Thrale Almshouse update
by Paul Lehmann
Earlier in the year, I wrote about the Thrale Charity’s project to redevelop the Thrale Alms-houses in Polworth Road, which had become very outdated. I’m delighted that after two years on site and £3million, the redevelopment work is completed, 17 residents have moved into their new homes, and in mid-October, we will be celebrating the reopening of the alms-houses with local MP Chuka Umunna.
The alms-houses are open to women over 60 from the local area, and our aim is to promote independent living with dignity while fostering a sense of community to combat the danger of loneliness. At the heart of the new development is a peaceful, enclosed, communal garden, and we have kept the attractive 1930s buildings surrounding it, but enlarged them and modernised the interiors., while two new wings have been designed to blend in with the older buildings. Most importantly, we have been able to increase the number of homes from nine to 17, including two designed for women with limited mobility.
Residents have come from all around the local area. We are delighted that two of the women who lived at Thrale before the redevelopment decided to return after a spell of living elsewhere in Lambeth while the works were going on. We provide secure homes to those who have experienced difficulty or distress in their lives, and we are pleased that some of our residents have been referred to us from Spires, Age UK Lambeth and Lambeth Council.
We have a lot of people to thank – the previous residents who have returned, for enduring a long period away from their homes, all those who have advised us on the project, our neighbours in Polworth Road, and the GLA for contributing around £700,000 towards the project.
The Thrale charity does more than manage the alms-houses – it also gives grants to organisations in Streatham and the local area that are dedicated to helping people who are in need, hardship or distress. Our beneficiaries include Lambeth Mencap, Emmaus and the Nehemiah Project and we have just started inviting applications for this year’s round of grants.
Grants of up to £5,000 are available. You don’t have to be a well-known charity to apply; we’re keen to hear from small community organisations as well. If you are interested in applying for a grant or in finding out more about Thrale, please email [email protected]