The Helston Downsland Charity held it’s 2023-2024 Grants Meeting on the 1sr Nov 2023

The Charity received 9 applications to the annual grant fund, which this round stood at £10,000. Although the grants budget was oversubscribed, we are delighted to report that we were able to offer what we hope will be meaningful financial support to every application that we received – please see the details below.

The Butterfly Wood Project

£250 to construct secure storage

Mustard Seed Café

£500 towards the provision of Christmas hampers

Helston Friendship Club

£310 towards the provision of the Christmas meal

Plastic Free Helston

A pledge of £2000 towards the project to promote 

Plastic Free Flora Day 2024 

St Michael’s CofE Primary School

£2500 towards outdoor play and sports equipment

Friends of Nansloe Academy

£2500 towards the completion of their nature garden project

Helston Cricket Club

£500 towards the project to update the electrical system to 
enable installation of photo-voltaic panels

Helston Athletic Football Club

£500 towards the LED floodlight project

Cornwall Association
Blind Shooting

£300 towards purchase of updated electronic guidance system

This brings the total money granted to projects and good causes that benefit the residents of the parish of Helston since 2009 to over £288,000.

If you think you may have a good cause that would benefit the residents of the Parish of Helston, keep an eye on the website for news on when the next round of grants applications will be invited.

Helston Downsland Charity – Report from the Chair

September 2022- September 2023


Alternative uses for Hospital Cross Site

Over the last 12 months members of our community have come forward with a range of suggestions about how land held in trust by the HDC might be used for public or environmental benefit. Following a request at our last general meeting, these are summarised and shared below, in no particular order.

Summary of Community suggestions:

Public consultation/event to develop ideas from local community

Used by schools as outdoor classroom

Sustainable and accessible community space with events, volunteering and learning

Community Supported tourism

Community Orchard.

Composting facility

Plant growing/propagation facility

Allotments for residents of Helston.

A sensory garden

A space for schools to encourage young people to learn about growing their own food

Permaculture project

Medicinal/herbal Garden

Community Supported Agriculture Site

A Woodland Burial Site.

Urban Food Forest Garden.

A public open space, not formal.

Continue as properly documented grazing land.

Gift to Cornwall Wildlife Trust/Cornwall birdwatching and Preservation Society – habitat enrichment

Remain for nature wildlife and leisure

Do nothing, it is our heritage of stone walls and wildlife

Venue for holding a fayre celebrating modern and traditional animal/plant/land management skills, local history, food, arts, entertainment etc


Land at Hospital Cross, Helston
Statement from the Chair;

Following the passing of the 23rd July 2023, in line with the contract between the Helston Downsland Charity and Parsonage Developments Ltd, the Option Agreement relating to Land at Hospital Cross Helston, is absolutely extinguished.

I am in no doubt, that some years ago, when the trustees of the board decided to sell the land at Hospital Cross, the decision was made with the Helston Downsland Charity’s, and the residents of the parish of Helston’s interests in mind – at that time.

Subsequent discussion of the board has increasingly highlighted the nuance around land use and the meaning of community benefit and “value”. It has also highlighted the importance of good governance and the need for organisational reform.

The community involvement in this story has been considerable – most notably for me, the quantity of genuine, creative, community-centric suggestions for how the Helston Downsland Charity might enable the residents of Helston to benefit from access to outdoor spaces, and in turn, how the use of those spaces can be regenerative.

The engagement I have had with local people has been a pleasure and a privilege of my position as chair of this Charity and I hope that these relationships will continue and grow.

I am also grateful for the thoughtful consideration of the board of this issue in the recent months, which has ensured robust debate and delivered an outcome where we can pause for breath and deeply consider the potential of the Helston Downsland Charity and its work going forward.


Melissa Benyon


Helston Downsland Charity


Responsible Investment
Community members who have been following the work of the Helston Downsland Charity will be aware that we have been working on improving the environmental and social profile of our investment portfolio. You can find out more by clicking on our "Investments" page.

As part of this journey, we decided at our last general meeting that we would investigate investment products designed for charities with responsible investment at the heart of the product.

It is clear from the public attendance, comments and discussion at our meetings, that our community care very much about this issue also, so as part of the process of collecting more information about suitable ethical investment products, we are inviting suggestions from our community.

If you would like to make comment to the board, please contact the Chair, Melissa Benyon, on or 07594 570450.


Hospital Cross – Update from the Board of Trustees

On 22nd May 2023, all members of the Board of Trustees of the Helston Downsland Charity met in a Special Meeting to discuss a request from Parsonage Developments Ltd to extend the Option to Buy land at Hospital Cross, Helston.

The three year option agreement is due to end on the 23rd July 2023.

Following a detailed discussion by the Board of Trustees, which included consideration of factors associated with; responsibilities of Trustees, charity governance, responsibility to the Charity Commission; as well as factors associated with the impacts on the; community, infrastructure, environment and economy of the parish of Helston, the board voted with a majority not to extend the Option agreement beyond the 23rd July 2023.

The Charity will review its position with respect to the land at Hospital Cross after the 23rd July 2023.


The Helston Downsland Charity held it’s 2022-2023 Grants Meeting on the 13th March 2023 at Helston Museum with many applicants attending to speak about their good causes.

The Charity received 19 applications to the annual grant fund, which this round stood at £30,000. Although the grants budget was oversubscribed, we are delighted to report that we were able to offer what we hope will be meaningful financial support to every application that we received. 

Please see the details below;

The Butterfly Wood Project: £280 to redo pathways and ensure accessibility for all users.

Helston Netball Club: £240.84 for walking netball Kit

Music and Dance Education Trust: £300 for dance and drama workshops

Handicapped Children’s “Action” Group: £300 to Provide specialist buggy for a 4 year old Helston resident.

Helston Friendship Club: £400 for member Entertainment and trips out

Pentreath Ltd: £700 to run Health and Wellbeing fair

The Sparkle Foundation UK: £700 to run Mental health group support for young people and adults

Royal Navy Family and People Support: £756.20 to run parkour sessions for 10-18 year olds

Heston Age Concern: £1000 for Repairs and upkeep to minibus

Helston Memory Community Café: £1200 for bus hire and trips

One Blue Eye: £1500 to deliver plastic recycling workshops to schools in Helston

Helston Community Interest Company: £2000 to support the distribution of the Discover Helston magazine

Helly's International Guitar Festival: £3000 to subsidise under 18s to access event and pay for free lessons

SKA CIC 4: £3000 for interactive creative play panels at Coronation Park

Helston Cricket Club: £3200 to repair building and replace doors

CAST Cornubian Arts & Science Trust: £3500 for creative learning programmes for Helston primary schools

Unlimited Dream Company: £3600 pledged for creative workshops for young people

Helston AFC: £4322.96  towards facility furnishings and to support the Helston Youth Football trip to Germany

We anticipate holding an event later this year to celebrate the work that our communities are doing and where possible, will share further details about progress with these projects, events and resources here on our website.

Meanwhile, if you think you may have a good cause that would benefit the residents of the Parish of Helston, keep an eye on the website for news on when the next round of grants applications will be invited.


Helston Downsland Charity Public Statement regarding Development Planning Application PA21/07481 at Hospital Cross

Following multiple enquiries from our community about the current status of the Option Agreement relating to the land at Hospital Cross, Helston, held by Parsonage Developments Ltd, we can advise of the following:

The Option Period is still live and running towards the “Long Stop Date” of the 23rd July 2023. After the 23 July 2023, the Helston Downsland Charity (HDC) will not be obliged to sell the land to Parsonage Developments Ltd.

Extension of the Option Period towards the Long Stop Date does not rely on a decision from the HDC Board of Trustees, but is dictated by specific criteria within the Option Agreement.

Please be aware that the Trustees of the HDC are limited in how they are able to discuss the Planning Application by the Option Agreement with Parsonage Developments Ltd.

Any enquiries about the Planning Application process, such as consultation or determination date, should be directed to the Planning Department at Cornwall Council.