Glover's Trust: homes to combat isolation

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Founded in 1824, Birmingham-based almshouse Glover’s Trust has provided accommodation to those in need for almost 200 years. A Charity Bank loan is helping to fund the renovation and modernisation of its properties. Chairman Pam Johnston shares their story.

“At Glover’s Trust we have been combating isolation for almost 200 years by providing independent living to older people as part of a close knit community. We offer more than a place to live. Our communal lounge provides a space for residents to socialise, with weekly coffee mornings giving residents the opportunity to discuss any concerns.

“We provide a community for individuals who may otherwise find themselves alone in their later years. What makes us special is that we consider Glover’s to be a family, where no one should feel isolated.”

“However, in recent years, we found it increasingly difficult to fill our homes in Sutton Coldfield. They were very small and in need of updating to suit modern day standards.

Finding funding was not easy. The few trusts that might have supported us were inundated with requests. Lots of trusts didn’t even respond to our funding requests and our own bank said it was unable to help.”

“The total cost of the project is £2.9 million. We received a Homes and Communities Agency grant, raised some donations, and added our own funds. A Charity Bank loan of £1.7 million is covering the remaining costs. This funding will enable us to refurbish all 30 existing homes and build two new homes.

"Working with [Charity Bank] feels as though we’re working as a team with a common purpose"

Pam Johnston, Chairman of Glover's Trust

“The bedrooms were particularly small in the old homes. We ladies need wardrobes and floor space and this was putting people off. The refurbished properties will have more spacious bedrooms and living areas as well as double glazing throughout.

“The first stage of the project has now been completed and three residents have moved back in. They are absolutely delighted with their new homes.

“In Charity Bank we have found a funder with a strong understanding of what we are trying to achieve. Charity Bank is experienced at lending to charities and knows the benefits they bring to their communities. Working with them feels as though we’re working as a team with a common purpose.

“The refurbishment programme has laid the foundations for the Trust’s future. We now have suitable properties that will meet the needs of our residents for many years to come.”