The Ogilvie Charities

Sheltered accommodation in Suffolk and Essex, grant making for charitable purposes

Ogilvie Almshouses

The Ogilvie Almshouses are a terrace of 20 cottages situated in spacious grounds and having extensive views over the countryside. Although they were built in the early 20th century, they have been modernised and well maintained by the Trustees of the Ogilvie Charities, who administer them. They are registered with the Charity Commission and the Homes and Communities Agency.

The accommodation in each 'House comprises of a sitting room, kitchen and bathroom with lavatory on the ground floor, and a lavatory and two bedrooms on the first floor. There is a communal reading room and TV room, with library facilities situated at the centre of the terrace.

Central heating by radiators, and domestic hot water to the sinks and baths is supplied throughout the houses. Mains water and sewerage facilities are connected also and electricity is distributed to each property through a central meter.

The properties offer, therefore, self-contained, unfurnished, 'sheltered' housing accommodation to people whose ages in the main are above those of normal retirement. These are not Residential Homes for older people or Nursing homes, and residents, on admission are expected to be able to care for their homes and themselves. They enjoy the added security of a Scheme Manager who is responsible for exercising a general and unobtrusive supervision of their well-being. A further explanation of the Scheme Manager’s responsibilities will be given to applicants before it is decided whether they are to be offered and accept accommodation at the 'Houses. There is an audio alarm system linking each house and the reading room to the Scheme Manager. When she is off duty the alarm call system is switched over to Central Control who monitor the system in her absence.

No restrictions are placed on visits by relatives and friends, who are encouraged to call on the residents whenever they wish, and to give them whatever assistance they require. In addition, it is hoped that the medical, nursing and Social Services will always be made available to people living in the Houses, in exactly the same way as to others whose homes are elsewhere in the local community. Nevertheless, and regrettably, it has to be said that in the best interests of all concerned, the Trustees must reserve the right to require any resident to find other, more suitable, accommodation and leave the 'Houses, if he or she suffers from an infirmity or illness of a kind which could not normally be coped with in one's own home with the help described above, or whose behaviour becomes a serious threat to the safety or enjoyment of other residents.

Enquiries have been made from time to time about the keeping of pets on the premises. The Trustees are sorry that they cannot allow dogs to be kept by residents because of the open-plan nature of the gardens and grounds. Ordinarily cats cannot be kept for the same reason; but the Trustees may relax this rule in exceptional circumstances.

Download - To print an application form, click below

From time to time, the accommodation at the Almshouses is advertised publicly and a waiting list of potentially suitable applicants is prepared. It is not necessary for anyone seeking accommodation to await the appearance of an advertisement, however, because enquiries can be made at any time. They must be addressed in writing to the General Manager, Ogilvie Charities, The Gate House, 9 Burkitt Road, Woodbridge, Suffolk, IP12 4JJ.

Uninvited callers are asked not to visit Ogilvie Almshouses casually, good though their intentions may be, because they would infringe upon the privacy of the people living there.

Application forms and information can be downloaded from this website. Alternatively, the General Manager will send enquirers by post, written details of the 'Houses and forms of application for the accommodation and services provided there.

On every occasion that a vacancy occurs, the General Manager will inform selected persons on the waiting list of it and invite them to submit to her, up-to-date particulars of their personal circumstances for consideration. She will then select, for personal interview at the Almshouses, those whom she considers to be the most needy applicants for the vacant accommodation, and where she considers it appropriate to do so, may ask permission to pay them home visits also. Applicants being interviewed will be given the opportunity to be accompanied by a friend or relative.

The General Manager will refer to the Trustees policy on eligibility and other factors, and select from among those interviewed someone whom she can recommend to the Trustees for immediate accommodation at the Almshouses. After receiving the Trustees' approval, a Letter of Agreement will be sent to the applicants selected, setting out the full terms on which the offer of accommodation is authorised, and the joint signatures of an applicant and the General Manager will signify their acceptance.

The Ogilvie Charities
The Gate House
9 Burkitt Road
IP12 4JJ

People eligible for accommodation at Ogilvie Almshouses, at the absolute discretion of the Trustees, are those who are preferably but not necessarily over retirement age and live in Suffolk or Essex and/or have caring relatives or friends living in the areas, and who in the judgment of the Trustees lack adequate means of providing themselves with the accommodation and services needed by them. As the 'Houses are charitable properties and the occupiers become beneficiaries of the Ogilvie Charities, regard will be paid to an applicant's financial position.

Currently £117.11 per week (As at April 2018)

The weekly charge which the Trustees are obliged to make for the accommodation applies to each house whether occupied by a single person or a couple. It includes the use of the premises and the communal facilities such as the Reading Room and the external and internal repair and maintenance of them, water and sewerage charges, and the upkeep of the grounds. The cost of supplying central heating, domestic hot water and electricity, the services of the Scheme Manager and other staff, and a number of amenities such as a subsidised 'shopping bus 'into Leiston town centre is also included. This charge must be reviewed regularly by the Trustees because of the inevitable effects of inflation, and residents who feel unable to meet these expenses in full from their present income may be entitled to help from the District Council by way of Housing Benefit allowance and, indeed, some receive it already.

Contact us

To contact us please use any of the methods below. 

If you wish to apply for accommodation vacancies please download the forms from the page for the relevant property and send to us at the address below.


 houseThe Gate House, 9 Burkitt Road, Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 4JJ

email Email:

telephone Phone: 01394 388746

world_link Web: