St Pancras Welfare Trust

                          Caring in the heart of Camden


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St Pancras Welfare Trust

PO Box 51764

London NW1 1EA

Charity Number 261261

History of the Trust


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 Fortis Green."


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.