Two men, William Pepyn and Reginald Lessey, in 1562 bequeathed land for “ the use, help and maintenance of a Free-School” in Wenhaston, for the “ bringing up of poor men's children in learning, godliness & virtue”, and for the maintenance of a schoolmaster. Known as The School Charity, its trustees were called Feoffees. Rent was collected from a piece of marshland and from a house with 3 acres of land, all in Wenhaston. In 1976, the small piece on the marshes was sold to its renters, and the house began to fall into disrepair. The Charity did not have the money to deal with this and eventually took no rent. On 13th April 1982 with the fore sight of the Trustees the house with land owned by the Trust was sold and the proceeds were invested and the name changed to The Pepyn & Lessey Trust, in consultation with the Charities Commission. This now produces an income between £4500 & £5000 per annum.
There are 9 Trustees, all closely connected with Wenhaston, who meet 4 times a year to consider grants. Up to half the Trust's income can be used to help local maintained schools; the remainder to promote “the education either generally or individually (including social and physical training) of children up to and including the age of 18 years who or whose parents have been resident in Wenhaston and Mells for at least 2 years.
Individually the Trust helps with Scholarships, maintenance allowances, outfits, clothing, instruments, books, field courses, school trips and travel for educational purposes and helping towards the cost of the D of E award schemes. The Trust gives grants to parents of children going from Primary school to the High School when extra expenses are incurred for new uniforms, sports equipment, etc.
The Trust also offers help to children staying on in the sixth form with specialist books and transport costs
The Trust also makes one off payments to help with school projects, for example in 2015 we have been able to help Wenhaston Primary School with school trips, extra teaching aids and equipment.
We also offer a book of their own choice to children going to The High School; this is in memory of Harold Hatcher who left a bequest to the Trust.
The Trustees would like all residents in Wenhaston with Mells, especially those with school age children, to be aware of the work done by The Trust and the availability of financial assistance towards enjoying and achieving their potential during their time at school.
For detailed information or to see a copy of the current Scheme, contact Peter Cargill, secretary, 01502 478291; firstname.lastname@example.org