Rotherham’s oldest charity, which supported local people through the Black Death in 1349 and Plague victims in the 1660s, is now helping those in need during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Feoffees Of The Common Lands of Rotherham have donated over £1,600 to Crossroads Care Rotherham, a charity supporting carers and people looked after in their own homes.

The decision was made at the Feoffees’ AGM in April after the current chair, known as the Greave, asked his 12 fellow Feoffees for suggestions on how best it could support Rotherham people during the Coronavirus pandemic.

The charity has come to the aid of thousands of people in the town since its inception in the early 1300s.

Every December it gives out cash ‘Doles’, a tradition going back hundreds of years, when the Doles then consisted of bread, coal and money.

Each year it also funds two £1,000 scholarships for Rotherham students and a £2,500 bursary to a newly-qualified Rotherham primary teacher.

The Feoffees have acted in numerous times of crisis. In addition to helping victims of the Plague and the Black Death, they provided support during the Cholera outbreaks which struck down many townsfolk during the Victorian era, and also during the Spanish Flu epidemic in 1919,

Greave Jeremy Mason commented: “This ancient charity is solely intended to benefit the people of Rotherham and often distributes around £10,000 each year.

“We wanted to give an additional sum during the Covid-19 pandemic and chose Crossroads Care Rotherham. We felt that the very important role played by people acting as the main carer for a partner, parent or relatives, especially at this time, is often overlooked.

“Crossroads relies heavily on fundraising activities but these have been significantly reduced because of the pandemic. Our initial donation of over £1,600 will help Crossroads to carry on caring for carers and helping people when they are at their most vulnerable.”

Helen Cryan, CEO of Crossroads Care Rotherham, said:”We are extremely grateful for this generous donation from the Feoffees of Rotherham.

“There is no doubt that because of this we will be able to brighten the lives of carers who dedicate their lives to supporting their loved ones.”

For more information about the Feoffees of the Common Lands of Rotherham and their history, to make a donation or become a supporter, go to

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