mr Walcot’s name, and he is our principal benefactor. The Hayle’s Charity dates from 1671. Over the years other charities were amalgamated with Hayle’s - they are listed on page 25. Our fourth charity (we assumed trusteeship of it in 2009) is the Cynthia Mosley Memorial Fund, of which Winston Churchill was an early trustee.
A note about the missing ‘t’ We refer throughout to Edmund Walcot, but in fact his surname was orginally Walcott. The second ‘t’ was lost at some stage and never restored.
Further information about our work may be found at —
WALCOTFOUNDATION.ORG.UK Images used are those of projects we fund and are used with permission
Design and typesetting by Edmund’s Studio in Minion Pro and Myriad Pro Printed by Ex Why Zed of Colchester on FSC certified paper
The Foundation at 350
Our work today
Examples of current funding
How we add value to our grantmaking
The role of the Governors
And who is my neighbour?
What impact does our grantmaking have?
Modern day benefactors
Poverty and possibility
Mr Walcotâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s London
The Walcot Estate
Help us in our work
â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Doing nothing for others is the undoing of ourselvesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Horace Mann 19th century educational reformer
Edmund Walcot’s Will of 1667 left land in Lambeth near the Thames for charitable purposes. In those days the area was given over mainly to market gardening, to provide for the needs of the City of London across the river. Over the centuries that gift has changed form and grown considerably and today generates the income which we use for his original purpose – the ‘relief of the local poor’. Language goes through changes and fashion, and today we more often speak of low-income and the financially excluded. Yet poverty continues to exist here in the UK, in London and in Lambeth. Helping Lambeth people escape its corrosive impact is our focus. Governors and staff share a desire to express our historic 17th century purpose in the light of modern 21st century realities. Our work would not be possible without Mr Walcot’s generosity 350 years ago. We are grateful to him and to the countless women and men who over the centuries and in our own day take seriously the needs of their fellow citizens. In this anniversary year we celebrate them all. Michelle Agdomar, Richard Allnutt, Henry Boucher, Julia Carleysmith, Alice Chapple, Teresa Clay, Jeremy Clayton, Helen George, Frances Greenburgh, Sally Prentice, Matthew Ray, Glencora Senior, Simon Taylor, Robert Vandersluis Governors
To be born into a low income household in the United Kingdom is to find yourself excluded from many of the opportunities others take for granted. Perhaps especially in London, it is to find yourself an outsider looking in. In 2016, 87,000 were living in poverty in Lambeth after housing costs were taken into account, including over a third of all children in the borough. Edmund Walcot responded to the poverty he saw around him with his gift of 1667 to the people of Lambeth. 350 years later his legacy continues to help Lambeth residents escape poverty. Over the last ten years the Foundation has made grants of more than ÂŁ19 million â&#x20AC;&#x201C; thanks to Mr Walcot and all our benefactors and donors.
London Music Masters Ripe Enterprises Âˇ English and Employment Skills Academy
THE FOUNDATION AT 350 Although our earliest roots go back to 1618, it is Mr Walcot’s gift, made in his Will of 1667, that defines us
Those of us associated with the work of the Foundation, as staff and governors, often have a sense of continuity: we step into a role and in due course shall step out of it, on and off a kind of historic conveyor belt, making a contribution as people of our time, as countless others have done since the early 17th century and as others will do in the future. Records of our history are patchy. We have little idea of what priorities and enthusiasms drove previous generations of trustees of the various Walcot charities. For several centuries we were linked to the Parish of Lambeth, since in those days local parishes were the ‘turn to’ body for a wide range of civic functions from raising rates and policing to the care (and control) of the poor. At some stage we ceased to be under ecclesiastical control and moved towards the fully independent structure we have today. There are references to tussles in the late 19th century over the control and use of the charities’ assets, between Lambeth Borough Council, London County Council and the churchwardens of the parish. Today we function entirely independently, under charity law, and our work is determined by our governors and delivered by a small team they employ. Our historic purpose is the ‘relief of the poor of Lambeth’, a term that to many ears today may sound quaintly historic. True, language and turns of phrase change, but the lived experience of relative poverty and its consequent social exclusion persistently remain in Lambeth and the rest of the capital.
We are hugely fortunate in having historic assets which fund our work and which with careful stewardship will do so ‘in perpetuity’. One of the reasons why the phrase ‘relief of the poor’ jars on modern ears is perhaps the hint of condescension and the suggestion that ‘the poor’ are a race apart – a group of people to whom charity ‘is done’. A characteristic of today’s Walcot Foundation is that we take a very different approach. We view grantees as our partners and not recipients of charity. We build on the strengths they already have in order to help them overcome the obstacles that low income has placed in their way. We are not providing hand-outs but hand-ups. Everything we fund has the aim of improving the long-term capacity of our grantees to earn enough to properly sustain themselves and their dependents across their working lifetimes. More simply, we seek to break cycles of poverty by creating opportunity – opportunity too many of our fellow citizens are denied by the circumstances of their birth. In this we have three tremendous advantages: independence, assets and location. Our independence protects us from outside influence and allows us to concentrate on our charitable purpose; our historic assets are large enough to generate a significant annual income to fund our work; and our ‘area of benefit’ is small (Lambeth is just over ten square miles in area, home to 318,000 people). It means we can know the area we serve, and have a real impact on the people who live here.
OUR WORK TODAY A summary of our approach and the things we fund
WE ACHIEVE OUR AIM BY MAKING GRANTS We fund activity that is likely to improve the long-term chances of Lambeth citizens affected by poverty
OUR FOCUS IS ON INDIVIDUAL LIVES Some grants go directly to individuals but most go to organisations and schools for work with our target individuals
WE ARE SPECIALLY INTERESTED IN REMOVING BARRIERS IN EDUCATION • Developing resilience and well-being • Promoting parental involvement in their child’s education • Helping pupils re-engage with school MAXIMISING LEARNING • Building literacy and numeracy • Enrichment opportunities to inspire learning BUILDING EMPLOYABILITY • Grants, bursaries and scholarships to the 18+ • Access to quality careers advice and job-hunting coaching • Enabling NEETs* to move to employability • Ways of upskilling low paid workers leading to better paid work DEVELOPING MONEY SENSE • Learning how to manage money, understand budgeting and avoid unwise debt (financial literacy) * NEETs: People aged between 16 and 24 who are ‘Not in Education, Employment or Training’.
ď&#x201A;&#x201E;OUR GRANTS TO ORGANISATIONS AND SCHOOLS FUND.... Career progression for low paid workers, careers advice, confidence building, debt advice, educational enrichment, English as an Additional Language, financial literacy projects, homework clubs, literacy tuition, pupil well-being and mental health support, Saturday schools, school field trips, school/home support projects, skills development, therapy and counselling, vocational training, work experience, projects with disengaged pupils, work with NEETs. We are open to unusual and imaginative proposals where they are likely to achieve our desired outcomes for our grantees.
ď&#x201A;&#x201E;OUR GRANTS DIRECTLY TO INDIVIDUALS FUND.... Course fees, equipment, living expenses, printing costs and stationery, resettlement grants following homelessness or domestic violence, bankruptcy fees, books, childcare, computers, scientific equipment, travel, uniforms and essential clothing. Recent Degree, Diploma and NVQ courses we have funded include Adult Nursing, African Studies with Anthropology, Applied Science, Arabic and Linguistics, Beauty Therapy, Biomedical Science, Bricklaying, Sports Coaching, Business Management, Childcare, Computer Science, Criminology, Dance Studies, Economics, Electrical Installation, Electronic Engineering, English Language and Linguistics, Environmental Health, Equine Management, Exercise and Sport Science, French and Spanish, Graphic Design, Hair and Media Makeup, Hairdressing, Health and Social Care, History, Human Geography, Law, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, Medicine, Music Performance and Production, Painting and Decorating, Personal Track Safety, Phlebotomy, Photography, Physics and Astronomy, Plumbing, Politics, Philosophy, Economics, Psychology, Radiotherapy and Oncology, Theatre Arts, Theatrical Special Effects, Hair and Makeup.
EXAMPLES OF OUR FUNDING, ACROSS LAMBETH Targeted Youth Support Worker at Alford House helping young people engage with education and avoid exclusion Stockwell Partnership Migrant Debt and Employment Project, providing advice, advocacy and community cohesion activity
After-school homework clubs on Brixton and Stockwell estates from the Community Education Forum & Lynx ‘Wild Things’ at Heathbrook Primary School engages low-income pupils in gardening and outdoor projects, fostering their personal development Additional subject tutoring at Lilian Baylis Technology Secondary School for lowincome Year 11 pupils
Indoamerican Refugee & Migrant Organisation English for Work project. 150 participants helped to improve job-readiness by developing their English skills Action Tutoring English and Maths tuition to underachieving pupils in Christ Church, Loughborough and St John’s Angell Town primary schools Football Plus Scheme St Matthew’s Project: accredited training in sports coaching Springfield Community Flat a project for parents with no or limited English to help them play a role in their child’s education
The Baytree Centre - academic and soft-skill mentoring for women to improve their financial and emotional resilience South Lambeth Schools Partnership’s Children’s University provides 7-14 year olds with learning activities and experiences to boost achievement, raise aspirations and foster a love of learning
Shine on Saturday
Streatham Refugee Drop-In offers homework support (literacy and numeracy) for primary school age refugee/asylum seeker children, plus advice, advocacy and training on UK education for their parents
Creative Sparkworks - training and work experience in the film industry for lowincome Lambeth young people Help with handling money and budgets at St Luke’s Hub with the West London Mission Rise&Sh9 Project, Oasis Children’s Venture. Accredited training and mentoring for NEETs aged 14-25 Effra Early Years Centre & Music Therapy Lambeth –music therapy to low-income pupils with special needs Ebony Horse Club builds life skills and raises aspirations through horse riding, mentoring and training Hatch Enterprise nurtures young entrepreneurs from disadvantaged communities Intensive Reading Recovery Programme at Fenstanton Primary, helping the lowest achieving 6 year olds High Trees Community Development Trust helping the low paid gain the skills needed to get better paid work Elmgreen School funding a counselling project for pupils with poor attendance, disruptive behaviour, low attainment or at risk of disengagement Upper Norwood Library’s English Literacy Programme targets low-income Lambeth residents with limited or no English Language skills and offers a job club in collaboration with Hexagon Employment and Skills Team Working with Men mentors marginalised boys at risk of dropping out of school
These are only some current examples. Our grants reach every Ward in Lambeth. Many of the organisations we fund provide services across a number of Wards. Over the last ten years we have made 1,434 grants to Lambeth organisations and schools, and 2,189 directly to individual grantees.
Above and below: Action Tutoring uses trained volunteers to provide tutoring in English and Maths to low income pupils in three Lambeth secondary schools and nine primary schools
“Thank you for your support throughout the three years of this programme. You have been just the type of funder a small project like Trust Women’s Project needs - supportive and flexible, also a critical friend who understands and demonstrates an understanding of the needs of clients and the wider context of our work.”
HOW AND WHY WE ‘ADD VALUE’ TO OUR GRANTMAKING
Some years ago our work revealed areas of unmet need affecting applicants for grants. We saw that grantees often needed professional help in three key areas, two affecting individual applicants and one affecting organisations – • budgeting and debt management advice • careers advice and job-readiness coaching • organisational development consultancy We set about offering free access to these, by way of grants to external specialist bodies. They have been hugely successful and user-feedback is consistently good. In this way we are able to increase the beneficial impact of our grants, increasing their value to those receiving them. Under this programme we currently offer – Debt counselling, budgeting and benefits advice
Available to all our individual grant applicants from a Lambeth-based accredited advice service
Employment search, readiness and careers advice
Individually tailored help in identifying options, preparing for interviews and getting work. Available to all our individual applicants
Organisational capacity and resilience
Available to organisations we fund (or may fund) where help is needed in reviewing and building organisational capacity and resilience
Mr Walcotâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s London (detail). Painting by Charlie Millar
THE ROLE OF THE GOVERNORS Henry Boucher, Chair of the Governors
Whenever I ask the trustees of charities about their role, they will nearly all describe the satisfaction they get from their work and how rewarding it is. It is about applying their skills, experience and expertise to help make good things happen. This is certainly the case with the trustees of the Walcot Foundation, which has a diverse and effective board which is continuing work started centuries ago. In many ways a charitable institution is like a company, with a board of directors, staff, customers and a balance sheet, and all of the management and strategic issues that go with operating a successful organisation. But unlike company directors, charity trustees (or in our case ‘governors’) are unpaid volunteers who often juggle their commitment to the Foundation with busy careers and family life. The daily work of the charity is undertaken by the employees of the Foundation, led by the Director (‘Clerk to the Governors’). They are the key interface with the beneficiaries of grants and monitor the effectiveness of our grant-making, as well as administering the assets and income of the endowment. The role of the trustees is one of governance: the board must act as a single body to control and plan the institution and ensure that it meets its purpose, defined in its ‘charitable objects’. In the case of Walcot and the other charities which have combined to make up the Walcot Foundation today our charitable object is the relief of poverty in Lambeth. The disarming simplicity of this goal is enormously important and arguably one of the key reasons for the success of the Foundation over 350 years. For instance, the defined area of 19
benefit, the borough of Lambeth, leaves no room for questions over whether we should be allocating resources to different parts of the UK, or indeed around the world to relieve poverty. Our focus is clear. But not everything is so clear or pre-defined. When they make decisions, the governors must have in mind the nature of the charity, its purpose, its role in society, its resources and obligations, and its success in meeting its objects. Economic conditions shift and the nature of the problem of poverty changes. A crucial requirement for charities with a permanent endowment (a fund intended to last in perpetuity) is to balance the needs of todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s beneficiaries with those of future beneficiaries. This means that the core assets have to be managed to generate an income to be spent today, but without taking out so much that the real value is eroded (and with it the capacity to generate income in the future). So, for example, it is never possible to meet all of the requests for help we receive and sometimes difficult judgements have to be made. Walcot has fourteen governors who are recruited through an open, public application process and who typically serve three terms of three years. We are always incredibly impressed by the number, diversity, enthusiasm and potential contributions of the applicants for governor positions, which reflect a very healthy modern sense of community. Governors give their time, typically in the evenings, to attend board meetings and each also sits on at least one of the three operating committees: the Grants Committee, the Investment Committee and the Finance & General Purposes Committee. Some bring specific skills in, for example, law, education or investment, but all 20
‘Once poverty is gone, we’ll need to build museums to display its horrors to future generations. They’ll wonder why poverty continued so long in human society - how a few people could live in luxury while billions dwelt in misery, deprivation and despair.’ Muhammad Yunus
are ‘competent generalists’ who play a part in a team. They are apolitical, take their oversight role and accountability very seriously and know their value lies in contributing to the effective operation of the charity. The operational tasks of the board and the committees include setting grant-making policies, setting budgets, considering grant applications, setting and implementing investment policies (and in our case, appointing investment managers and overseeing a large property estate, including building new houses) and oversight of the finances. A key issue is the relationship with, and support and care for, the charity’s excellent staff who show such enthusiasm and commitment to the objects and deliver the results. So, the role of charity trustees is to help make good things happen. It is to maximise the effectiveness of the charity today whilst leaving the organisation in good order for the future. The reward comes from a job well done. In the case of the Walcot Foundation, the governors are a link in a long chain stretching back over many generations and they are ensuring that Edmund Walcot’s generous seventeenth-century legacy will be able to help many future generations to come.
LH “..thank you very much for all the support and help granted towards my studies. I have been able to accomplish all my goals thanks to all the help given and I am now ready to graduate this year and this wouldn’t have been possible without your help” AO “I feel the Walcot Foundation do so much... Their excellent communication means I feel reassured with the genuine help I receive. I never feel judged or patronised for seeking such help and I am very grateful.”
AND WHO IS MY NEIGHBOUR? Hugh Valentine is the Director of the Walcot Foundation and Clerk to the Governors
In Edmund Walcot’s day it was common for those who had both the means and money to make some provision for the poor. Often this was done through their Will, leaving money or land to be used for the ‘relief of the local poor’. We cannot know what individual motives may have been, but two possibilities – not mutually exclusive – seem likely: one, a genuine wish to help those who were disadvantaged; the other to help achieve a safe passage to the next life by generous acts in this one. Very little is known about our own principal benefactor, Mr Walcot, and it would be wrong to make claims about his character, intention or his view of those living ‘in need’. He died in January 1667 and had lived through difficult times: the English Civil War and the English Republic (in 1649 the King was overthrown; the monarchy was restored in 1660); the Great Plague (which devastated London in 1665-1666); the start of the second Anglo-Dutch War in 1665 and the Great Fire of London in September 1666. The world, to him, must have appeared upside down, unsafe and dangerously unpredictable. The UK has many historic charities established on the back of initial gifts made by well-off people through their Wills. Our own Foundation includes numerous small charities established in this way (details, right). Frequently such charities had as their focus the relief of poverty, and the gifts were made in perpetuity – that is, to endure forever. This was to be achieved by a capital sum being maintained and protected and never spent but used to generate income which was then applied in accordance with the benefactor’s purpose, without end. In a changing world, it’s a reassuring concept. 24
Over the years smaller charities have been subsumed into our larger charities for reasons of improved administration. Each represents a generous benefactor:
Roger Jeston (1622), Noel Caron (1623), Alice Easton (1640), William Hind (1655), Margaret Oakley (1672), Thomas Rich (1672), John Scaldwell (1678), Thomas Cooper (1695), Jacob Vanderlin (1704), Ralph Snow (1707), Bryan Turberville (1718), Countess of Gower (1721), Hayes Forteeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (1783), Jane Wakeling (1786), John Course (1786), Richard Robert (1807), Mary Oakley (1812), Elizabeth Lambert (1814), John Pickton (1821), Grace Fenner (1828), Mary Chapman (1831), Eleanor Dodson (1847), Elizabeth Edridge (1848), Robert Frost (1860), Harry Clapham (1948)
The 350th anniversary of his Will occurs in a world radically different to that of Mr Walcot’s. The Enlightenment broke the dominance of a world-view based on Bible and belief – or at least started the process. The care of the poor moved, slowly, from an often harsh treatment under the Poor Laws and Workhouses to something which began to better acknowledge our collective responsibility for our neighbours. It was the last century that saw the greatest strides, especially here in the UK in the post-Second World War development of the Welfare State. Based on William Beveridge’s proposals, it created a safety net which provided a minimum standard of living, “below which no one should be allowed to fall”. As we mark our anniversary the consensus around State provision has slipped (some would say fractured). We live in a time of public policy ‘austerity’, as it is being called, and those in receipt of income maintenance as envisaged by Beveridge and others are forced to accept changes which usually mean reductions in the money they have to live on. People are divided over these developments. Whatever the view, what underlying questions are in play, now and in Mr Walcot’s day, and across the centuries in between? This is a personal view and not that of the Foundation which, in its work and focus (and in conformity to its charitable Schemes), is today concerned only with offering those affected by poverty and living in Lambeth a ‘hand up rather than a hand out’, and which seeks to ‘tackle poverty by creating opportunity’. One of the underlying questions is tribal: do we regard other people as part of our human family or not? In other words, do we believe we are fundamentally bound to other people by our 26
shared humanity or freed from most or all obligations towards them unless they are kith and kin? And are such obligations defined by, say, geography or race or belief? Charity, a word we now use in a narrow, particular way. Its history is richer. It is derived from the Latin ‘caritas’, originally meaning preciousness, dearness, high price. In the Christian narrative, caritas became the standard Latin translation for the Greek word agape, meaning an unconditional love for others. The King James Bible, when translating one of the letters attributed to Paul, gives us “faith, hope and charity” – charity here being love (the word now favoured by most translations). Hard then to believe, but charity once had a far deeper, far more radical meaning that it has today (the same thing has, as it happens, occurred to how we speak of and understand love. Our definition tends to be narrow and most of us miss its radical energy and nature). Today charity is synonymous with charitable organisations – legal entities - that ‘do good’. And very many of them do just that, some very effectively. But what they also tend to do – it is true of the Foundation also – is to outsource, even impersonalise, what (according to the origin of the term charity) should be to a great extent personal and immediate. This is not to denigrate charity in our contemporary sense – not at all; but it is perhaps something of a reproach to each of us where and when we find that our writing of cheques or the making of online donations to sponsored charity runs or suchlike find no mirroring in the immediacy of our daily lives and those who people them. 27
In response, Governors and staff of the Foundation greatly value the local nature of our work. That’s not to say we think a sense of personal connection is possible with the people living in this small slice of inner London known as Lambeth, but some things are more possible for us than for London or UKwide grantmakers. We know about the local scene, the networks of organisations, charities and schools serving our target beneficiaries, and the areas where deprivation seems densest. We are able to map trends and changes, to make links and see opportunities. Edmund Walcot is not our sole benefactor but his gift forms the largest element of our permanent endowments. His name lives on in Lambeth’s history and today gives first, second and third chances to those whom circumstance has deprived of the opportunities many take for granted. What he might have made of all this, 350 years later, is anyone’s guess. For our part, we are simply very grateful to him, and others who venture beyond nominal forms of charity to make the world a better place. Painting by Charlie Millar (detail) showing names of some of the charities subsumed by today’s Walcot charities – still remembered and celebrated. See also p27.
â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Anticipate charity by preventing povertyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Maimonides, Jewish 12th century Maimonides says that, while the second highest form of tzedakah* is to give donations anonymously to unknown recipients, the highest form is to give a gift, loan, or partnership that will result in the recipient supporting himself instead of living upon others. * Tzedakah is the Hebrew word for the acts that in English we translate as charity. It in fact has a wider meaning. The word charity suggests benevolence and generosity. Tzedakah is derived from the Hebrew root Tzadei-Dalet-Qof, meaning righteousness, justice or fairness. In Judaism, giving to the poor is not viewed as a generous, magnanimous act; it is simply an act of justice and righteousness, the performance of a duty, giving the poor their due.
AB â&#x20AC;&#x153;During my time at university I used to work every Saturday to support myself with bus pass, books etc. The Walcot Foundation grant was a great help to me as it allowed me to focus on my study and not to worry so much about my financial issues. As a result, I have done remarkably well and completed my degree with 1st class honoursâ&#x20AC;?.
MAKING GRANTS Teresa Clay is Chair of the Grants Committee
Cross into the borough of Lambeth and invisible among those you pass on the street will be the people on low incomes the Walcot Foundation exists to help – the young man or woman with no work or college place, the teenager in danger of dropping out of school, the child struggling with reading or maths, the family on low pay, the child who has never set foot in a theatre or a museum. We make grants mainly to local schools and organisations with around 10% of the total directly to individuals, but the focus is always the same – the individual, and enabling the individual to escape poverty through education and properly rewarded work. Our approach is grounded in the small area we serve. The London Borough of Lambeth is just three miles wide and seven miles long, stretching from the Thames at Westminster to the Surrey hills. As a result we have a deep local knowledge and wide networks. We can see our projects in action and know the schools and organisations we fund. Our giving – over £19 million in the last ten years – is concentrated and can have a larger impact. The scale of need is great. Around 34% of all children in the borough are growing up in poverty. Employment is high but about a fifth of those in work earn below the London Living Wage. English is a second language for around half the children in Lambeth schools. Inequalities are stark. Of those of working age, 85% of white people are in work compared to 66% of nonwhite people. Some streets in the borough have households with very high incomes but are also in the 10% most deprived areas nationally. 31
What will make a difference to the individuals behind those statistics and give them a hand up out of poverty? In a cramped room on the Angell Town estate in Stockwell, adults are improving their English. Near Brixton tube station, young people are learning to work with horses at stables overshadowed by tower blocks. Lunch break at a school in West Norwood, and boys of ten sit in a circle learning to listen and help each other. In a bright room in Streatham, refugee children bend over homework and mothers crowd downstairs for help with housing and schools. These are some examples of work we fund â&#x20AC;&#x201C; always with the aim of enabling the individual to break out of intergenerational cycles of deprivation, and escape poverty for good across a lifetime. The best ways to help may vary as the local context changes. That is why we review our priorities thoroughly every three years, consulting local partners, looking for current trends and future changes and building on our careful monitoring of the impact of the projects we have funded. We will always seek value for money â&#x20AC;&#x201C; though that does not prevent us from funding projects where the cost-per-person is high where we think it is justified to achieve good outcomes. We do not chase innovation but are open to taking a risk on an innovative project particularly to meet changing needs or intractable problems. As we fund schools, small organisations and individuals we aim to minimise the burden of applying for grants. Our website gives extensive guidance on our aims and what activities we are likely to fund, and the grants team works with applicants to ensure that projects which reach the committee have a 32
good chance of success. We will always aim to set clear and achievable measures of the activities carried out and their short and longer term impacts, working with the school or organisation. Whatever the circumstances we always aim to treat those we help with respect and work with them as partners. Once a grant has been made we work with grantees to help them meet our monitoring requirements and provide additional services where needed: for individuals, debt and money management advice, careers and job readiness coaching; and for organisations we fund, or may fund â&#x20AC;&#x201C; organisational capacity building. This support builds on our extensive experience of the main reasons individuals and organisations may struggle to achieve the aims of the funding, and aims to maximise successes. We believe it is an important reason for a good overall success rate for our grants and helps to support and develop the local voluntary sector. Measuring the long-term impact of our grants is not easy. The individuals who benefit have different personal histories and different responses and their personal circumstances change. The context in the school or other organisation may change, as staff or funding changes or other initiatives come and go. There is always uncertainty but we remain committed to careful monitoring of impact and learning from experience and being alert to changes in Lambeth and its people. (See p37 for more on how we measure impact). Ten generations ago, Edmund Walcot established his charity for the relief of poverty. Young people on low incomes in 33
Lambeth can still find themselves cut off from employment and educational opportunities, like their predecessors in the seventeenth century. Individuals and families continue to struggle with poverty and the social exclusion, missed opportunities and unfulfilled potential which come with it. But poverty and the routes out of poverty are changing. In recent years we have seen reductions in funding for public services and for the local voluntary sector, reducing support to those on low incomes to improve their longer term prospects. Even those in work are not escaping poverty. In the UK as a whole 55% of all those in poverty are in working households, more than ever before. This challenges our longstanding view that work is the best means of escaping poverty. We are responding by piloting ways of helping people who are trapped on low pay to move into better paid work, and supporting the Living Wage. Our ambition is that the Walcot Foundation should continue to develop and grow to help Lambeth people and families out of poverty now and for future generations.
JGN (Grant towards costs of BSc Politics & International Relations with Economics)
“My mother and I have been struggling, and if it wasn’t for the Walcot Foundation I doubt I would have been able to afford my commute to university and essential equipment that has allowed me to excel at university.” SM (Grant towards costs of Biological Sciences degree)
“The Walcot grant provided me with all the essentials I needed and saved me the stress and worry that I would have had to face due to my finances.”
London Music Masters
WHAT IMPACT DOES OUR GRANTMAKING HAVE? What we want to achieve is challenging to measure
What we want to achieve is not that easy to measure: improved employability, across a working lifetime, resulting in sufficient earned income for our grantees to provide adequately for themselves and any dependants. This is how we approach it. We use the terms outputs (meaning the direct measured results of the funded activity, such as the number of young people attending a specific course) and outcomes (the deeper changes that emerge for the young people engaged in that activity, such as a change in skills or behaviours). We look for realistic, achievable results that are likely to help our grantees move along the paths we speak about in much of our literature and which are shown in the diagram opposite. We are willing â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and able - to take risks by trying new approaches. Not all these approaches will work or achieve their planned outcomes. We donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think of these as failures but as steps in discovering more about how to go about our historic aim of relieving poverty. Grants to organisations, projects and schools
Our grants to organisations and schools are solely a means of reaching our target beneficiaries: low-income Lambeth citizens. We measure the impact of our grants by assessing grantee reports against the originally agreed outputs, outcomes and post-project outcomes. Even when a project has an emphasis on more qualitative impact (for example building confidence or changing attitudes), we have a strong preference for being able to use quantitative measures as proxies for these qualitative changes. For instance, where a project is working in a school to improve confidence, 37
we wish to see outcomes that show how this has followed through into changed behaviour (such as improved attendance or behaviour). We analyse reports from grantees, and have a 95% compliance rate. Each output and outcome is scored against original proposals (exceed target; 100%; 75%-99%, 50%-74%, under 50%) and then an overall score is given to the report. We class as satisfactory a grant that has met 75% or more of its agreed targets. This data, and any accompanying narrative, is reported to the Grants Committee for scrutiny by Governors. The scale of our work does not make it feasible for us to fund control groups. We cannot be certain what would have happened if our grant had not been made. Neither is it possible to prove that it is one particular intervention that was the main cause of positive change. We avoid taking easy or unevidenced credit: there are many variables in the lives of our grantees and often they are receiving help or services from other, even multiple, sources. Our aim with every application is to reach the best judgement we can by looking closely at the reasoning behind a proposal and taking account of what we already know is likely to work. We believe this allows us to reasonably conclude that a particular project has had a net beneficial impact on its participants â&#x20AC;&#x201C; our ultimate grantees. Grants made directly to individual grantees
Measuring the impact of our individual grants is done through an annual survey in which we ask for details of their current 38
Indoamerican Refugee and Migrant Organisation (IMRO) English for Work project
situation (for example whether they are continuing in education or have found employment). This is undertaken nine months after the end of each academic year and allows us to gauge what impact the training or qualification we funded has had on the grantee’s circumstances. The online survey is sent out by email and then followed up by ‘phone calls to non-respondents. Does all this give us a good enough picture?
We humans are notoriously difficult to predict and each of us has been shaped by an infinite number of influences and circumstances. We can never know for certain the value to an individual’s life - over their lifetime - of a Walcot grant. Our aim is simple: to help Lambeth citizens adversely affected by household poverty gain the opportunities most likely to allow them to develop the skills and aptitudes needed to gain decently paid work across their working lifetime. Measuring whether what we fund leads to that aim being realised – and to what degree – is not simple or always possible. What is possible is thoughtful grantmaking based on reasonable assumptions and in the light of what we know is most likely to work.
VI “I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for Edmund Walcot’s legacy. It’s a big statement and one I’m sure that is echoed by many. From a young age I wanted to enter the media industry but with no connections and no access to equipment it wasn’t a great start. I was introduced to the Walcot Foundation and their vision of ‘a hand up not a hand out’, which is exactly what they did for me. They set me up with my first production kit and a mentor in the media. They were always on hand to help me in my career throughout university”.
In the name of God, Amen. Edmund Walcotâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Will of January 1667
MODERN DAY BENEFACTORS A new benefactor has chosen the Foundation as a cost-effective way of realising her wish to make a difference In 2014 Lambeth resident Miranda Townsend approached the Foundation to find out how to go about setting up a charity in her Will. But what she discovered led to a different outcome. Her wish was to help Lambeth BME (Black Minority Ethnic) students from low income households who gained a place at one of the UK’s Russell Group universities. We interviewed her to find out more about her and her story
Can we begin by asking you about the greatest influences on your life and outlook?
I moved schools eight times before going to university and so experienced very varied educational influences and regimes and widely differing ideas on how to think and behave. By the age of 13 when I was sent to a traditional English boarding school I had travelled a lot, had lived in other countries with different customs and practices and was used to deciding for myself – not necessarily correctly – what I thought was right or wrong. A major issue for me at that age, and the first political issue that I remember taking up with enthusiasm, was apartheid in South Africa. This early education in racism and how it worked has been a major influence throughout my life. Education is important to you: what, for you, is its purpose?
I was recently travelling in China and was asked to talk to a group of primary teachers. One of the first questions I was asked was, “How do you teach children imagination?’’ The subtext provided, by a rather grumpy young teacher, was that “Chinese children have no imagination.” I personally believe that no-one is born without imagination and that capturing the imagination of students and leading them to apply it in their own pursuit of knowledge is one of the most important purposes of education. Paolo Freire, the great Brazilian teacher of literacy to adults, contrasted the ‘banking’ theory 43
of education in which the banker/ teacher doles out knowledge – facts – with the dialectical method, where teachers and students come together to share their knowledge in a creative dialogue to question and expand on the given facts. Finding ways to do this across the board with students of all ages and abilities is the hugely demanding task we ask of all teachers. Why your concern for BME pupils from lower income groups?
In the late 1960s I became so concerned about generalised racism in the UK and tales of how it was affecting the education of black children that I abandoned my career job to see how I could influence this. I was in at the beginning with the ILEA’s so-called multicultural education policies, increasingly aware of the facts of how discrimination was affecting BME communities in all areas of life, less aware of what to do about this in practical ways but committed to developing these. The creation of the Townsend Scholarship Fund is a logical progression from this work. Why Russell Group universities?
I was ILEA Inspector for Adult Education when the ILEA was disbanded and as part of my job I worked closely with the Polytechnics, which were then under Local Authority control but have now all become universities. My knowledge of their offer then, and more recent anecdotal evidence from individual 44
BME students, affected my decision to offer help specifically to students who gained a place at a Russell Group university. A primary consideration was to encourage BME students to aspire to the best without being deterred by material considerations or over-dependent on student loans. Why were you attracted by the Walcot Foundation?
I have lived, and from time to time worked, in Lambeth for 49 years. I feel deeply rooted here. My plan was to establish a small charity through my Will. I knew of the Walcot Foundation and decided to make contact for any advice about how my new charity could best achieve its aim. What soon became clear to me was that the Foundation was a natural home for what I had in mind. This avoided the costs involved in setting up a new charity and ensured that all of my future gift would be directed to the purpose I so much wished to support. I am delighted to have found such a safe place for my small project. I also enjoy being part of the long history of the Foundation and like the idea of being one of the many Lambeth residents who have contributed to its work. A wholly unexpected bonus of working with the Foundation has been that the relatively small contribution I have made to date has already been enhanced by the Foundation to enable more substantial grants to be made to this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s beneficiaries. What do you think are the threats and possibilities facing young people today?
Superficially the possibilities seem wider than they were in the fifties. There are more universities, more girls going to university, more places for women at Oxford and Cambridge, 45
more black and ethnic minorities succeeding in the school system, more material resources on every front, more access to foreign travel and making links with people across the social spectrum and across the world. Against this, however, weigh the huge privilege that a public school education confers, the lack of government support for fees and maintenance, the proliferation of degrees which no longer guarantee access to employment, the lack of skills training and skilled jobs other than in IT. I believe that today the threats to young people – the rising inequality of both wealth and opportunity, the hostile climate that government policy since 2010 has created for the poor and the ‘immigrant’, the reductions in state support for those that need it and Brexit – are real and great. The possibilities will come from young people themselves, their optimism and opposition to the difficulties they face, their willingness to fight for change. I hope current and future governments will start again to value and appreciate the young. What wisdom and advice might you pass on?
One expression of wisdom which profoundly affected me, though I cannot take it for my own, comes from Malcolm X’s autobiography, from his refusal to give an inch in claiming equality for black people, to accept that difference is not important or to ignore discrimination in working with others for equal rights. I believe that is a lesson that we should continue to listen to and to heed as we hear injunctions to incoming communities to integrate. On a personal level the one clear lesson I remember from school was from my O Level English teacher. She had asked us to write an essay on Wordsworth and I did, enthusiastically mocking his infelicities 46
and often simple phrases. The essay was returned to me unmarked and I was invited to write a second essay on what I liked about Wordsworth. Great teaching! I learnt at a stroke to admire and enjoy Wordsworth and, by the way, but more importantly, a lifelong lesson in seeking out the best rather than merely criticising the worst.
LD â&#x20AC;&#x153;After completing my Plumbing Course, I have been offered employment. I have now moved from a hostel and living in new accommodation. The grant has allowed me to get on in life, it has definitely picked up my spirits and I feel I can now get up in the morning.â&#x20AC;?
The Maps Descriptive of London Poverty are perhaps the most distinctive product of Charles Boothâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Inquiry into Life and Labour in London (1886-1903). An early example of social cartography, each street is coloured to indicate the income and social class of its inhabitants. Detail, showing the area around the Walcot Estate
POVERTY AND POSSIBILITY: A PERSONAL PERSPECTIVE Joanna Mack is Visiting Fellow at The Open University and an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the University of Bristol
In recent years, the problem of poverty has been turned on its head. Poverty has increasingly been seen not as a burden on the poor, but those in poverty are seen as a burden on society. Fuelled by a shift in the political climate to a greater emphasis on benefit sanctions and an increasingly hostile coverage of benefit claimants in much of the media, a narrative has been established that blames the poor themselves for their own situation. ‘Shameless’, ‘skivers’, ‘cheats’ litter the press’s coverage of poverty. But the idea that personal failings are the underlying cause of poverty is a myth – and a dangerous one at that. It flies in the face of evidence. The majority of children in poverty are from working households. In-work poverty is now more common than out-of-work poverty – and the scale of in-work poverty is growing as wages at the bottom end have stagnated and jobs have become more insecure. In-depth research with those on low incomes shows that most manage their money very carefully, counting every penny. They need to, ‘just to get by’. And while teenagers from the most disadvantaged families do have a higher chance of being in trouble with the police, nine out of ten have had no contact with the police at all. A focus on personal inadequacies is all too convenient. It shifts attention away from the structural failings in society, for which the poor pay the price. And the price is high. Poverty deprives people of a decent and secure life. It’s a constant struggle to get by, with endless worries about how to pay the next bill, being able to keep the house warm, where the next meal is coming from. Unable to take part in the society 49
around them – making excuses for not going out with friends or family or for not joining in activities – it is often an isolating experience. It is also, and increasingly, stigmatising. Those on low incomes report that one of the worst aspects of being poor is the condemnation of others. In the words of one low-paid worker: ‘It has got worse, because of the media, they make things so out of context...they focus so much on the “lazy” people, they do not show the positive outcomes.’ For children, poverty limits life chances. From birth, children of low-income families are more likely to die before reaching adulthood, to have health problems, and to fare badly at school. In the UK, the link between low income backgrounds and poor educational attainment is greater than in almost any other developed country. At GCSE level, well over half of students gain at least five or more passes at grade C or above – but for those claiming free school meals around half have no passes at all above a grade D. The gap continues to widen as students move up the education system. Only six per cent of entrants to top universities come from the poorest third of children. Adults with fewer qualifications have, on average, lower earnings and are more likely to face times in poverty. Around half of those whose only qualifications are grade D GCSE’s or below can’t afford a decent standard of living. This, in turn, affects their well-being and increases the risk of suffering from long-term illness. The cumulative result is that those born in deprived areas have 50
A segment of the Berlin Wall on display at the Imperial War Museum, just a moment’s walk from our offices. The sentiment – change your life – describes the purpose behind our grantmaking. Building on the strengths our grantees already have, we help them achieve long lasting change
a lower life expectancy, and fewer disability-free years, than those born in wealthier areas. A Lambeth born male has a life expectancy of around 79 years and can expect his life to be limited by disability by the age of 63 – respectively, about four and a half years and six years earlier than in neighbouring Kensington and Chelsea. In Clapham Town, the worst performing ward in Lambeth, life expectancy is 75, a stunning sixteen years earlier than Kensington and Chelsea’s Courtfield ward. Understanding that poverty is primarily the result of deep inequalities in how society is organised focuses our attention on the types of action that would be needed – at both a government and local level – to tackle the problem. There is nothing inevitable about a system that leaves so many behind, so many unable to meet their basic needs. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation, a research and policy-based organisation dedicated to promoting social change, has just completed a four-year consultation into what works in the fight against poverty. It has detailed a comprehensive strategy that includes reform of the benefit system, moves to rebalance the economy to better paid and more secure jobs, and ways to improve the skills and job prospects of young people from poorer backgrounds. There is already a raft of local initiatives to create better opportunities for those in deprived areas, initiatives such as those promoted by the Walcot Foundation. Through their grants to local organisations a wide variety of imaginative schemes are being developed which open up new approaches 52
to tackling poverty based on creating opportunities for those currently excluded. When we stop seeing poverty as the fault of the poor but as the consequence of the decisions we make as a society we can start to reflect on what sort of society we want to live in. We can start to envisage a more inclusive society which works for everyone, one in which economic rewards are equitably shared. It creates an opportunity to work for something better â&#x20AC;&#x201C; not just for those facing poverty but for all of us. New possibilities open up. Joanna Mack pioneered, with Stewart Lansley, the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;consensualâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; approach to measuring poverty in the 1983 Breadline Britain survey. She writes here in a personal capacity.
MR WALCOT’S LONDON Jon Newman, Archives Manager, Lambeth Archives
The inner-urban landscape which the Walcot Foundation operates within today is one that is familiar to us; yet when Edmund Walcot left half of his land in Kennington to the parish of St Mary Lambeth for charitable purposes 350 years ago, his philanthropy was operating in a very different environment. Edmund Walcot had never lived in Lambeth: after a successful career as a haberdasher, with premises on London Bridge, he had retired briefly to Clapham and then, after his death, his body was returned to St Olave’s Southwark for burial. By his will of 1667 he bequeathed the 17 acres of land that he had owned in Lambeth since 1656, to be divided equally between St Olave’s, where he had mostly lived, and St Mary Lambeth where the land lay. The administration of these two charitable estates and the payments to the poor that they generated were carried out by the vicar and churchwardens of the two parishes. So what was this place, Lambeth, like in 1667 to which Edmund Walcot gave half his worldly estate as a charitable bequest? It was the parish next to Southwark and, like it, faced London from the south side of the River Thames. Yet, unlike Southwark, even in the late seventeenth century, Lambeth, with the exception of its river frontage, was still a curiously rural place – still a residual Surrey village when Southwark was already a London suburb. The explanation for this was that while Southwark had London Bridge feeding through it, Lambeth, with no river crossings, found that the Thames served as a barrier rather than a link. It was true that the Lambeth foreshore was occupied by boat builders and boat houses (for mooring the ceremonial barges of 54
City companies) and was a centre for Thames watermen who, in the absence of bridges, ferried people and goods across and along the river. Only once it had been embanked and partially drained did this foreshore area start to become an extension of London. Its cheaper land, beyond the restrictive licensing powers of the City of London and its Guilds, started to attract new and often malodorous industries whose raw materials could be easily transported in and processed here: timber yards, sugar bakers, flour mills, candle makers, vinegar brewers.... There was the occasional more prestigious business as well: John Evelyn came to Lambeth in 1676 and visited “that rare magazine of Marble, to take order for Chimney pieces &c… We also saw the Duke of Bockingham’s Glasse worke, where they make huge Vasas of metal as cleare and ponderous & thick as Chrystal, also Looking-glasses far larger & better than any that come from Venice.” But Lambeth riverside was the exception. This was where most of the population lived; it was where the church of St Mary stood on the river next to the Palace where Lambeth’s most prestigious resident, the Archbishop of Canterbury, stayed when in London. But behind the riverside the rest of this long and narrow parish, extending a full seven miles south to Norwood, was essentially rural. No one lived in Brixton — it was an empty crossroads in the middle of fields — while the hamlets of Stockwell, Coldharbour and Norwood, little more than small collections of cottages, filled in the spaces between the fields and the occasional large mansion set in grounds, like Loughborough House. Lambeth’s surprising underdevelopment can be seen in Wenceslaus Hollar’s 1670 panorama of London 55
and Westminster where, in front of a skyline of Londonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s spires, the Lambeth foreground is one of hedges and small field plots with just the occasional house. Despite its proximity to town, Lambeth was still essentially a rural hinterland of small farms and market gardens that supplied the metropolis with its food. Alongside the growers of cabbages and turnips there flourished a few rather more exotic specimens. At the top end were collectors of exotics, like the John Tradescants whose gardens in South Lambeth were a seventeenth-century visitor attraction; then there were horticulturalists like William Curtis whose famous London Botanic Garden opened in north Lambeth in 1779; later still there were nurserymen like John Malcolm in Stockwell who supplied plants and trees for the gardens of the growing number of middle-class villas. But these were the exceptions. At the bottom of this vegetable hierarchy were myriad farmers and market gardeners like John Gold and Simon Harding who leased the six small fields of the Walcot Estate from the charity trustees and continued to cultivate them up until the 1770s. Edmund Walcot had given land, rather than money. That meant that his name became associated with a precise area of Lambeth, the Walcot Estate, and so endured in a way that other equally generous seventeenth-century donors do not. Who now remembers the beneficence to Lambeth of Roger Jeston, Richard Lawrence, Margaret Oakley or Thomas Rich or their gifts of a parish school, weekly bread distribution, coats for poor men and women and apprenticeships for young boys? They gave money rather than land and consequently their bequests are footnotes absorbed within the present day Walcot 56
Foundation and now almost forgotten. Walcot’s name lives on because his land remained and increased in value. The lonely fields farmed by John Gold and his fellow market gardeners in 1713 provided just £35 per annum of rental, split equally between the two parishes. But after 1751, when Westminster Bridge was built connecting Lambeth with London, a new link road was required to the coach road from London Bridge to the south coast. The line of the new ‘Kennington Road’ linked bridge with turnpike road (the A23 at Kennington Park) by cutting south straight through the empty fields of Kennington, including the Lambeth portion of the Walcot Estate. Suddenly the empty fields of Kennington had become a new development opportunity; the coming of the new coach road meant that its frontages could be much more lucratively redeveloped as houses. It was a powerful economic force that it was almost impossible to stand against, and Lambeth parish, as trustees of the Walcot charity, was happy to redevelop its fields as Walcot Place, two terraces of fine Georgian townhouses either side of the Kennington Road, the rents from which massively increased the parish’s charitable income.
London panorama,Wenceslaus Hollar - Scanned from a facsimile, Public Domain wikimedia.org
THE WALCOT ESTATE ‘I have some connection and it lays in the direction of Walcot Square, Lambeth’, Mr Guppy, Bleak House
In the 15th century the land included within the Walcot Estate was the property of the Earls of Arundel and later the Dukes of Norfolk. In 1159 Thomas, Duke of Norfolk, sold part of his Lambeth property and, in 1657, 17 acres of this ground, having passed through several hands, were sold by Augustine Skinner to Edmund Walcot. Edmund left his property to his father, William Walcot, for life and the reversion for the charity, but his father survived him for only a year. The 17 acres freehold comprised the area now lying between Walnut Tree Walk and Brook Drive on either side of the present Kennington Road. At the time of Edmund Walcot’s death, the estate was tenanted by Thomas Hardy. It later passed to John Ramsay, grocer and alderman of London, and to his two daughters and their husbands, Baron Herbert of Cherbury and Sir William Broughton. Very sparse entries in the Vestry Books refer to the estate at this time as the “flowerpot rents”. In 1713, when the estate was partitioned, the lands were in the occupation of John Gold, Simond Harding, Edmund Goldegay and Thomas Ellisome. Gold and Harding were both gardeners, and probably the whole estate was used for market gardening. It is shown on Rocque’s map of 1746 as tilled ground. By the middle of the 18th century, as a result of the completion of Westminster Bridge, there was a considerable increase in traffic for which existing roads were ill-equipped. Legislation was passed empowering the Turnpike Trustees of Surrey, Sussex and Kent to repair and widen certain existing roads and to make new ones. The latter included Kennington Road, then 59
known as the New Road, or Walcot Place, linking Westminster Bridge Road with Kennington Common. The Walcot Charity sold land to the Turnpike Trustees for the laying out of this road (other estates concerned were those of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Duchy of Cornwall). The frontages opened up by making the New Road increased the value of the estate. The Walcot Charity Trustees decided to take advantage of the frontages by leasing land for houses to be erected. Many were built between 1768 and 1806. 127 Kennington Road – formerly 58, previously 59 Walcot Place East – now the offices of the Walcot Foundation, was occupied by William Tidd, legal writer. He was chiefly known as the author of ‘Practice of the Court of King’s Bench’, for a long time the sole authority for common law practice. The work is mentioned in David Copperfield. The house was the residence of T F Garnish, Clerk to the Trustees from 1917 until his death in 1954. Miss W Woods, his assistant, who shared the house with Mr and Mrs Garnish during that period, succeeded him as Clerk and continued to live there until her retirement in 1967. The Walcot Charity laid out Walcot Square (it is in fact a triangle) and built the houses in 1837-1839. St Mary’s Gardens (formerly St Mary’s Square) and St. Mary’s Walk (formerly St Mary’s Street) were developed in 1839-1840. Charles Dickens must have known this area well. He has Mr Guppy in Bleak House, in renewing his proposal to Esther, saying: ‘I have some connection and it lays in the direction of Walcot Square, Lambeth. 1 have therefore taken a ‘ouse, which. in 60
the opinion of my friends. is a hollow bargain (taxes ridiculous, and use of fixtures included in rent) ..It’s a six-roomer, exclusive of kitchens and in the opinion of my friends a commodious tenement’. Despite its central location (within the sound of Big Ben) the area was mainly working class. Census records show what today would be considered astonishing numbers of people living in each property. During WW2 the Estate suffered extensive damage. Changes since the 1970s and 1980s have been dramatic, as found across London. Demographics have shifted, and higher property prices and rents have changed the neighbourhood.
The Foundation’s direct labour force in 1937 on its annual outing. At that time property holdings numbered many hundreds and a large in-house workforce undertook all aspects of the estate’s maintenance.
English for Work project run by the Indoamerican Refugee and Migrant Organisation
Oval Learning Cluster residential
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Edmund’s admission as a Freeman of the Haberdashers’ Company 1649 Haberdashers’ Company Archive