The Westhorpe Trust
HISTORY OF THE TRUST
The Westhorpe Trust [formerly The Westhorpe Charity Trust] is made up of several historic funds. The oldest is from the will of Richard Brown, which dates from 1641. He was a gentleman who lived in Westhorpe and on his death left ten shillings a year from the rent of his property, to the poor of the parish to be administered by the Rector and churchwardens. Income also came from the properties at Town Yard which in the 19th century contained the parish workhouse. A separate strand of income came from Botany Farm. This is the last house as you leave Westhorpe on the Walsham le Willows road. The rent from a parcel of land in Walsham was part of the income for the Westhorpe Charity but eventually it was swapped for 14 acres of arable land at Botany Farm.
THE TRUST IN THE 21ST CENTURY
Over the last few years a lot of work has taken place to streamline the Trust. Some of it has been compulsory due to regulations introduced by the Government and the Charity Commission and some has been at the instigation of the Trustees to improve the income and make the distribution simpler. All of the property at Town Yard has been sold over the years and the money has been invested on the Trust's behalf. The arable land is let on an agricultural tenancy at the going market rate and is reviewed every three years. However the Trust is not permitted to spend the capital, “the Endowment”, but only the interest accruing from it. Since the income rises and falls according to the market and interest rates, the Trust retains a professional independent financial adviser.
In 2014 the Trustees changed the name to The Westhorpe Trust and amended the governing schedule. This can be viewed by anyone on the Charity Commission website, www.charitycommission.gov.uk - either put Westhorpe or the registered charity number: 263332, into the search box. This will give you an overview of the Trust's charitable status, a financial summary and its compliance history as well as a list of trustees.
The Trust's net income has always been divided into three.
i) One third is paid to Westhorpe Parochial Church Council towards the upkeep of the fabric and the provision of services for St Margaret's Church.
ii) One third goes into the Education Foundation. This was originally set up to repay parents for keeping their children in school rather than sending them out to earn money bird-scaring, stone-picking or gleaning. Now the Education Foundation gives everyone in full-time education a book token at Christmas. Those going on to university, college, other forms of Further or Higher Education or apprenticeships are also given grants each academic year towards tuition fees, travel expenses, books, computers and other necessary equipment. In addition, help can be offered with other expenses such as school uniform, books and possibly school trips for those in nursery, primary and secondary school as well as others taking educational courses.
iii) The final third of the income goes into the Village Fund. This provides family and personal grants for any kind of assistance, emergency payments, help with transport and heating costs, grants towards village events and many other things which need funding.
if you feel the Trust can help you or your family, an application form is available to download and print on the right hand side of this page. Please note that application is restricted to Westhorpe residents only.
All applications are treated in the strictest confidence and grants are made at the discretion of the Trustees.