The Freemen of
Newcastle Upon Tyne Charities

The Town Moor Money Charity

The Town Moor Money Charity (no. 227620-1) offers means-tested assistance to Freemen and their surviving spouse, and extends to assistance towards mobility aids, and to their children in full time further education aged 18 to 20 years. When a son or daughter reaches the age of 20 they need to take up his Freelage to enable them to make an application as a Freeman. The Charity is funded by income arising from the Intake system. The Trustees meet half yearly to assess applications and grants are distributed in June and December.

Application forms are available (April and October) from the Senior Steward of the Company through which the applicant’s family hail.

St Mary Magdalene and Holy Jesus Trust

After nearly two and half years, an audacious rebuilding scheme on the St Mary Magdalene & Holy Jesus site on Claremont Road, Newcastle, is nearing completion.

At a cost well in excess of £5,000,000 the original Holy Jesus bungalows, built in the 1930’s, primarily intended for occupation by Freemen, have been demolished and are being replaced with the construction of forty nine new “state of the art” units, to go alongside the existing seventy nine St Mary Magdalene residences.  Of the forty nine bungalows, thirty six will be one bed properties, suitable for either distinct or couple occupancy, of which three have been specifically designed to assist residents with disabilities. The remaining thirteen bungalows are two bedroom properties, with again three of the properties being adapted to assist disability living. The Charity is looking forward to achieving full occupancy of the new bungalows and welcoming new residents to the site.

Miss Sharon Hepple, General Manager, at St Mary Magdalene & Holy Jesus, is keen to point out that the standard of the new bungalows is a reflection of the benchmark for quality that the organisation endeavours to promulgate.

The bungalows are gas centrally heated and meet home energy efficiency standards. Perhaps one of the most welcomed re-designs from the previous bungalows is the change now seen in the bathrooms. Separate walk in shower facilities now replace the previous arrangement, where to have a shower, the resident had to negotiate stepping into the bath.The kitchens are already equipped with an integrated cooker and hob and can accommodate other standard “white goods” such as washing machines, fridges etc, which a resident will be required to provide. Residents will also have, in general terms, the opportunity to furnish the properties to their taste. The grounds of the site are maintained by the Trust, but residents can still add additional colour with their own flower baskets and pots if they so wish.

There is parking on site for residents and their guests, with many residents already appreciating the close proximity to the City centre and hospitals. A visitor’s flat is also available should a resident have family or friends visiting from outside the area.

Residents are allowed “pets” that can be easily cared for on the understanding that they would have to make their own arrangements for caring for any animals, at times where they may well be away on holiday, in hospital etc.

It should be born in mind that the site is intended to provide independent living and that there are no care staff employed by the Trust, although there is a small domestic team on site. Any requirements for personal care or additional support to allow a resident to continue to live independently must be provided by either family or external agencies. However, to help provide peace of mind in an emergency situation, each bungalow is fitted with alarm equipment linked to a 24 hour response centre. This service is provided by a local company, Ostara.

The Trust has a resident a Church of England Chaplain who, in addition to offering spiritual support, organises social outings. The former care home building, which still remains, closing in 2012, is now the location of the Trust’s Administration Office and is also the venue for many of the social activities held on site. Also housed within this building are cafe/dining facilities, which are available to residents and guests.

The Trust employs a resident handyman and also have a list of approved contractors that they work with for any additional maintenance/improvement requirements. Further to provide peace of mind to the residents a security firm to patrols the site between 8.00pm – 6.00am every night.

In recent months as completion, and in particular, of the new bungalows has neared, various questions have been raised endeavouring to secure relevant information with regard to financial assessment as to eligibility for consideration.

Sharon is keen to make it clear that every application is judged on its own merits and that to put in print financial guidelines could dissuade potential residents from applying. It would be wrong for interested parties to assume that they have to be penniless to be accepted. Likewise it would be wrong to presume that an applicant must have a sufficient private income to meet their “maintenance contribution”, as some residents are already in receipt of state housing benefits.

The procedure to apply is very straightforward and totally confidential. A potential resident can contact Sharon initially for an informal chat, if Sharon feels that there is a possibility that the Trust can help she will then send out an Application Form. Once the form is returned, Sharon shall arrange a visit to the applicants’ home, with a view to discussing individual requirements in more detail. Applications are then put forward to the Board of Trustees for their consideration and it is they who decide who will be offered a property. The Board comprises 3 Trustees nominated by the Stewards Committee;  3 Trustees nominated by Newcastle City Council; 3 co-opted Trustees who have a particular skill, knowledge or area of expertise relevant to the scope and purpose of the charity and finally 1 Trustee nominated by The Bishop of Newcastle.

Should an applicant not be successful on initial application their name remains on the waiting list and regular contact is maintained with the applicant to determine if their circumstances have changed or whether they wish to remain/ be removed from the waiting list.

Interest is most distinctly on the increase by potential applicants and a busy time is ahead for Sharon as there are 40-50 applicants awaiting home visits,however at this time only 10 are from Freemen. Many introductions to apply for a property come by word of mouth, or via GP/health professionals and Social Services.

Existing residents, who initially had to move out of their old Holy Jesus bungalows into St Mary Magdalene bungalows, whilst the development proceeded, will be offered first choice of the new bungalows. Whilst some residents are very keen to return or keep their options open,  some ar content to stay where they are, so there should be no assumption that the new bungalows are already taken.

It is anticipated that the building contractors will gradually hand over the site in “blocks” as units are completed, the surrounding area suitably landscaped and all health and safety measures met. In this regard a timescale of April through to early /mid-Summer is being tentatively mentioned. In the first tranche of completed bungalows it is hoped to have available “show homes” for viewing. 

There is no doubt that these new units, primarily earmarked for Freemen, widows/widowers or single daughters of Freemen, shall be very popular. However the Trust does have the flexibility to offer these properties to non-Freemen if there are not enough Freemen applicants. The message must therefore be contact Sharon at the Trust if you have the slightest interest, don’t delay, as an initial casual confidential enquiry could literally open the door to a new life.


Miss Sharon Hepple, General Manager, St Mary Magdalene & Holy Jesus Trust, 
Claremont Road, 
Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 4NN

Tel: 0191 2697920



Bungalows Before Redevelopment

Development Photographs

The Thomas Davison and Sir Thomas White Charities

If you are under 25 years old and thinking about setting up a business, as a Freemen of Newcastle you may qualify for assistance.

The Thomas Davison the Younger Charity, under a declaration of trust dated 19th August 1755, is for making gifts to young Newcastle residents in need of assistance in setting up business in the City and preference is given to Freemen.

The Sir Thomas White Charity, regulated by declaration of trust dated 1st July 1566, is for making loans, free of interest for a period not exceeding ten years, to young Newcastle residents in need of assistance in setting up business in the City and preference is given to Freemen.

Provided that you are a Freeman of Newcastle upon Tyne, and residing in and intending to set up business within the City and less than 25 years old – then you may apply for help from the Thomas Davison Charity or the Sir Thomas White Charity.

Each Charity may issue a grant up to the amount set out below:

Applications should be made to Barry Richardson, Enterprise Development Team Manager, Economic Development Team, Environment & Regeneration Directorate at the Civic Centre
(Telephone 0191 232 8520 ext. 25668).