To commemorate John Whitgift Foundation’s 425th anniversary, we will be releasing a historical image each day during 2021 to look back at our charity’s incredible past.

From Queen Elizabeth I’s reign to the industrial revolution and two world wars, John Whitgift Foundation has seen more than four centuries of history since it was founded in 1596 by Archbishop John Whitgift.

Many of the artefacts and images, some previously unseen, are held within John Whitgift Foundation’s archives, as well as in its properties including two Grade 1 listed buildings, Old Palace School and the Whitgift Almshouses.

Each day during 2021, images and facts will be released through the Foundation’s social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn and you can follow via the hashtags #425in365

This is just one of the initiatives the charity will be running as part of its 425th anniversary celebrations – further details to follow.

Our story

On 22nd March 1596, Whitgift laid the first two foundation stones of the Hospital of The Holy Trinity now known as the Whitgift Almshouses on the corner of North End and George Street in Croydon. In the same year, just yards down the road, he opened a school. Together, these two buildings would help him realise his founding vision to educate and care for the people of Croydon. This was his legacy. Today, more than 400 years on, he’d take great pride in the charitable work the John Whitgift Foundation carries out in his name.

As one of the largest bursary providers in the country, we grant thousands of young people access to an outstanding education at our foundation schools – Old Palace, Trinity, and Whitgift – that many could not otherwise afford.

Through our care homes and services, we give older people a true sense of community, comfort, and joy in later life. And through our Carer Support Centre, we offer Croydon’s carers a valuable support network – providing advice, information, and a welcome break from the isolation and exhaustion they can endure as they care for others in our community.

Our charity supports people of all ages and backgrounds. And more importantly, it brings them all together for the benefit of all – inspiring a sense of community in all that we do. Because while much has changed since 1596, the values John Whitgift stood for then are as relevant today as they ever were; perhaps even more so.