The Great Shelford Village Charity exists to help people in need within the village and surrounding area:

  • We own and manage 53 almshouse homes in Great Shelford, South Cambridgeshire, where we provide affordable accommodation for families, couples and individuals.
  • We also own the 6 acres of land adjacent to the almshouses comprising allotments, a community garden, an orchard and parkland, where we have provided footpaths and benches for public use.
  • Additionally, the Charity provides grants and makes donations in support of local organisations, good causes and villagers in need.

We were formerly known as The Parochial Charities; see “Goodbye, Parochial Charities . . . Hello, Great Shelford Village Charity“.

Our annual report – prepared for the Parish Council’s annual public meeting – may be found here.

Our annual financial report and accounts are published here on the Charity Commission website.


GSVC Trustee Ltd (company no: 14653486) is the sole corporate trustee of Great Shelford Village Charity (registered charity number: 231486). Its directors – all unpaid – are:

Jaspaul Hill MBE Chair. Retired headteacher and Ofsted inspector.
Michael Pooles KC Deputy Chair. Barrister, Hailsham Chambers
Brian Connellan Retired management consultant
Sarah Kreckler Company director, Chartered Surveyor
Dr Si-houy Lao-Sirieix AstraZeneca
Dr Alice Mann Welcome Sanger Institute
Richard Mutty Company director, Chartered Surveyor
Dr Keith Sugden Retired director, R&D
Simon White Treasurer. Chartered accountant.

The board is supported by our clerk, Samantha Rigby-Coghlan


By the early 18th century the village had three charities sharing the common object of ‘relieving, either generally or individually, persons resident in the Parish of Great Shelford who are in conditions of need, hardship or distress’:

  • Lettice Martin’s Charity, founded 1562
  • Town Lands and Town Houses, founded around 1650
  • John More’s Charity, founded 1705.

19th Century

In 1890, under the auspices of the Charity Commission, these three charities were merged to form The Great Shelford Parochial Charities, owning cottages, smallholdings and allotments which were rented out to villagers of limited means at fair rents.

Records from around the turn of the 19th century show the Charity also made annual disbursements of coal to over 100 villagers and also provided nursing services for the sick. See Fuel poverty – then and now.

20th Century

The workings of the charity remained much the same until the late 1980s when the trustees sold some of the land and cottages so as to release capital for the development of modern, affordable housing.

The new development at More’s Meadow was officially opened by Betty Boothroyd, MP and Speaker of the House of Commons, on 9 March 1996 and comprised:

    • 4 semi-detached, 3 bedroom houses
    • 24 semi-detached, 2 bedroom bungalows
    • 4 semi-detached, 1 bedroom bungalows

All 32 properties were let to villagers of limited means at affordable rents.


21st Century

In 2019 the Charity began moving residents’ tenures from rental to almshouse agreements. Almshouse residents are ‘appointees’, not tenants, live in the almshouse under licence, and pay a monthly maintenance contribution (MMC) rather than a rent. There is no right-to-buy or shared equity, meaning that the Charity retains the homes in perpetuity for the benefit of the community. The Charity currently sets its MMC at 50% of the prevailing local market rental rate.

In 2021, the Charity was granted planning permission to build a further 21 almshouse homes at the end of More’s Meadow. The planning consent included the provision of allotments, an orchard, a community garden, parkland, the planting of native trees and hedgerows, and enhanced public access to the surrounding green belt.

The new development brings to 53 the total number of almshouse homes provided by the Charity, providing decent, affordable accommodation for well over 100 people; a broad mix of families, couples and individuals.

As of 2023, the Charity’s almshouse assets are:

    • 12 x 3-bedroom homes
    • 29 x 2-bedroom homes
    • 12 x 1-bedroom homes

Sources and further information:

  • A P Baggs, S M Keeling and C A F Meekings, ‘Parishes: Great Shelford’, in A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 8, ed. A P M Wright (London, 1982), pp. 207-219.
    https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/cambs/vol8/pp207-219 [accessed 29 November 2023].
  • Edward Harcourt Bustard FRIBA, in Great Shelford Remembered, 1894 – 1994
  • Helen Harwood, Parochial Charities – Social Housing in Shelford. Unpublished manuscript, June 2015

GSVC Trustee Ltd – a company limited by guarantee incorporated in England and Wales, company number 14653486, whose registered office is at 18 High Street, Great Shelford, Cambridge CB22 5EH – is the sole corporate trustee of The Great Shelford Village Charity.   Privacy Policy