Harpenden Trust celebrating 70 years of helping AL5 families in need

PUBLISHED: 07:00 24 October 2018

The Harpenden Trust Centre on Southdown Road. Picture: Brian Cooke.

The Harpenden Trust Centre on Southdown Road. Picture: Brian Cooke.


Harpenden Trust will have little time to celebrate their 70th birthday as they prepare to deliver 150 Christmas parcels.

The staff who man the Harpenden Trust's office. Picture: Brian Cooke.The staff who man the Harpenden Trust's office. Picture: Brian Cooke.

The trust was formed in 1948 by Dr Charles Hill and its mission is to help individuals and families who are in need and living in the AL5 postcode.

One mother said of the service: “When I was 17 I had my first son and when I moved into my first flat, I had nothing.

“My mum told me to go and see the Harpenden Trust and they were amazing. They helped with furniture, bedding and also a lot of other essentials to get me started.

“I will always appreciate what they did for my son and I in those early days.”

The trust, which now spends upwards of £90k a year helping people, will be delivering 150 parcels to the lonely and housebound this Christmas.

This is part of the trust’s Care Fund, which is part-financed by an annual Christmas collection that raised £53k last year.

A 1948 newspaper article said of the trust: “Working together and with 55 local organisations of every political colour, age and outlook, the group who founded the charity were attempting to harness the energy and goodwill of the people of Harpenden to serve the 16,000 people who live there.”

To celebrate their anniversary, the trust is holding an event on October 31 to thank the 150 volunteers who help keep it running.

The event will be attended by the Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, Robert Voss CBE.

The trust’s chair Cedric Kennedy said: “It’s not surprising that Harpenden is proud of its home-grown charity.

“Those involved in the trust – as well as many of those who have been helped over the last 70 years - are most certainly very proud.”

Recently, the Trust has helped make a defibrillator available for use in the town and supported both the installation of new nets at Harpenden Cricket Club as well as the new community football pitch at Roundwood Park School.

A decade ago, the trust was able to expand thanks to £2.1m from the Abbeyfield Trust selling its Harpenden property.

The Abbeyfield trustees stipulated that the funds from the sale must remain in Harpenden and benefit the townspeople.

This led to the formation of the Harpenden Trust Community Fund, which has administered nearly £500,000 to benefit Harpenden residents.

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