Frequently Asked Questions
Who can apply to become a Collegian?
Individuals or couples, who are:
• of good character,
• over the age of 60,
• able to live independently,
• of limited financial resource, and
• a member of the Church of England, or a member of a Church affiliated to Churches Together in Britain and Ireland.
can apply to be elected as Collegians.
If you need more information, please contact us.
When should I apply?
As soon as you fulfil the criteria above. There is a small waiting list. The Trustees are keen to ensure that the College is a well-balanced community and therefore how long someone has been waiting is not necessarily a consideration. They will choose the applicants that they think best meet the aims of the charity and will best integrate into the College.
How long will I have to wait?
It is impossible to give a specific waiting time as the Trustees try to ensure that all the bungalows are occupied and once elected a Collegian he/ she/they is/are allocated a bungalow for his/ her/their lifetime, or for as long as the Trustees consider he or she is able to maintain himself or herself independently or also at the Trustees’ discretion.
The length of waiting time is therefore constantly changing as it depends on, how many others are on the waiting list and changes in occupancy within the College. As each unit of accommodation becomes vacant, unless it has already been upgraded, there will be at least a three month wait for upgrading. Upgraded bungalows which become vacant are redecorated and usually will be unavailable for at least one month.
What happens when a vacancy occurs?
As soon as a vacancy occurs the Clerk will write to everyone on the waiting list enclosing an application form. This asks for:
• some personal and financial information,
• two persons from whom personal references can be obtained,
• details of a member of the clergy who can confirm that prospective Collegians are a member of the Church of England or of a Church affiliated to Churches Together in Britain and Ireland.
As the financial information on the application form can date quite quickly the forms are only sent to potential applicants when a bungalow becomes vacant.
The completed form is considered by the Trustees. If they think that the applicant may be suitable they are invited for an interview. Potential Collegians are interviewed by two Trustees and the successful applicant(s) is/are elected.
Shall I be able to afford it?
A maintenance contribution, currently £600 per month, is charged. Depending on your circumstances all or some may be met by housing benefit. No rent is payable. Each Collegian provides their own furniture and furnishings and is also responsible for paying the council tax, utility and other household bills relating to their bungalow
If one of a couple dies, does their partner have to leave?
If both were appointed to be Collegians by the Trustees the surviving partner will be allowed to remain here for the rest of their life, provided their health needs permit. If the surviving partner was not originally appointed to be a Collegian by the Trustees he/she may apply to the Trustees to be appointed a Collegian provide they meet the criteria above.
Are there strict “Rules”?
Not many. We operate a non-smoking environment and regret that we cannot accept dogs. Collegians are free to come and go as they wish, but for Health and Safety reasons, we do ask that they tell the College staff when they intend to be away.
To see a copy of current Rules and Regulations click here
If elected, how long can I stay at Huggens?
As long as you are in sufficiently good health to manage on your own all be it with the support of local social services. However when your health becomes such that in our opinion you would be better served in a nursing home or hospital you will need to move as nursing facilities are not provided.
How often would I be expected to attend services in Chapel?
Worship is central to the community’s life, so collegians are encouraged to attend regularly. However, this is a matter for personal spirituality and everyone finds their own pattern of attendance.
Can I recommend someone to be a Collegian?
Yes. The Clerk is always pleased to learn of people whom we may be able to help.
What should I do now?
Please contact the Clerk in the first instance.
Or by post: Clerk to the Trustees of Huggens College, 20 Sallows Shaw, Sole Street, Cobham, Gravesend, Kent, DA13 9BS