Who Can Apply

The Charity’s principal activity is the management of its almshouse – Edward Alleyn House - but in addition assistance is offered to other local residents in their homes through visits by the Warden, Shelley Miles, under its Outreach Scheme.

Mrs Miles also arranges monthly coffee mornings and regular outings, which from time to time are attended by the outreach beneficiaries.

To qualify as a resident an applicant must satisfy all of the following conditions:

  • be an inhabitant of the area of benefit;
  • at least 60 years of age;
  • in “need, hardship or distress” and
  • of modest financial means;
  • be able to look after themselves without the need of medical assistance (the Warden makes daily calls on each resident and a home help service is offered, but the Charity does not offer medical assistance or other forms of care. However, some residents have care packages provided by the local authority).

Applications can be made direct to the Estate Office.

A home visit will be arranged, followed by an interview with two of the Trustees, after which a decision will be made on whether the applicant meets the requirements of the Charity. Residents no longer have to swear the Oath (see below)!

The Dulwich Almshouse Charity
Eligibility Criteria for Applicants to Edward Alleyn House

Area of benefit

Applicants must reside in the area of benefit. In accordance with the Charity’s governing Scheme this is defined as the former parishes (as constituted on 1st May 1891) of St Botolph, Bishopsgate, in the City of London and the London Boroughs of Hackney and Tower Hamlets; of St Luke, Old Street, in the City of London and the London Boroughs of Islington and Hackney; and of St Saviour, Southwark and of Camberwell, both in the London Borough of Southwark.

Length of residence

Applicants must have lived in the area of benefit for a period of 3 years or more prior to their application.


Applicants must be aged 60 years and over.


Applicants must be on a low income (‘modest means’):

  • Below £15,000 p/a gross for a single person
  • Below £20,000 p/a gross for a couple
  • Applicants can have moderate savings;
  • Below £60,000 for a single person
  • Below £100,000 for a couple
  • Applicants must be able to support themselves financially, especially those who do not receive housing and council tax benefits, i.e. they must be able to meet the Weekly Maintenance Contribution from their own resources.


Applicants must be able to live independently, but can have a care package (care workers coming 1-3 times a day to help with washing, dressing, and meals). Applicants must have sufficient mobility to be able to be able to carry out simple tasks for themselves once the carer has left for the day since the Warden is not permitted to offer any form of assistance with personal care or the administration of medication.


Applicants must be able to participate and enjoy living in the community and benefit from communal living.

Owner occupiers

Applications for residence from persons owning their own homes, or who have the proceeds of sale of homes would only be considered when:

  • no other suitable candidates in greater need have presented themselves;
  • the proceeds of any sale, after costs, would if invested provide them with substantially less than the national average income after pensions and all other sources of income are taken into account.

Although it is open to the trustees to appoint any persons who have need of the facilities by reason of their age, infirmity or disablement, if the applicant's resources are substantial and there are other types of accommodation in the locality (which they can afford and which will meet their needs) they should not generally be offered an almshouse place.

Pets policy

No pets are permitted due to the difficulties with caring for these if the resident falls ill.