Hampstead trust director steps down with 'enormous pride' after 28 years

Food donated; L-R: Jamie Hall receives food from Geoff Berridge, Sheila Taylor and Cllr. Linda Chung

Sheila Taylor (second from right) pictured in 2010 at Rosslyn Hill Chapel - Credit: Archant

The director of The Hampstead Wells and Campden Trust is stepping down after 28 years in charge.

Sheila Taylor is retiring this month after spearheading the charity’s work to tackle poverty and improve health since 1993.

Reflecting on her time at the helm, among her highlights she cited the trust’s 300th anniversary celebrations, the organisation’s growth as a “community resource”, and the “many letters of thanks” that have highlighted the organisation’s impact on people’s lives.  

“I take enormous pride in building a respected community resource making a difference to the lives of those many individuals and organisations that we have been able to support,” Sheila said.  

“I feel very privileged to have worked with an amazing staff team and so many dedicated trustees who have worked tirelessly to alleviate poverty and improve health and safeguard the trust’s assets to be able to support people in need from the trust’s area of benefit for generations to come.”

Sheila Taylor

Sheila Taylor - Credit: Sheila Taylor

The trust’s work covers the area around Hampstead, stretching to Kilburn and Gospel Oak.  

Sheila, a parent-of-four, trained as a lawyer and worked for the Jewish Welfare Board (now Jewish Care), before seeing off 400 applicants for the directorship at the trust. 

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Sheila’s innovative work included basic starter packs for the homeless, and she has recently overseen a shift towards the increasing needs of younger people and those with mental health problems.  

In the earlier days there were close collaborations with the Royal Free Hospital and the hospice Eden Hall.  

Most recently the trust – which provides grants to organisations, individuals and families – has set up several emergency funds to help with the response to the coronavirus pandemic.     

During her time, Sheila has overseen the awarding of more than 60,000 grants, and the trust currently works with more than 200 organisations, including Camden Council.

Sheila receiving a presentation in 1998 from Christopher Wade to mark 300 years of the Trust

Sheila receiving a presentation in 1998 from Christopher Wade to mark 300 years of the Trust - Credit: Sheila Taylor

Stuart Woltkamp-Moon, formerly deputy chief executive of RL Glasspool, will be the new director.  

“I am excited to be joining HWCT at an important time for the Trust and when the need for its help has been exacerbated by the Covid pandemic,” Stuart said.  

“I look forward to working with local organisations and the wider grant making sector in supporting the local community.”