The origins of Pathways almshouses in Ealing and Brentford
Pathways is a modern organisation with a long and rich history stretching back to roughly 400 years ago, to a number of smaller charities set up in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.
Housing Pathways is the corporate trustee of three unincorporated almshouse charities, being Housing Pathways Trust, The Pathways Jubilee Charity and King George V Memorial Houses. Pathways is our trading name.
Housing Pathways Trust is the amalgamation of a number of smaller charities dating back to the seventeenth century, when Edward Vaughan (by will dated 1612) left money for meat, coal and bread at Christmas time.
Housing Pathways Trust’s area of benefit is restricted to the London Borough of Ealing and the old town of Brentford. In 2011 we set up Housing Pathways, a charity and company limited by guarantee, to be the Corporate Trustee of Pathways Trust, and the individual Trustees became directors of that company. Housing Pathways area of benefit is formally England, but we focus on Greater London. This has enabled Pathways to extend its reach into new geographic areas to create a stronger business with better critical mass. Housing Pathways Trust currently owns 134 almshouse units in 6 locations in Ealing, almost all 1-bed flats, and another 4 commercially let units.
Expansion of housing management into other London boroughs and Kent
On 1st December 2011, Housing Pathways became the Corporate Trustee of nine Almshouse charities formerly run by Anchor Trust, based in and close to London, and on 1 August 2012 became Corporate Trustee of two Almshouse charities formerly run by Genesis Housing. On 1st October 2012 all these charities, with the exception of King George V Memorial Houses, were merged into a single financially sound charity, which was named The Pathways Jubilee Charity. The Charity has 104 almshouse units, the majority of which are 1-bed flats, and 7 commercially let flats. King George V Memorial Houses, with 12 units, is based in Gillingham, in Kent and remained a separate charity for reasons of localism.
Overall, Pathways now owns and manages 250 almshouses and 11 commercially let flats within those schemes, the rents from which subsidize the almshouse schemes.
Other areas of operation
Pathways owns a property in The Green, Ealing (dating from a 1715 bequest) comprising 8 retail units, the rents from which are used to make grants to local voluntary groups in Ealing and Brentford. The property was badly damaged in the riots of August 2011 and was fully rebuilt by December 2012. Pathways has one other grant-giving fund; an ecclesiastical fund which supports the religious and other charitable work of the Church of England in the London Borough of Ealing.
Pathways also owns 2 large allotment sites in Ealing with over 200 plots, providing a valuable civic amenity. From April 2014 these have each been managed by a committee of plot-holders under a management agreement.
A tribute to Maria Gledhill
In 2004 Maria Gledhill joined Pathways (then the Ealing and Brentford Consolidated Charity) as Chief Executive. She immediately made an impact and helped to put that Charity onto a sounder financial footing. During this time she worked closely with the then Chair of Trustees Tim Luckett, who retired from that role in January 2013, with a focus latterly on business growth.
Maria’s strategic vision helped us push through our 2011 restructuring which set up Housing Pathways as Corporate Trustee of our almshouse charities. The introduction of limited liability has made it easier to recruit new trustees. The new structure has enabled the charity to grow outside of Ealing and Brentford and to take on the trusteeship of 12 smaller almshouse charities to achieve better critical mass and more than doubling the size of the business. These were subsequently merged into just three charities to reduce administrative costs.