The Fairhill Estates Charity is open to residents from Alston Moor and is listed by the Charity Commission as a charity for the relief of poverty. Today, this means that any resident experiencing financial hardship is welcome to apply. Assistance can be given with costs such as funeral expenses, fuel bills, playgroup or under 11 school trip fees, telephone monitoring fees, one-off transport costs to cover exceptional circumstances, or other financial problems not covered here. It can also assist with educational requirements for people over 25. (Individuals of secondary school age and up to 25 should contact the Alston with Garrigill Educational Endowment at Samuel Kings School for further advice.) Grants are generally between £25 and £250. The charity cannot assist with ongoing payments, or any circumstance where another agency has a duty to provide.
Applicants are required to complete an application form which can be downloaded here It is also available from the parish clerk’s office and Alston Local Links. The form must be countersigned by someone in a responsible position such as a healthcare professional, head teacher, representative from the CAB or similar.
The Fairhill Estates Trustees generally meet on the first Monday of the month, (second if the first is a bank holiday), and meetings are held in confidence following council meetings. Applicants should receive confirmation of the decision within two weeks of the meeting.
CHARITY LAND AND INCOME
The Fairhill Estates Charity receives its income from shares held with COIF Charities Investment Fund and rental income from three parcels of land around Alston. Two of these plots are let on long-term tenancies, but the Parish Pastures are let on a six month tenancy by competitive tender. The term runs from May to October and tenders are invited in March for consideration at the April meeting.
ALLOCATION OF INCOME
At the financial year end the income from rents and shares has to be allocated between the Fairhill Estates Charity, the Alston with Garrigill Educational Endowment and the Garrigill Educational Endowment. Anyone interested in the history of this may click the LINK to see an extract from the register of charities describing what was happening at a time when education had to be paid for and teachers might or might not be paid for their work.