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Residents are being invited to contribute ideas to a project to reopen a historic school building in Edmonton as a community hub which will provide training opportunities for young people in the borough.

charity school hall Mar2020 enfield societyThe Charity School in March 2020 (Enfield Society)

The former Girls’ Charity School and the adjacent schoolmistress's cottage at No. 24 Church Street, near Edmonton Green station, are Grade II listed historic buildings on the Heritage at Risk Register.

The building, notable for the statue of a schoolgirl in an alcove on the front wall, served as a school between 1793 and 1904. Between then and when it closed around ten years ago it was used for various roles in the community, primarily as a space for various educational aids for children and adults in need of financial assistance.

With help from the Enfield Society, in 2020 the London Historic Buildings Trust carried out an appraisal study to identify the best way to regenerate the site for the benefit of the local community. It is now working in conjunction with the Learning for Life Charity on a project to create a café and community hub designed to improve life opportunities for young people:

We are delighted to share that we’re regenerating a former girls’ charity school in Enfield, which was originally constructed in 1793.

With the help of our project partner, the London Historic Buildings Trust, we will breathe new life into this iconic building so it can once again provide learning, training and employment opportunities for young people in our community.

The building will be turned into a bijou café, where young people will gain work experience, as well as a meeting space, cinema, and a hub for school activities. The centre will provide opportunities for young people with SEND, or who are unemployed/socially excluded to access work experience and develop key employability skills.

Source: Learning for Life Charity website

The project has been given the title Life in the Community and will include sensitive repair and restoration of the building. It is receiving funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Architectural Heritage Fund for the development phase, which is working towards obtaining the substantial funding that will be needed to carry out sensitive repair and restoration of the building. The development phase involves research into the building and the local area, including seeking input from people who may have used the building in the past or who have ideas for its future.

Help shape our project at the Charity School, Church Street, Edmonton Green

edmonton girls charity school help shape our project flyer

We're developing our plans to create a new cafe and community hub, providing training opportunities for young people in Enfield. Over autumn 2023 and spring 2024 well be talking to people to make sure our plans work for the local community.


  • the activities you'd like to take part in
  • what heritage you want to explore and celebrate
  • how we can make our project accessible to you
  • if you want to use or hire space.




Life in the Community project

Charity School, Edmonton - Development Phase (London Historic Buildings Trust website)

Historic former school awarded £325k to help become ‘local hub’ (Enfield Dispatch 3 April 2023)


The email address for Rosie Shaw at London Historical Buildings Trust contained a typo, now corrected. Apologies to anyone who tried using the wrong link.

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PGC Webmaster posted a reply
04 Nov 2023 23:49
There's more about the history of the Girls' Charity School and the subsequent uses of the historic building in Church Street Edmonton in the latest issue of Enfield Society News, published today. (And, of course, the rest of the Society's newsletter is full of interesting information - you can read it online here, but better still, for a small annual amount, you can become a member and help keep this brilliant institution going.)
PGC Webmaster posted a reply
23 Nov 2023 23:59
There's a consultation event about this project on 2nd December at Green Towers, round the back of the Edmonton Green shopping centre.

Find out about a new project for young people and the community being developed at the Charity School, Church Street, Edmonton.
Come to find out more and tell us what you think:
  • turning the historic building into a centre for learning, training, and work experience for young people with special educational needs
  • creating a new community cafe and garden
  • providing new activities, events, and a hall for hire
  • saving the historic building for people to enjoy

The project
  • look at the initial designs for the building
  • share your ideas about the food you enjoy
  • explore what the heritage means to you
  • tell us about the space you want to use and hire