Girton Town Charity


A Momentous Year – Girton Town Charity is building for the future

1 Jul 2018

The last year has seen an unprecedented number of developments and projects for Girton Town Charity reported Chairman Dr Robin Hiley at the Girton Parish Meeting on 22nd May 2018. Here he shares the highlights.

The last year has seen an unprecedented number of developments and projects for Girton Town Charity reported Chairman Dr Robin Hiley at the Girton Parish Meeting on 22nd May 2018. Here he shares the highlights.

Increasing Almshouses to meet growing demand

GTC currently owns 16 almshouses and with the exception of the High Street bungalows, all these properties are now managed on the Charity's behalf by the CHS Group, based in Histon.

Over the last year we have seen the first successful changeover from the initial group of residents living at Centenary Court where a rolling programme of three-year appointments is now in place.

Work will start soon on constructing a terrace of three further almshouses on the former WI site and a planning application for redeveloping the High Street site to provide 16 apartments is now with the Planning Department of South Cambridgeshire District Council. The apartments will replace the existing six bungalows which no longer provide the quality of housing that we wish for our residents nor do they provide satisfactory accommodation for couples.

Proposed designs were shown to our current residents, the Planning Authority, our neighbours and the wider community in February and March with representatives attending from Project Managers Northmores and Mole Architects.

The William Collyn Community Centre

Good progress has been made on the £2.1 million build of our new Community Centre which is on schedule to be completed by the end of the year. Contractors Godfrey & Hicks have recently installed the high roof fascia, guttering and the lower roof, as well as fitting the windows and completing the screed inside. The internal walls have also been erected ahead of the first fix for electricals and plumbing.

Community Art Project

Located at the entrance to Wellbrook Way, the Sensory Garden was completed last Summer and formally opened on 4th September in the presence of our MP, Heidi Allen, and Parish, District and County Councillors. Since then it has rapidly established itself as a place to visit, rest or play for residents of all ages, whatever the season.

The Sculptural Railings being created for the Village by Matthew Lane Sanderson are 50% completed and are on schedule to be installed during the Autumn. The design, which has been approved by South Cambridgeshire District Council, incorporates the geese and quills historically associated with Girton. Project Managers Northmores have now been instructed to move forward on constructing the foundations and footpath which will also involve replacing the existing bus shelter.

CarePlus Grant Scheme

This Scheme helps Girton residents to live independently in their own homes by providing additional short-term care to suit their needs over and above any statutory care for which they are entitled.  In particular it assists residents to return home from hospital as soon as possible. During the last 12 months, 17 residents received grants of up to £1,700 which are paid directly to the professional care providers.

Educational Grant Scheme

Over the last year, 26 individuals benefitted from this Scheme which helps with the costs of buying books and equipment for study in further and higher education, as well as for some apprenticeships and similar qualifications at NVQ Level 4 or above up to a maximum of £275 per academic year.

Hospital Taxi Scheme

This helps people go by taxi to outpatient appointments at Addenbrooke’s, Brookfields or Chesterton Hospitals when alternative transport is not practical. Operating on a membership basis, with an annual registration fee of £7, each return trip is capped at £7. The Trustees continue to be grateful for the full co-operation of the Girton taxi companies: Nelsons and Wendy Barrett who carry this out on our behalf.

Prescription Delivery Service

GTC funds a Prescription Delivery Service, run by the pharmacists at the GP practices at Pepys Way and Huntingdon Road Surgeries which is available for those Girton patients living within the Pepys Way dispensing area who are unable, through reason of incapacity, to collect their dispensed medicines.

Youth Project with the YMCA

Succeeding Tim Shuker-Yates, Rachel Rason has quickly established herself at the helm and managed all aspects of the project with great skill. The Trustees have been delighted that the project has continued to be strong through change of leader and were very happy to agree to co-fund training and additional support for the Summer sailing activity.

Citizens Advice Bureau

GTC supports outreach sessions of Cambridge CAB which provides advice on many issues but especially those relating to personal finances, employment and housing. The sessions, for which no appointment is necessary, take place in the St Vincent's Close Community Centre on Wednesday afternoons.

Age UK Activities

GTC supports two Age UK activities: the Community Warden Scheme run by Gail and Patricia as Older Residents’ Coordinator. Both are highly valued for the contact, support and reassurance they provide for our older members of the Girton community.

Grants to local schools

GTC has worked closely with Girton Glebe Primary School over the last ten years helping to meet the costs of a variety of educational enrichment and other activities, ranging from wrap-around support for the children of families-in-need to funding Relate’s 'Be-a-Buddy' Scheme at the School.

Last year GTC matched the amount raised by the Cottontails Pre-School's own fundraising efforts in 2016-17 which was a highly successful campaign.

Grants to individuals

GTC helps to relieve need in the Village by making grants to individuals for many purposes in order to try to make their lives more comfortable.  In total 14 grants have been made so far this year to cover a range of situations.

Finally, our team of Trustees has seen a number of changes this last year, most notably the sad death of Chris Green who contributed a great deal to the progress of current projects. We all miss his understanding and sound judgement and mourn the loss of a good friend.

Two Trustees are also retiring – Pippa Temple in July and Ray Gordon once the William Collyer Community Centre is completed. Their commitment over many years is hugely appreciated. Looking ahead, GTC has welcomed Yvonne Higgons as a new Trustee and we are currently looking for two further Trustees to join the team.

As always I would like to thank all my fellow Trustees for all their hard work and for their unstinting support during the last 12 months, as well as our Administrator, Gilly O'Brien, who runs the office and gives reliable support to the Trustees.  We should all be grateful to this team of people for their excellent contributions.