For more than a 100 years Byfleet United Charity has been serving the people of Byfleet and West Byfleet and in fact its roots reach far further into the history of the two villages.
Back in 1905, the Charity Commissioners reorganised five local charities, amalgamating them under the title of The United Charities of Byfleet. The Lady Magdalen Bruce’s Charity was created in 1635 for “the relief and comfort of the honest poor painful people, and such as were past labour.” The Poor’s Land Charity originated from the Byfleet and Weybridge Enclosure Act of 1811 that allocated certain common and wasteland for the benefit of the poor. The George Poulton Charity was created through his will, proved in 1878. Henry Smith’s Charity, gave the people of the Ancient Parish of Byfleet a share of a legacy of this remarkable 17th century Alderman. The Raper Charity for the Poor arose from a Determination Order made by the Charity Commission in 1904.
In addition to the original five, in 1921 a Trust was formed with a gift donated by Mr F C Stoop of West Hall “for the benefit of the needy aged people of Byfleet and West Byfleet”. The gift was a mark of his gratitude for the end of the First World War and for the safe return of his sons and sons-in-law, all of whom served in the war.
These six charities then formed the basis of the Byfleet United Charity we know today, and the task is basically the same: working for the “poor and needy” of the Ancient Parish of Byfleet. This Ancient Parish extends slightly beyond the villages of Byfleet and West Byfleet, to include part of Brooklands Road in Weybridge, and part of Sheerwater, nearest West Byfleet.