Celebrating the rich history of almshouses

Almshouses have a rich history dating back to c990. By definition, they are units of residential housing occupied by beneficiaries under a license which sees them pay a maintenance contribution to live there. They are there to support those who may have fallen on hard times, offering safe and affordable community-style living. Most almshouses have their own criteria as to who can live there, for example those only from a specific trade or industry, or retired at a certain age.

Almshouses are still as important today. There are now over 30,000 almshouses in the UK giving a home to 36,000 people.

The Almshouse Association

The Almshouse Association offers support and representation for over 1600 almshouses in the UK, and is this year turning 75 years old!

To celebrate the milestone, we are featuring their amazing work and will be telling the stories of some almshouse residents.


Images of our almshouses through the ages

Sheltered Homes

Our sheltered homes are almshouses and provide an affordable and safe community for people that have retired from the print, packaging, paper or publishing industry, or those have an immediate family connection to it. 

Are you or someone you know looking to live independently in a friendly environment? There are currently vacancies at Southwood Court in Basildon.

Southwood Court


Beaverbrook House



“I’m very happy living here at Southwood”

One of Pete’s aunts had lived at Southwood Court so he already knew about our Sheltered Homes when a friend suggested it would be an ideal place for him to live. Pete enjoyed working so much he didn’t retire until he was 68. Having spent almost his entire working life...

“It’s like a little oasis here at Southwood Court”

Jeanette is Home Manager at Southwood Court, one of our sheltered homes offering independent living for those retired from print and the allied trades. She spoke with us about life in the community and the benefits of living in an almshouse.     What does your role...

“I enjoy watching residents feel happy in their new home”

Kathy is Home Manager at Beaverbrook House, one of our sheltered homes offering independent living for those retired from print and the allied trades. She spoke with us about her role and the benefits of living in an almshouse.    What’s involved in being manager at...

“I enjoy every minute of living at Southwood Court”

"This is not a place to be missed if you get the opportunity to move in." Several of Matthew's friends recommended Southwood Court to him and his daughter helped him to apply to the charity. His mother and three sisters had worked at Cahill Printers in Dublin so he...

The history of our Almshouses

Almshouses were created as a form of social housing, to help people in need afford a place to live. They are run by charities like ours, who offer support to those in financial need, and often cater for specific communities of people and their families from various...