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Walter Lyon Trust is a charity established by Dr Walter Lyon in 1979.

Walter's vision was to provide accommodation and therapeutic services to people affected by addiction to drugs and/or alcohol in the Lancaster and Morecambe area.

The Trust currently owns a 14-bed property in Lancaster. Although we no longer offer direct services, we let our property to another charity with compatible aims.


Walter Lyon Trust was initially established as Inward House Charitable Trust by Dr Walter Lyon in 1979. Walter spent much of his career developing services in Lancaster for those addicted to drugs/alcohol and recovering from addiction, with particular focus on young people and those in adverse circumstances. The Trust’s property, Walter Lyon House, continues to be used as supported housing for those recovering from addiction.

Current Tenants

Since 2016, Walter Lyon House has been let to Calico Housing Group and is operated by Acorn Recovery Projects, who provide supported housing to those in recovery from addiction.

The Trust has recently began offering housing support grants to those who are ready to move on from Walter Lyon House.



How the Trust can help your

charity or project

We don't currently offer direct support to individuals, but we are committed to using some of our financial reserve to support local projects. 

Each year, the Trustees will agree on a 'funding pot' that will accept bids from other charities and projects based in Lancashire (preferably Lancaster and Morecambe).

These bids must be aligned to our charitable objectives, and therefore any submissions must be related to drug/alcohol addiction/recovery.

Our submissions window is now open, so please take a look at our submissions page to find out how to apply.



1970’s Dr Walter Lyon travelled to New York and helped to establish Inward House Therapeutic Community (New York). He returned to Lancaster 2-3 years later where he was employed at the Lancaster Moor Hospital as a clinical assistant in psychiatry.  

1978/9 Dr Walter Lyon established Inward House Therapeutic Community (Lancaster) in premises at 89 King Street. Assisted by Tony and Maggie Lamb, with Dr David Elliott (GP) as Medical Officer. In October 1979, Walter Lyon establishes Inward House as a charity. 

1980’s The charity expanded to new premises at Highfield View, Quernmore Road, Lancaster, initially leased from NHS.

1998 In April Inward House charity was reorganised and transferred its operating services, assets and liabilities to Inward House Projects Limited, a charitable company. The Inward House charitable trust retained Highfield View (purchased from NHS in March 1998) as a permanent endowment under the terms of a new charitable scheme. The property was leased to Inward House Projects.

2000’s Inward House Projects expanded and acquired a property on Aldcliffe Road along with new headquarters in Falcon House, Queen Square. Services expanded to all parts of Lancashire and included: residential programme; aftercare service; supported housing; probation support services; prison rehabilitation; structured day programme.  


2003 Dr Walter Lyon died at his home in Stanley Farm and in 2004, Highfield View was renamed Walter Lyon House in his memory.

2010 Inward House Projects encountered funding and financial problems and it was taken over by a third party provider and ultimately failed, leaving Walter Lyon House vacant and in poor condition when the charity took back the property in 2014.

2015 Long-serving trustees Tony Lamb, David Elliott, Mike Jones, Damien Sissons, and David Sykes recruited a new trustee board to build on the Trust’s previous work, and refurbish Walter Lyon House before letting the property again.

2016 Walter Lyon House let to Calico Housing Group operated by Acorn Recovery Projects.

2017 The charity is renamed Walter Lyon Trust in memory of its founder.

Tony Lamb (who worked with Walter in founding the charity) writes:

“Walter was certainly a man of inspiration and very much a change agent as and when circumstances required it. He challenged bureaucracy and externally applied restrictions which sought to restrict ways of reaching out to people and offering personalised support.


He was always looking for new ideas and better ways to create services for those he felt we were aiming to help. He was very much about people being given the opportunity to reflect and learn from their behaviour and the impact that they had and continued to have on others.


Through a process of peer support he saw the need for individuals to change and progress, becoming responsible and accountable for their behaviour, giving back to communities and families and eventually becoming independent, functional members of society.”

The Banks Lyon Memorial Trust (BLMT)

A separate charity, The BLMT was set up in by Dr Walter Lyon, just before he died in 2003. It exists to help local young people who face barriers to accessing training and gaining qualifications for employment.

In his will, Dr Lyon transferred ownership of Stanley Farm at Quernmore to the Banks Lyon Memorial Trust. However, plans to use the farm for charitable purposes could not be realised, and the farm was sold a few years later.


The proceeds of the sale now form the basis of the Trust’s funds, which are invested and used for making grants.


Hugh Clay

Chair of Trustees

Hugh has been a trustee of Walter Lyon Trust since 2016 and took over as Chair of Trustees in 2021. Originally training as an accountant and later qualifying as a solicitor, Hugh has worked in a range of different businesses, most recently retiring in his role as an in-house solicitor at the Co-operative Group in Manchester. Before joining WLT, Hugh served as a secretary, treasurer and then chair of a small rural housing association. Outside of this, Hugh enjoys rowing and sailing.

Annie Huntington 


Annie became involved with the charity in 2015 and became a trustee of Walter Lyon Trust in 2016. Integrating roles as an academic and practitioner (psychotherapist, social worker, nurse) has been the cornerstone of her career (1981-present). Annie enjoys her work as a psychotherapist alongside training and supporting the development of the next generation of psychotherapists. Before joining WLT, she was a Trustee for a charity supporting people who have experienced domestic abuse. In her spare time she walks, reads and volunteers for a local theatre. 

Emily Hunter


Emily also joined the trustees at Walter Lyon Trust in 2021. With a degree in Addiction Psychology and a Masters in Criminology, she has spent the majority of her career working with homeless populations, those in drug and alcohol recovery, and women in prison. Emily is currently the Head of Day Services for a homelessness charity based in Crawley, West Sussex and she is also an Ambassador for Stonewall Housing which offers specialist support for LGBTQ+ people facing homelessness. In her spare time Emily enjoys football and spoken word poetry.

Andrew Simpson


Andrew joined Walter Lyon Trust in December 2023. He has enjoyed a long career in the NHS, having worked in a variety of roles he has extensive clinical and managerial experience. He qualified as a Mental Health Nurse in 1985 and continued academic study obtaining an MBA with a focus on emotional intelligence in organisations. During his career he has managed inpatient services, which has given him knowledge and understanding of the challenges for, the staff, the people who use the service and their families. He is committed to people having a voice in decisions about their own lives and also about how services are delivered. The services Andrew has developed and managed have won numerous regional and national awards for excellence.

Currently Andrew has lead responsibility as Head of Mental Health at NHS England, working in specialised commissioning, with a focus on the future provision of services for children and young people across England. Andrew enjoys a number of activities including paddleboarding, gardening and sailing, he is currently learning to play the piano.


Our submissions window for 2024/25 is now open.

The ‘funding pot’ for this window is £20,000 and organisations can apply for up to £5,000 each. You can apply for funding to deliver a new or existing project, or to support your organisation to change and adapt to new and existing challenges. Our funding priorities for this year are:

  • Dual diagnosis (substance abuse and mental health)

  • Early intervention/prevention

  • Any other group insufficiently funded in services (i.e., expectant mothers or men over the age of 25)


We will consider exceptional bids outside of this, but your project must be aligned to our charitable objectives.  Your application is more likely to be successful if it meets our funding priorities for this period.

Please read our funding instructions carefully and ensure that you are applying using the correct submissions form.


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