Duncombe Trust helping young and homeless people in Leighton Linslade

The William Duncombe Charity for Leighton Buzzard
(Charity registration number 234309)

William Duncombe, a local landowner in the 17th century, established many local charities during his lifetime. In 1603 he established a charity for the relief of poverty in Battlesden, Dunstable, Leighton Buzzard, Potsgrove and Ivinghoe, and provided the charity with income generated from the rents of the Golden Bell and the two adjoining cottages in Church Square, Leighton Buzzard.

In 1897 the properties were sold and the proceeds used to establish a separate charitable trust for each of the five named villages.

Today, after 406 years the William Duncombe Trust for Leighton Buzzard still exists to support those poor and needy townsfolk who, from circumstances beyond their control, are in financial distress and need temporary assistance. To meet these needs the Trust raises income from local donations, masonic lodges, and both national and local businesses based in the town. Due to the role taken by Social Services, the original distribution of “cords of wood, sacks of coal and loaves of bread” is no longer applicable, and the advent of the welfare state has removed the necessity for provision of medical aid, relief of hunger etc. Nevertheless there are still poor and distressed people within the community, who through no fault of their own are in need of support, and to whom the charity addresses its efforts.

This Christmas the Charity is supporting the following:

- The Leighton Linslade Homeless Youth Association, by providing pre-packed freezer meals for the Christmas period, and by hosting a Christmas Day lunch for the homeless youth of the parish.

- Providing a number of Christmas Hampers for local widows and families in need, as identified by a local church group, the Alms Houses Trustees and the local Masonic Lodges.

As the Charity no longer has any guaranteed income, it relies on the support of the local community for its funds, which enables them to continue with William Duncombe’s charitable work 400 years after his original bequest. Thank you to all those people who have supported our work this year.

If you would like to find out more about this charity, get involved or see how you can help or, would like to donate, please contact: Keith Thurtell at the following email address: kthurtell@yahoo.co.uk

Posted on: 01/10/2012