The Thrale Almshouse and Relief in Need Charity has historic connections within the Ancient Parish of Streatham (including Tooting, Balham, Streatham, parts of Brixton Tulse Hill and West Norwood) stretching back to the 1580s. From these roots emerged the aims of the present charitable organisation - to provide Almshouses for women over 60 and to provide Relief in Need for local people.
The charity was named after the Thrale family. The original almshouses were founded in 1832 by the daughters of Henry Thrale, a wealthy local landowner and businessman and located on Streatham High Road. These were demolished and replaced in the 1930's by a new estate of ten homes on Polworth Rd.
This site underwent a recent major redevelopment retaining eight of the original 1930s buildings which were upgraded and extended. Two blocks of fit for purpose apartments were added creating high quality dwellings placed around a lovely central garden; and providing homes for 18 women.
The new site was opened in 2015 launching a new phase in the long history of Thrale Almshouses.
Constructure - residents look on
Site open and complete
‘Almshouses have been part of this country's life for many generations and they continue to play a crucial role today in providing accommodation for those in need throughout the United Kingdom. They also make a significant contribution to our national heritage in maintaining many fine, ancient buildings.’
HRH The Prince of Wales, Patron of the National Almshouse Association
From the website of the National Almshouse Association:
'While many of us may be aware of the many ancient and fine almshouse buildings dotted all over the country, few perhaps realise how vibrant and progressive the almshouse movement is today. '
'Upgrading listed buildings is complex and expensive, requiring planning and conservation consent. Striking the right balance between offering the highest standards while preserving the historic fabric demands patience and close liaison with the authorities.'
'Of greatest importance is to ensure that residents have dignity, freedom and independence to live their lives as they see fit within a safe and secure environment. Almshouses are considered homes for life, with care packages being provided by social services if and when residents need additional help. Whilst there are over 400 wardens or scheme managers employed by almshouse charities, and a number of larger charities offer extra care and even residential care, the general position is that almshouse residents should be capable of independent living.'
Seeking A home