A personal view of Yardley Great Trust
Saturday, 5th July, 2008
Yardley Great Trust is a combination of several ancient parochial charities and goes back to the Charter of John de Yerdeleye dated Monday, 18th May, 1355. He assigned all his lands and all his buildings in the township of Yardley, with all their belongings, to William de Whatcroft of Yerdeleye. King’s Index to Birmingham Charities records, on Page 459, that in 1347 John de Yerdeleye was the Bailiff for the monks of Maxstoke Priory.
The Trust is administered by 14 local Trustees, including 5 Vicars, who all give their services voluntarily. However, the really hard work of the Trust is carried out by the staff at Old Brookside, headed by the Chief Executive. We have a Finance Manager, a Clerk to the Trustees, a Housing Manager and 2 Admin. Assistants. They are all very much appreciated, and things would, very quickly, grind to a halt without them.
The boundary of The Ancient Parish of Yardley, the area of benefit, stretches from Yardley Wood in the south, to Lea Village in the north, is seven and a half miles long and eleven and a half square miles in area, or one-fifth of this great City of Birmingham.
We own the following buildings, in a South to North direction.
- Cottrell’s Close, in Yardley Wood, which was built in 1985 containing 10 flats. Two of the flats were a refurbished old cottage.
- Foliot Fields, in Stoney Lane, was built in 1987, 30 flats with a Community Lounge, and the resident Scheme Manager’s home.
- Yardley Grange Nursing Home, in Church Road, and built in 2002. This has 45 bedrooms and built to exceed modern-day care standards. Located in the Old Yardley Conservation Area, No 5, on the site of the old Vicarage. Officially opened by The Rt. Hon. Estelle Morris, M.P. for Yardley, (now Lady Morris), on Friday morning, 3rd May, 2002.
- Yardley Gardens, opposite the Nursing Home, was built in 1903 and this required a special Act of Parliament to be passed to enable us to use our surplus funds to build it. There are 8 bungalows and 2 flats, with a Community Lounge. It celebrated its Centenary on Wednesday afternoon, 2nd July, 2003, with a party for the residents, and their invited guests, which included the Trust’s staff and Trustees.
- Old Brookside, in Yardley Fields Road, built 1981, and opened by Her Majesty The Queen. 66 flats, with a Community Lounge and the resident Scheme Manager’s home. Two former flats are now occupied by the Trust’s Administration staff.
- Greswold Gardens, in Middle Leaford, was built in 1986 and consists of 30 flats with a Community Lounge, and the resident Scheme Manager’s home.
- Greswold House, a Care Home next door, built in 1986. 27 long-stay bedrooms, built on three floors, each with its own kitchen and Community Lounge. Two short-stay bedrooms for Respite Care.
We employ a Peripatetic Scheme Manager for Cottrell’s Close and Yardley Gardens, and she contacts every resident each day of the week.
The Trust also owns Springfield allotments, and also administers the Job Marston Charity.
Trustees are not paid for their services, but we can, if we so wish, claim for any out-of-pocket expenses in carrying out Trust business.
The aim of the Trust is to administer charitable funds for the benefit of the whole community in accordance with Christian principles, for the relief of the poor and needy in The Ancient Parish of Yardley.
The Trust now has three distinct areas of operation.
- Giving grants to relieve poverty and/or benefit the community.
- Managing a range of housing for elderly people.
- The provision of personal and domestic care for Trust residents, and other elderly people in their own home. The service is chargeable.
The Board of Trustees meets monthly, except in August, to decide on the distribution of grants and determine policy and strategy. More routine performance monitoring is undertaken through two committees: the Finance and General Purposes Committee: and the Care and Housing Committee, both of which meet quarterly. Another committee, the Disciplinary and Grievance Appeals Committee, meets as and when necessary.
From time to time, working groups may be set up to consider a particular issue in more detail.
The Scheme Managers of all sites, together with the Care Manager of Greswold House, and Home Care Manager, also based at Greswold House, in turn, attend and report to the quarterly meetings of the Care and Housing Committee, but the Care Manager of Yardley Grange Nursing Home attends and reports to Yardley Grange Care Services, a Company Limited by Guarantee, Registered in England. It meets quarterly, and its Directors are drawn from the existing Board of Trustees, and one Director is a local man, not connected with the Trust.
Liaison Trustees are appointed by the Board of Trustees for every site, and we are seen just as a link between each Scheme and the Board.
To further improve the consultation structure with our residents, a Residents’ Association has been formed at Old Brookside, and a Residents’ Forum has also been established with representatives from all sites attending meetings as and when they are called. Trustees are encouraged to attend these meetings.
Volunteering residents attend the quarterly Care and Housing Committee Meetings, and all our residents are invited to attend the Trust’s Annual General Meeting, held in the Community Lounge at Old Brookside. There is an Annual Garden Party at our Greswold Gardens/Greswold House site in Middle Leaford.
The Trust is committed to the Race Equality Code of Practice for Housing Associations and is registered with The Housing Corporation as a Social Landlord. It is a Member of The Housing Ombudsman Scheme and a Member of The Almshouse Association. It is a Registered Charity, Number 216082. We are also positive about disabled people.
Finally, present day Trustees consider it a privilege to maintain John de Yerdeleye’s vision of help to those in need in this Ancient Parish. We celebrated the 650th Anniversary of his Charter on Friday afternoon, 1st July, 2005, at our Annual Garden Party at our Greswold Gardens/ Greswold House site, when prayers were said by one of our local Vicars, who is an Ex-Officio Trustee.
"A personal view of Yardley Great Trust"
Conrad James, Trustee and Liaison Trustee
Saturday, 5th July, 2008