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Applications to our 2021/2022 grants programme

As uncertainties about Covid 19 continue but life in some respects becomes more normal, the Trustees have decided to move away from offering only an emergency programme. Accordingly, and until further notice, applications can now be made to either of two funding streams (1) project funding and (2) Covid recovery, core/ongoing costs.

Full details are given here, and all applicants need to read them.

'Grants policy' heading (carved timbers)

Application requirements for –

See also


Grants policy guidelines

Categories eligible for grant

The Trust provides financial assistance to UK registered or exempt charities whose activities fall within the following three categories:

  • care of and services for blind people, and the prevention and/or cure of blindness;
  • long-term care of people with learning disabilities either: in a residential care or supported living environment in a way that provides a family environment and wide choice of activities and lifestyle; or: by providing long-term day/employment activities;
  • care of and services for people suffering from cancer and their families;

Other categories 

A small proportion of the Trust’s income may be allocated to assistance in other fields, but this is rare and reserved for causes that have come to the attention of individual Trustees. It is therefore only in very exceptional circumstances that the Trustees will respond favourably to requests from organisations whose activities fall outside the categories listed above.

Deadlines and guidelines

See first ‘How to apply’ and then read the ‘Application Requirements’ for each field. If you do not follow these guidelines, your application will not be considered.

Applications unlikely to succeed

The Trustees do not support:

  • Organisations that are not registered charities (or properly exempt)
  • General appeals or letters/mail-shots requesting donations (you must follow our guidelines)
  • Individuals, or charities applying on their behalf
  • Grant-making organisations seeking funding for the purpose of awarding grants to others
  • Applications for less than 3,000
  • Charities with a turnover of less than 50,000
  • Charities with liquid (free) reserves covering more than 18 months’ expenditure unless they can clearly demonstrate that they are in financial need
  • Charities that do not yet have a track record of service delivery (or other convincing evidence of ability)
  • Ongoing running (including salaries) and core costs, ongoing projects or services (although they will support an extension to existing provision if additional cost is incurred), unless there is an exceptional reason to do so and if you think this is the case you should telephone the Grants Office to discuss before applying
  • Projects which benefit people outside the UK, except in the blind field
  • Projects which are complete (i.e. retrospective funding)
  • Minibuses
  • Academic research projects
  • Campaigning or lobbying projects
  • Work usually considered a statutory responsibility
  • Items of equipment intended for use by the NHS


Grants vary in amount, but generally fall within the range of 3,000 to 30,000. The total amount awarded varies from year to year according to available funds. As a guide, in the year 2015–2016, 58 grants were awarded from our normal programme totalling 686,300.

In the current financial climate, commitments to make future payments are rarely given, with grants normally being one-off annual grants. Charities which have received a grant are encouraged to apply in the next and subsequent years, but should note that only rarely will grants be given to the same charity for four successive years. This does not however mean that a charity that has received three successive grants will not be eligible in future years, just that we would not generally award a grant in year four.

Exceptional grants

The Trustees may occasionally consider larger exceptional grants, but this is unusual and generally confined to charities that we know well and have supported for some time. There is no separate application process for this, and contenders will be identified from the normal grant round. In the year 2015/2016, one grant of 91,000 was awarded from this programme.