WHO WE ARE
We are a board of trustees from the local area who work together to govern the trust and decide on grants to our applicants. We meet twice per year, and review the applications that come to us by email regularly. You can learn more about what we are upto by reading our newsletters.
The purpose of the Trust is to help residents living in the former Metropolitan Borough of St Pancras when faced with need or sickness and who have nowhere else to turn. The area of benefit lies within the heart of the London Borough of Camden and includes some of the most densely populated parts of the borough, many with high indicators of poverty and need.
The most common request is to help people being re-housed - perhaps after years of living rough, living in a hostel or after leaving an institution. They have no resources or possessions and their new homes are usually cold and bare. We help by making small grants in cash or vouchers to buy furniture, bedding and clothes.
We also receive requests to help young mums and their children, the frail and elderly and those in need of respite. A separate trust, the Camelot Trust, supports holidays for disadvantaged young children.
Caring in the Heart of Camden
Established by the Charity Commission in 1971 to manage a number of ancient parochial charities with histories stretching back to the 16th century, the modern aim and objective of the Trust is to help residents of the former Metropolitan Borough of St Pancras in times of need or sickness. The Trust provides an invaluable safety net for those who have nowhere else to turn and when the State can no longer help.
The origins of the Trust stretch back to 1558 when St Pancras was a hamlet by the River Fleet. In that year a wealthy woman named Eleanor Palmer, who had survived many husbands and had connections with the area, died and bequeathed "two acres of meadow land and its income for the benefit of the poor of Kentish Town and Chipping Barnet forever." The land was "situated near a place known as Forties Field" (now called Fortess Road).
Some years later, in 1617, a resident of Holborn, Thomas Charles, concerned about the plight of his poor neighbours, left them various sums of monies, including "twenty-four shillings payable yearly at Christmas forever for the poor of Kentish Town.".
This was followed by another Gift, established in 1632 by William Platt of Kentish Town, to give "one pound each at Christmas to fourteen needy persons living in the parish of St Pancras forever".
Increasingly the parochial charities were becoming irrelevant to the needs of the twentieth century and eventually legislation was introduced to allow changes to be made. Thus, the Charities Act (1964) required local authorities to carry out a review of charities in their area. As a result, and after a long period of consultation, the St Pancras Welfare Trust was formed in 1971 as a new independent charity with an up to date set of guidelines, clearly defining how the income from the assets of the ancient gifts and trusts should be distributed.
Underpinning the work of the Trust is the income received via the Estate Charity of Eleanor Palmer* from charitable assets created more than four centuries earlier, still serving the needs of the local community. The story is one of local people caring for each other and having the foresight to plan for the future.
And the story continues; in 1992, 375 years after the establishment of the Thomas Charles Gift, the Trustees became responsible for the assets of the Camelot Trust - a charity established in 1969 by a local resident, Mrs Neel, to provide holidays for disadvantaged local children.
The Trustees are conscious that they have a responsibility towards future generations and take this into consideration when making decisions about the needs of the present.
* The Estate Charity of Eleanor Palmer is an independent trust with its own trustees. Two trustees of St Pancras Welfare Trust also serve as trustees of the Estate Charity of Eleanor Palmer.