Our Ambassadors will be working with us to champion the almshouse movement, celebrate the great work that our members do to support their residents, and support us in the next exciting phase of our development.

Ambassadors of The Almshouse Association

The Archbishop of Canterbury
Dan Cruickshank
The Rt Hon. the Lord Mackay of Clashfern KT
Peter Wyman CBE DL
Peter Barton Esq DL
Robert Durie OBE FRICS
The Duke and Duchess of Nothumberland
Tony Collinson OBE
Sir James Tidmarsh KCVO MBE
The Baroness Bakewell DBE
Sir Christopher Benson DL
Dr Kate Tiller OBE DL FSA FRHist
Kevin Crossley- Holland FRSL
Judith Donovan CBE
The Lord Teverson
Andrew Grant DL
Margaret Casely-Hayford CBE

Simon Smith
Sir Stanley Wells CBE
Sir Michael McWilliam KCMG MA BLitt
The Bishop of Coventry
The Bishop of Wakefield
The Lord Beith PC
The Right Revd Peter Price
The Lord Shipley OBE
William Bolt

Ambassador Profiles

Dan Cruickshank British art historian and BBC television presenter, with a special interest in the history of architecture has expressed an interest in making a documentary about the history of almshouses.

“The one thousand year history of the almshouse movement is a story of compassion, companionship and community and a demonstration that these admirable qualities can produce a much-loved architecture of enduring quality. Almshouses, the life they engender and the architectural form they take, remain relevant today. Their history is a topic of intense interest that deserves to be shared and celebrated, with its lessons learned and applied.”

The Archbishop of Canterbury is keen to encourage the ex-officio trustees to share and celebrate their commitment to the charities they are supporting.

His housing report,  ‘Coming Home’, published in February 21 which  includes the importance of almshouses can be viewed here.

Baroness Joan Bakewell has represented us at The House of Lords, most recently asking the question regarding the need to review Section 106 planning guidance to extend its benefits to almshouse charities to allow them to increase their housing provision.

“Though many almshouses are housed in heritage buildings they are not a thing of the past:  today they offer accommodation to the needy and a way of life that reduces loneliness”

Kevin Crossley-Holland renowned poet, translator from Anglo-Saxon and author for children. He is the recipient of many literary awards, including the Carnegie Medal, and Gravity for Beginners, his twelfth collection of poems will be published Spring 21. He has kindly agreed to write a celebratory poem for our 75th Anniversary Celebration.

Peter Wyman has linked us up with the UK Community Foundation and their network of 46 regional teams, opening up opportunities across the UK for our members, and  will be working with us to support our members in Somerset.

“ I am passionate about helping those in need and recognise the vital role almshouses play in providing housing and support for so many people”

Simon Smith – Simon became Clerk to The Visitors, Jesus Hospital Charity in 2006. The charity dates back to the 1600s and provides 63 almshouses in Barnet. He is a keen historian and has given talks on the history of both Jesus Hospital Charity and the wider Almshouse Movement.

“Wherever I travel, I seek out the local almshouses. The highlight was when I was shown around some of the almshouses in Amsterdam by the Head of the Dutch Almshouse Association. To become an Ambassador for such a wonderful organisation is a tremendous honour.”

Bishop Tony ( Bishop of Wakefield) works within the Leeds Diocese and is keen to raise awareness about the almshouse movement and the role that ex-officio trustees play to support almshouse charities.

“I am delighted to asked to be an Ambassador for The Almshouse Association. I hope to raise awareness of the vital role that almshouses play in the housing sector. The Church, since medieval times, has been concerned about providing housing for the poor. The demands for affordable accommodation are as relevant today as in the past. “

Dr Kate Tiller OBE DL BA FSA FRHist

Dr Kate Tiller OBE is a Founding Fellow of Kellogg College, Oxford. Her academic fields are British social and local history, with particular research interests in English rural change post-1750, and in religion and community in Britain since 1730. She also writes on the academic practice of local history, with current interests in local histories of the 20th century and of remembrance and community.

“From medieval foundations to post-Reformation charities to Victorian benefactions to providers of present-day housing, almshouses are a fascinating and important part of our social fabric. God’s House at Ewelme in Oxfordshire is the nearest almshouse to my home and constantly reminds me of this remarkable continuity, a group of medieval church, almshouses and school, all in 2021 still fulfilling their original functions. In the village street is the ‘new’ almshouse, built in 1977 to ensure that 13 aged and infirm almspeople can still be housed as stipulated in the original endowment, but now in suitably modern conditions for 21st-century housing needs. I am privileged to be able both to celebrate the history and support the present-day work of almshouse charities.”