JHC was founded over 500 years ago when local landowners Joyce and John Huntingdon left three parcels of land to benefit directly the people of Sawston. They also asked that a field of peas (a specific type which was a basic food source then) be sown every year and this tradition continues to this day with an annual festival in the village.
With a growing population of over 7,000 residents, Sawston is recognised increasingly as a great place to live, with good schools and easy access to Cambridge and the region’s road and rail infrastructure.
However, the charity recognises that not everyone living locally benefits directly from this area’s relatively stable economy. 500 years on form John Huntingdon’s original legacy, some people are still financially disadvantaged because of age, health, unemployment, lack of housing and educational need.
Driven by John Huntingdon’s ambitions, we continue to use our resources to offer support flexibly for local people in need. Since 2000 we have moved 64 families on to permanent accommodation. Today, working closely with South Cambs DC, we house 65 in the village.
JHC cares about local employment and economic growth too. We recently created three residences and one small business unit from an empty commercial property in the heart of Sawston and there’s more to come.
In recent years JHC also provided land for amenities that benefit our whole community including Sawston’s Medical Centre, its Nursery, a community orchard and Mill Lane allotments.
Our board of trustees is always open to hearing about new opportunities to extend our reach.
John Huntingdon Centre
As part of our long-term planning, the charity’s move to the recently converted John Huntingdon Centre (previously known as the Compass Centre) represents another milestone.
Compass House was originally built in the 1970s on what we understand was originally JHC land.
These new headquarters provide the JHC team with more accessible space to support our clients. We also offer meeting facilities to local stakeholders including the South Cambs DC housing team, CAB advisers and debt specialists, the British Legion, Relate, Mind in Cambridgeshire, ReadEasy, employment and family law solicitors, and a number of health professionals such as midwives and health visitors.
And the move to John Huntingdon House has also enabled JHC to add four new properties to its housing portfolio. We have achieved this by converting the upstairs of the John Huntingdon Centre into two flats; our old office in Tannery Road has been turned into two houses.