350 years of Mr Walcot’s gift to the people of Lambeth


This year – 2017 –the Walcot Foundation celebrates the 350th anniversary of Edmund Walcot’s Will in which he left land, the rents from which were to be used for the relief of the poor of Lambeth.

In the last 10 years alone, the Foundation has given £19 million in grants to support Lambeth citizens from low-income homes gain the education, skills and opportunities needed to make their way in the world and to escape poverty “tackling poverty by creating opportunity”.  2,189 grants directly to individuals and 1,434 to organisations, schools and projects to help Lambeth citizens.

Poverty has not gone away. In 2016, 87,000 Lambeth people were defined as living in poverty, including a third of the borough’s children.

The Foundation funds virtually any activity that is likely to improve the long-term chances of Lambeth citizens affected by poverty. Typically things that build resilience and well-being, literacy and numeracy, skills and knowledge; projects to help young people remain engaged with learning; we make scholarship and bursary awards for a wide range of courses from Anthropology and Linguistics, via Beauty Therapy, to Plumbing, Electrical Installations, Economics and Phlebotomy. We make resettlement grants for those moving from homelessness or domestic violence. It also funds
childcare costs, pay for computer equipment and other essentials when
embarking on ‘second chance’ learning.

It has commissioned Birmingham University to undertake a qualitative research project using former Walcot Foundation grantees.  Later in the year there will be an event to launch and publicise the findings.  The Foundation  will use the findings to review its grant making, as well as share the results with others to shape and inform policy and practice in the area of social mobility.

In June it is holding an evening event at the newly refurbished and extended Garden Museum. The work of some of its grantee organisations will be showcased.  Guests will be able to tour the newly opened museum.

The Walcot Charity (as it then was) was administered for several centuries from the parish church of St Mary Lambeth – now the Garden Museum (and decommissioned as a church).  In order to provide a physical memorial to the principal benefactor the Foundation has funded a new ‘Walcot Room’ as fund educational activities.

With the Trust for London it has been funding pilot programmes aimed to identifying ways in which those caught up in ‘in-work’ poverty can be helped to improve their circumstances and income. During 2017 it will be reporting on what has been found and how any successful strategies can be rolled out.

In mid-June, a new publication to mark the anniversary will be published Mr Walcot’s Gift to the People of Lambeth. Copies available free, on request.

Although many people in and around Lambeth know of the Foundation and its principal benefactor Edmund Walcot, many don’t.  During the anniversary year it aims to raise awareness of our work, especially amongst those who may benefit from our grants.

In order to extend the reach of its work the Foundation invites others to give money.  It does not deduct any element to meet its running costs. This means that 100% of what is given reaches those who need it. This is likely to be of interest to –

  • business and corporate sponsors wishing to target real problem of poverty in London


  • those wishing to make small gifts


  • those thinking of making gifts through their Wills, as Edmund Walcot did

Find out more


For more information please contact Daniel Chapman (Grants Manager) or
Hugh Valentine (Director) 020 7735 1925

See also walcotfoundation.org.uk/350



About seancreighton1947

Since moving to Norbury in July 2011 I have been active on local economy, housing and environment issues with Croydon TUC and Croydon Assembly. I am a member of the Love Norbury Residents Associations Planning & Transport Committees, and Chair of Nobury Community Land Trust. I write for Croydon Citizen at http://thecroydoncitizen.com. I co-ordinate the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Croydon Radical History Networks and edit the North East Popular Politics database. History Project.. I give history talks and lead history walks. I retired in 2012 having worked in the community/voluntary sector and on heritage projects. My history interests include labour movement, mutuality, Black British, slavery & abolition, Edwardian roller skating and the social and political use of music and song. I have a particular interest in the histories of Battersea and Wandsworth, Croydon and Lambeth. I have a publishing imprint History & Social Action Publications.
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