Manages Trust – Shudy Camps
Registered Charity No: 238214
The Manages Trust is a small registered charity established in Shudy Camps to provide help and support for people in the parish. Since the end of the 17th Century, the Trust has distributed support to needy families, originally in the form of fuel or food vouchers and more recently as cash payments to elderly and needy people.
If you or your family are in need of help or support or if you know of any other people in the parish who would benefit from financial support from the Manages Trust, please contact Andy Webb.
Charity established over 300 years ago is still distributing help today to the people of Shudy Camps
In 1699, an unknown benefactor donated a plot of land in Shudy Camps to provide relief for the poor people of the parish. Although there have been a number of changes in the Charity since then, the residue of that gift is still being used to provide financial support to meet the needs of people in the village today.
The 8 acres of pasture that was known as Manages was located near to Northey Wood, to the right of the lane that continues up past Bangs Close. In 1835, the Manages field was stated to be “land of excellent quality but having much deteriorated in consequence of a succession of crops having been sold off without any adequate return of manure”. A crop of barley from the land was sold at auction for £80 and that same year, the list of recipients contained the names of 112 poor persons, most of whom had families.
The terms of the Charity, as redefined in 1830, were that the income from the land should be distributed to the poor people of the parish “so that no one individual should receive in one year, more than the sum of 10 shillings” and that the trustees should use any surplus “to purchase clothing, coals or provisions to be distributed either gratuitously or at a low price.”
Detailed account books are available from 1938. By that time, the land was rented and provided an annual income of £8, out of which a tythe was paid to Mr Bidwell of Ely of £2 7s 6d per annum, leaving only £5 12s 6d for distribution to the poor people of the parish. Adults received 1s 6d and children received 6d per year. This compares very badly with the recorded income of £80 and the distribution of 10s each to 112 persons in 1835. By 1950, the rent had been increased to £10 per annum. People who were sick and unable to work at that time were paid 5 shillings a week by the Trustees.
In 1952, the Trustees received a letter from the Charity Commissioner, asking them to explain why “sums in excess of 10 shillings per person were being paid by the trustees”, since this was the limit which had been laid down in 1830 and was still applicable. Surplus funds should be used for distribution of clothing, coals or provisions. In view of this, the trustees decided to distribute 1 cwt of coal to 18 old people and 2 sick people in the parish. The distribution of coal at Christmas time continued until at least 1968. Charity Vouchers (valued at £1) were also issued which could be exchanged for goods either at Nolan’s Stores in Shudy Camps or at Norden’s the butcher in Castle Camps.
In 1971, it was decided to sell the land. Manages field was bought by the existing tenants (Edmund Vestey’s Company) for the sum of £1,870 and the proceeds were invested with the Charity Commissioners. This investment has grown steadily and the Trust Fund today is worth in excess of £20,000. The income from this investment, now known as the Manages Trust Fund, is still being used to provide grants to the elderly and most needy people in the parish.
The Trustees are keen to identify other ways in which the Trust can help and support families in need, not only for elderly residents but also for children and young people who perhaps need help with special projects. Money from the Trust is being used to pay for the services of a Village Warden (provided by Age Concern).
In November 2013, the Charity Commissioners approved an amendment to the Trust Deeds which allows surplus funds to be distributed to other organisations in the local geographical area, to help support people in need in the local community. Most recently donations have been made to Cambridge Central Aid, the Haverhill Town Pastors and the REACH Project.