About Hera Trust

The Hera Trust is named after the goddess Hera, who was the wife of Zeus and the goddess of wives. The Trust is a small charity dedicated to promoting understanding of the position of mature/older women in society. It was set up in 2000 by a group of staff at the ICS (Institute of Community Studies, which has since become the Young Foundation) to give some specific attention to this area of its work. In its early years in the 1950s, the ICS had focussed most of its activity around research on families in the local community, exploring (as famously in ‘Family and Kinship in East London’) the part played by mothers and especially grandmothers (known as ‘Mum’). But as time went on this focus had become lost.

Since 2001 the Trust has had some questions included in the annual British Social Attitudes survey, carried out by the National Centre for Social Research. These questions make it possible to identify respondents with certain categories of relatives alive, and so to analyse possible effects of these relationships.

The Trust has also pursued a number of publishing and research ventures of its own, and also in collaboration with the ICS, Sure Start, Camden Social Services, the Frank Buttle Trust and, currently – on studies of the changing role of grandmothers – with Grandparents Plus. It is also collaborating in early 2010 with the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS) on a series of family policy seminars. The report for these seminars, published as ‘What Women Want – Evidence from British Social Attitudes’, together with a number of other publications still in print, can be ordered on this website.