Who we are

The League of the Helping Hand is an established charity with over 100 years’ experience of alleviating poverty through the distribution of financial aid. 


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About the League of the Helping Hand

The League is both a registered charity (No: 208792) and a company limited by guarantee registered in England (No: 00307257). The charity and business are overseen by a board of trustees and directors, while the day-to-day work of the charity and business is delivered by a small dedicated team.


To provide financial assistance to those who are in hardship due to illness or disability.  This includes physical and diagnosed mental health conditions, learning disabilities and people caring for an adult or child with a disability.

Key value

Assistance with compassion


The League of the Helping Hand (LHH) was founded in 1908 by Miss Edith Ashby who wanted to address the suffering of those who had very little to live on.  She was adamant from the first that all help should be given in the most kind and friendly way possible.  Since Miss Ashby's initial efforts, the charity has evolved through two world wars, numerous changes of government and the vagaries of the welfare system - the ethos of assistance with compassion however, remains central to the work of the charity.


8th November 1908 - First meeting to form the League.

November and December 1908 - Two concerts in Sidcup and Conduit Street London, raising the first funds, totalling £15.

1911 - Third annual report published; there are 720 members.

1916 - A Matinee at the Criterion Theatre was attended by HM Queen Alexandra raising £200 for the League.

1924 - Her Highness Princess Marie Louise, grand daughter of Queen Victoria becomes President and Patron of the League.

1931 - League funds bolstered by a donation of £40,000 (roughly £1.8 million in 2015).

1935 - The League is incorporated as a company.

1944 - Founder Ms Ashby dies.

1960 - Investments stand at £108,000, however with a falling pound, money was tight in the sixties.

1974 - Portfolio valued at £196,000 with 50 beneficiaries a year.

1984 - There are 75 ongoing beneficiaries.

1993 - First grants for carers' breaks awarded. 

1995 - £10,000  grant received from the National Lottery.

2004 - 289 grants awarded.

2007 - 515 grants awarded.

2008 - One hundred years celebrated.

Annual reports

Each year the League produces an annual report which includes accounts in accordance with regulatory filing needs. Copies of the annual reports are available below as a downloadable PDFs. In the UK, you can download a PDF reader from Adobe’s website in order to read the reports.


Find out more about what we do, other sources of help or apply for a grant