About the Charity of William Hobbayne
To relieve, generally and individually, Ealing residents (with priority to Hanwell residents) who are in conditions of need, hardship or distress by making grants of money or paying for items, services or facilities calculated to reduce the need, hardship or distress.
The name of William Hobbayne has been part of Hanwell’s history for centuries.
In 1484 William Hobbayne gave a house and some 22 acres of land to be used for the poor and needy of the parish, and since then the Charity of William Hobbayne has been quietly making a difference to local people in need, hardship or distress.
In the 1600s and 1700s the charity helped local residents with expenses in illness, for example £1 to John Pope, his family having the smallpox. Consequently, £5 was spent on inoculating the poor of the parish.
The trustees supported a charity school in the 18th century, organised apprenticeships in the 19th century and in the 1930s often gave coal to out-of-work local people.
Times have changed since William Hobbayne lived. The Charity has changed also, and trustees have needed to be flexible, reacting to the different circumstances they have experienced.
Today we give grants to individuals and families to provide practical solutions to cases of need. We also give grants to organisations in Hanwell that share these aims.
In 2002 the Hobbayne Charity purchased and re-opened the former Salvation Army Citadel in St Dunstan’s Road as a community resource, renaming it the William Hobbayne Centre. The Centre has raised the profile of the Charity and become a focus for caring and activity in the community. Groups who use the Centre include Dementia Concern and Parkinson's Disease Society, plus many others providing social activities and events for all people and all ages.
Since purchasing the Centre we have added the charity office, a space for outreach work and an extension named The Community Suite where Ealing Association for the Blind, the Women's Institute and other groups meet regularly.
The Friends of the William Hobbayne Centre continue to support the Centre by running regular fundraising events.