Friday, 19 August 2022

Henley Municipal Charities

Henley Municipal Charities

THE Henley Municipal Charities is the working title of three small and two larger charities, which together are administered under a scheme approved by the Charity Commissioners in 1984.

The beneficiaries of the charities must be resident in the town of Henley or the villages of Greys and Bix.

The day-to-day management of the charities is undertaken by its clerk (currently Miss Wendy Bowsher) working under the supervision and direction of the charities’ board of trustees.

There are 13 trustees, including the incumbent Mayor of Henley and the rector of St Mary’s Church.

The largest of the five charities is the Almshouse Charity, which owns 25 one- and two-bedroom homes which are available, in return for a modest maintenance contribution, to those who have limited means and savings and are unable to afford to buy or rent a home on the open market.

Maintenance of the proerties (inside and out) is the responsibility of the charity and the residents are required to be capable of independent living and willing to keep their homes clean and tidy.

When a vacancy arises, it is advertised in the local paper and “feelers” are put out to local organisations who might know of people for whom an almshouse might be suitable.

The Church Charity has commercial property investments from which the income is applied in part towards the upkeep of St Mary’s Church and in part towards the maintenance of the almshouses.

The small Education Charity makes its investment income available for grants to the local primary schools and small grants to individuals of limited means who need help with their education, such as funding the purchase of books.

The Bridge Charity uses its income to support the needs of the residents of the almshouses, while the Relief in Need Charity has a remit to help those in the wider community and does so by making grants available for the Mayor’s Christmas party and Henley Lions Club’s Christmas parcel scheme.

Meanwhile, three recently extended two-storey single occupancy almshouses in Henley will become available over the next few weeks for persons of limited means.

Each almshouse has a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, downstairs cloakroom, dining room and lounge area and is newly decorated.

Applicants must currently reside within the areas of benefit, namely within the town boundary of Henley and the ecclesiastical boundaries of the parishes of Rotherfield Greys and Bix.

Applicants should apply in writing, giving background details, to: Henley Municipal Charities, Rear 24 Hart Street, Henley-on-Thames RG9 2AU. If the initial criteria is met, an application form will be sent back.

The closing date for applications is Friday, April 27.

The generosity of Henley Municipal Charities’ benefactors long ago has provided the means to help Henley people who find themselves without suitable homes or in need of a little help which otherwise would not be available.

The charities have a proud tradition of fulfilling their obligations through many generations and are delighted to have the means to continue doing so for many years to come.

For more information, call Wendy Bowsher on (01491) 412360 or email

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