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About us

What we do

Our charitable foundation is a direct continuation of the St Monica Trust’s historical purpose of offering assistance to those in need, but with its aims firmly set in, and relevant to, contemporary society.

There have been many attempts in the past to address the fundamental issues affecting older people. Unfortunately, things seem to be getting worse, not better. With local authorities, the government and health sector all struggling for funding - combined with the cost of living crisis – it is evident that top-down solutions are unlikely to emerge.

Through extensive discussions with the Trust’s partner organisations in the VCFSE sector, the conclusion has been reached that there is the need for radical change. The creation of the charitable foundation provides an opportunity for organisations like the St Monica Trust and the wider community to shape their own interventions, take control of the agenda and work effectively and co-operatively to produce effective solutions with real measurable outcomes.

This approach presents a genuine opportunity to do things differently and challenge what has been done in the past with a clear focus. By working more effectively together, and with the charitable foundation working as a catalyst, the St Monica Trust and its partner organisations will endeavour to deliver better outcomes for older people.

This will be done through a charitable programme of targeted funding, the establishment of a learning academy and embracing innovative technology.

St Monica Trust

The charitable foundation leaflet

Our history

The original Deed Poll for the management of the St Monica Trust was created in 1922.

Under the title “Monica Wills Annuities” the charity committed to provide “Annuities or Gifts of money to persons of good character who are in need and who are suffering from chronic or incurable illness or handicap.”

All applicants to live in “The St Monica Home” or receive financial assistance were recorded in the Applicant’s Register. Dated 24 April, 1924 the very first applicant for financial assistance was Annie Butcher who had worked in India as a nurse. A spinster, living at 13 St John’s Road, Clifton, she was suffering from “progressive muscular atrophy, arthritis and ‘contraction of the right hand’.”

All applications for accommodation or financial assistance were discussed at the regular ‘Selection Committee Meetings’, which included Dame Monica Wills herself, and were recorded in the St Monica Trust Minute Book. On 16 June 1924 it was recommended by the Selection Committee that “subject to the reports of Miss Baillie and the medical men”, Annie Butcher “should receive financial assistance at the rate of £50 per annum.” Annie’s application was duly approved and the first of her quarterly payment was made on 16 July, 1924, increasing to £52 per annum from 29 September, 1924.

  • 1919

    Cote House estate on Durdham Downs purchased for the St Monica Home of Rest.
  • 1921

    Creation of the original trust deeds with clause 5(1) setting out the intentions to provide individual gifts, grants and annuities.
  • 1924

    First financial assistance application received from Annie Butcher who became the first recipient of support.
  • 1924-2016

    Regular financial support provided to older people in need through annuities.
  • 1925

    St Monica Home of Rest opened at Cote Lane, Bristol. 70 ladies move in.
  • 1930s and 1940s

    Across these decades over 1,000 people were receiving a regular income from the St Monica Trust.
  • 1988

    The scope of financial support was widened and ‘one-off gifts’ began – our Individual Giving Fund
  • 2002

    Charity renamed St Monica Trust; an expansion programme begins.
  • 2003

    St Monica Trust starts awarding grants to organisations as well as individuals.
  • 2022

    New 10-year Strategy created.
  • 2023

    Over £850,000 awarded in gifts and grants to organisations and individuals.
  • 2024

    St Monica Trust Charitable Foundation launched to support charitable giving, innovation and learning academy.
St Monica Trust

History of charitable giving

The Academy

Under the banner of the charitable foundation the St Monica Trust aims to improve the standard of care that we provide for older people, both within the Trust and nationally, through the establishment of a sector-leading learning academy at the Somerdale Pavilion in Keynsham.

As well as training our own colleagues and those looking at entering the health and social care sector, the Trust’s first-class training provision will also be available to organisations who can’t afford to pay the fees charged by the private sector.

The Academy will look beyond statutory requirements and provide people with the skills to deliver the best outcomes for older people within the services they work, including the harnessing of new technology to deliver care. We will also encourage people to spread their wings beyond our shores, spend time in countries with exceptional practice in caring for older people and bring those learnings back to the UK.

Through The Academy we have already established a provision of more than one hundred apprenticeships at the Trust within the first year of it opening. The Trust aims to build on that impressive start and run apprenticeships for other organisations within the voluntary sector. Not just for starters who are looking at a way in, but all the way up to PhD level and the sponsorship of academic research into the issues affecting older people.


The current crisis in health and social care, combined with the change in people’s perception of how they want care delivered, has clearly signalled the urgent need for a transformation in our approach to care.

In response to this, under the charitable foundation, the St Monica Trust will sponsor an innovation centre, which will look at defining what modern communities look like for older people and how that translates into a modern care approach. Through innovative projects developed collaboratively with our colleagues and residents, we will determine how to design better community-integrated services, new models of residential and nursing care in the Trust’s villages and care homes, and we will embed useful technology within the Trust and the wider care sector that will allow for higher quality outcomes.

Not only will the findings of the innovation centre benefit the Trust’s residents, colleagues and communities, but they will also be widely shared across the health and social care sector, promoting learning and improvement on a larger scale.

Our trustees

To learn more about the trustees of the St Monica Trust Charitable Foundation, please visit our Trustees page. There, you will find detailed profiles of each trustee, including their backgrounds, areas of expertise, and their roles in driving our mission to enhance the lives of older people.

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