West’s Educational Charity

West’s Educational  Charity

Francis West, by will dated 31 March 1690, directed £400 to be laid out in land, the rents thereof to be equally divided amongst the poor of Chalgrave and Hockliffe, to enable them to put their children to school, with a conditional gift over for testator’s poor relations. The legacy was laid out in the purchase of lands in Simpson, Bucks., in lieu of which 33 acres, or thereabouts, were allotted in 1766 on the inclosure in that parish, producing about £32 a year, which under an order of the Charity Commissioners of 4 April 1905 was determined to be wholly applicable for educational purposes, and was carried to the general account of the National school at Chalgrave which was also attended by the children of Hockliffe. Fortunately this land was in the Milton Keynes designated area and the capital is now considerable and grants are made each year by the trustees.

West’s Educational Charity

As many of you know, West’s Educational Charity is a local charity which gives grants to young people under the age of 24 residing in the parishes of Hockliffe or Chalgrave. The grants must be for an educational purpose.

There are six Trustees: three from Hockliffe, three from Chalgrave, and a Local Authority (Central Bedfordshire) representative.

There are usually 3 meetings a year: the ones in January and July are for allocating grants and there is usually one other to discuss financial matters. The value of the charity’s assets varies considerably from year to year in line with fluctuations in the financial markets, at the moment the fund value is in the region of £650,000. Annual income is around £20,000 – £25,000.

The number of applications for grants has risen considerably over the past 10 years and we reached the position where there was insufficient income to preserve the capital base for future generations and to pay out all applications in full. We therefore had to adopt guidelines in an attempt to be as fair as possible to everyone. These rules have to be flexible and sometimes they need to be tweaked, particularly in times when interest rates are so low and our income has fallen.

New guidelines (2020 onwards)

  • Applicants must reside in the parishes of Hockliffe or Chalgrave and be aged 24 or under.
  • All applications on behalf of children/young people under the age of 18 at the time of the application MUST BE MADE by a parent/carer on behalf of that child/young person.
  • All applications on behalf of young people aged 18 to 24 at the time of the application MUST BE MADE by that young person him/herself.
  • We would usually expect to pay: –
    (a) a student grant of not less than £200 per half year for those studying full time for a degree
    (b) a contribution towards costs of post 16 education (e.g. part-time college, apprenticeships etc)
    (c) 50% of the cost of lessons in the performing arts (music, dance, drama etc)
    (d) 50% of the cost of sporting activities (football, rugby, cricket, netball, riding etc)
    (e) 75% of the cost of swimming lessons (except for children attending Hockliffe Lower School, who receive them through the school, partly financed by West’s Educational
  • We will continue to make contributions to school trips of an educational nature (This does not include trips which are wholly for leisure, such as Alton Towers, Legoland etc.) An application will only be considered after the trip has been paid for in full and only after the trip has taken place. In exceptional cases, however, if there is real difficulty paying in advance, the Trustees may consider an early application.
  • We will only pay routine travel expenses in exceptional circumstances
  • There will be a maximum grant per child/young person per application, which will vary from meeting to meeting depending upon funds available, except for: –
    (a) those receiving the minimum £200 student grant
    (b) out-of-the-ordinary, one-off events
    (c) exceptional circumstances

It is very important that people remember that these are only examples. ANYONE aged 24 or under residing in Hockliffe or Chalgrave is encouraged to apply for a grant towards ANY educational activity. NOTHING WHATSOEVER is ruled out, so long as the activity is educational.

Receipts are required to support all applications, except the minimum £200 student grant. It is very rare that this rule is waived and there must be an extremely good reason e.g. if you cannot fund an activity beforehand, in which case please apply to the charity. No receipt usually means no grant.

Claims can be made by organisations working for the benefit of young people aged 24 or under residing in Hockliffe or Chalgrave.

Trustees meet in January and July. Applications will be considered at the January meeting if received by the clerk on or before 31 December of the previous year. Applications will be considered at the July meeting if received by the clerk on or before 30 June of that year. If a deadline is missed the application will automatically be considered at the next meeting. For example, an application received on 1 January 2020 will be considered at the July 2020 meeting. Only in very exceptional circumstances (e.g. postal strike) will this rule be waived.


Contact addresses for Trustees in Chalgrave:

  • Lesley Smith
  • Phil Parry
  • Vicky Greenwood

Application Form

PDF Version – West Grant Application Form rev. January 2021

Word Version – West Grant Application Form rev. January 2021

Grant payments can also now be made by bank transfer. If you would like to be paid in this way, please include your account details when submitting your application.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *