Taunton Heritage Trust is one of the oldest charities in England and Wales being able to trace its roots back to 1635 when Robert Gray founded Grays Almshouses. Following a number of mergers over the intervening years this and other small local charities were subsumed into Taunton Heritage Trust.
The Trust operates within the terms of the Scheme approved by the Charity Commissioners on 02 October 1981 as amended by an order dated 02 February 2006, Trustees resolution dated 13 March 2006 and resolution dated 19 January 2010.
The Trust is a Registered Social Landlord with the Tenant Services Authority (TSA), and a member of the Almshouse Association.
The Trust owns the following properties outright:
- Grays Almshouses
A Grade 1 listed building dated 1635, upgraded in 1990 (7 flats).
- Huish Homes
A Grade 2 listed building built in 1868, upgraded in 2004 (4 flats).
- Leycroft Close
Built in 1930’s, extended and upgraded during 1997-2001 (28 flats).
- St James Close
Built in 1845, totally renovated and upgraded in 1968 (8 flats).
- Bernard Taylor Homes
Purpose built in 1984 (19 flats).
In addition, the Trust currently owns Warden accommodation at 24 St James Street and The Bungalow, Leycroft Close. The Office is located within Huish Homes.
The Trust’s main role is to provide sheltered accommodation for older people and it owns five properties in the town which, between them, offer 66 self-contained flats designed to meet the needs of older people.
Residents should be “poor people of good character” of not less that 60 years of age who live within Taunton Deane.
The Trust provides carpets and essential white goods in each flat and there are communal laundry facilities on every site. Gardening, communal cleaning, repairs and maintenance are provided by a range of regular Contractors in order to ensure continuity of service by trusted workmen. The Trust also provides two free outings per year and a Christmas gift of cash to each Resident.
To date occupancy has traditionally been high but, when necessary and in order to fill vacancies, we advertise our accommodation through the Choice Based Lettings system managed by Taunton Deane Borough Council.
The Trust is run by a board of Trustees (which includes two elected representatives from Taunton Deane Borough Council plus the Mayor); they employ a Clerk, Treasurer, Properties Manager, Administrator, Administrative Assistant and two Wardens, all on a part time basis. The day to day responsibility for running the Trust is delegated to the Clerk.
The Trustees meet bi-monthly, normally on the second Tuesday of the month at 9.30am with meetings lasting, approximately, 1-2 hours.
The objectives of Taunton Heritage Trust in fulfilling its role as a provider of accommodation are:
- To provide affordable, suitable and safe accommodation for people on low incomes aged over 60 years.
- To provide warden assistance to encourage Residents to live their lives as independently as possible.
- To work to secure appropriate assistance for Residents from relatives and relevant support agencies.
- To provide a community environment that encourages social wellbeing through a range of activities and events.
- To maintain the Trust’s almshouses to the highest standards practicable.