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We have made some changes to the application process and now ask that applicants connect to open banking.

Please read the guidance carefully. Thank You.

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Applying for an individual grant

Guidance Notes - Please read very carefully

Our individual grants are aimed at those experiencing poverty or hardship.

We know that you may be applying to us as a last resort, we will therefore ensure that your application is processed efficiently and that your experience is as positive as possible. However our funds are limited, so to maximise your chances of success please check that you are eligible and follow our guidance carefully. Further information is available in our FAQs.


Our application process has two stages. Stage 1 - Complete Application Form, Stage 2 - Connect to Open Banking.

How much can I apply for?

Our average grant award last year was £360.00 in value.  If you apply for a much larger amount you are very unlikely to be successful. Our grant awards are normally made in the form of e-vouchers, bank transfer or direct to a supplier.

Who can apply?

You can apply for yourself or refer someone else.

If you are applying for yourself you must meet the minimum criteria listed below and supply a statement or letter of support from a professional person (referrer) who knows you and your circumstances well. This could be a CAB Advisor, Housing Officer, Charity Worker, Money Advisor, GP or other professional person.

If you are referring someone else you must be a professional person (referrer) and know the applicant and their circumstances well.

Please note - households can only receive one grant award in any 12 month period to a maximum of three in any five year period.

There are other organisations which may be able to help.

Lightning Reach - free online portal that connects financial support from various sources to the people that need it, quickly and securely - Visit website here >

Turn 2 Us - free Benefits Calculator; Grants Search; details about Turn2us' direct grant-giving funds; and links to other sources of information and help - Visit website here >

The Association of Charitable Organisations - free directory of benevolent organisations which make grants. These are especially relevant if you have worked in a particular trade or industry - Visit website here >

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What is the minimum criteria?

All applicants must have UK citizenship or been granted leave to remain.  They must be over 18 years old and have been resident in the UK for at least 12 months.

In addition they ;

  1. Must be in receipt of all state benefits they are entitled to (except where you are waiting for benefit to be awarded for example PIP or appealing against a decision of the DWP to refuse or withdraw a benefit)
  2. Must have applied to other trade related benevolence funds (if applicable)
  3. Must be able to supply a letter or statement from a referrer at the time of application. (see How to Apply section below)

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What can I apply for?

  1. Help to buy white goods e.g. fridge, freezer, microwave, washing machine or cooker. 
  2. Help to buy essential household goods e.g. bedding and beds, bedroom furniture, kitchen equipment.  
  3. Help to buy food or clothing.
  4. Help to pay for priority debts including Gas, Electric, Water and Council Tax, provided you have received advice from a debt advice agency such as the CAB, Clean Slate, Money Advice Service, Christians Against Poverty.
  5. Help to pay for bankruptcy costs or a debt relief order if you have been advised that this is the best course of action by a debt advice agency such as the CAB, Clean Slate, Money Advice Service, Christians Against Poverty
  6. Help to pay for floor coverings, if young children or people living with a long term health condition share your home and you can supply images of the rooms you want to floor and a quote from a contractor.
  7. Help to pay for training or work tools, if you can supply details of the tools or training course you want to apply for and can demonstrate that it will help you to secure employment.
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In exceptional circumstances you may apply for help; 

  1. To buy a disability aid if you can supply details of the aid you want to buy and show that a government grant is not available. Grants towards electric wheelchairs will not be funded.
  2. To pay for minor home repairs or garden improvements, if you can supply details of repairs and a written estimate of cost and can show that the adaptation or repair will significantly enhance your wellbeing.
  3. To pay some of your rent arrears, if you can show that the arrears have arisen due to a procedural failure in the benefits system, a significant life event, long-term ill health, or disability. You will also need to; supply a recent rent arrears statement, be receiving debt advice from a recognised agency, show that you have or have tried to agree a repayment plan with your landlord, have applied for a discretionary housing payment (if you are eligible) and have been threatened with legal action by your landlord.

In addition if you are in social housing your landlord will need to:

A) Demonstrate that they will let you stay in your home or move to more suitable housing /area e.g. move closer to your family or away from abusive ex-partner, if your arrears are reduced.

B) Remove the threat of legal action if a grant towards arrears is awarded.

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What happens after we receive Stage 1 of your application?

In Stage 2 you will receive an email from Lightning Reach asking you and adult members of your household to connect your bank accounts to Open Banking. After you have connected to Open Banking, we will aim to review your application and make an initial response within 15 working days, however, this could take longer in times of high demand or other circumstances beyond our control.

You will then receive an email from us which will either;

1. Let you know the outcome of your application and if successful, when and how an award will be made.

or

2. Ask you to provide further information or documentation

or

3.  Let you know that your application will be considered by our Welfare Committee (applications which are exceptional, are always considered by the Welfare Committee and therefore take longer to process)

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A few things to note before you apply:

1. We are a very small, committed team but due to the volume of applications we receive, and for security reasons, we can only process applications through the online application form.

2. Please contact us via email rather than telephone.

3. Please respond to our request to connect to open banking or for further information as promptly as possible, as this will normally speed up the decision process. Please note we can no longer accept bank or benefits statements through this site and we would strongly advise you to connect your bank to Open Banking through the email and link you will be sent from Lightning Reach. However, if you are unable to connect there is the opportunity to upload bank statements in the Lightning Reach site.

4. Please do not purchase your goods while your application is in process as we cannot make awards retrospectively.

5   Please be courteous. Our staff are doing their best,

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How to Apply

Please fill in the application form below and ensure you have completed everything on the checklist before sending it to us.  

If you are applying for yourself you will need

1. To provide a Statement or Letter from a referrer. This must be an independent person who is professionally involved with you for example a Charity Advice Worker, Social Worker, Housing Officer, Money Advice Worker, CAB Advisor, Health Visitor, GP etc.   It should include: a description of your current circumstances, what you are applying for, how they are professionally involved with you and that they support your application. The professional referrer statement or letter can either be pasted into the box provided in the application form or attached as a file at the end. Your application will be rejected without a referrer.

If you are a referrer or applying for yourself you will need to;

2.  To provide the applicants monthly income and outgoings  

3.  To allow access to the applicants and other household members bank accounts through Open Banking (see FAQS).

4.  To supply Medical Evidence from your GP, NHS Consultant or Specialist etc, if it is relevant to the application            

You will find the application process is easier if you upload your Referrer Statement, Medical Evidence onto your device before starting the form and have your income and outgoings to hand.

If you are a referrer making an application on behalf of a client, please give your clients (applicants) name, email and contact details at the start of the application form and your details in the For Referrers section at the end of the application form.

If your application is incomplete we will be unable to process it and it will be rejected.

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Checklist

  1. Ensure all your personal details are complete; including full income and outgoings based on the whole household. This must include every member of the household that is contributing to the daily living costs.  
  2. Ensure that you (or your referrer) have signed and completed the consent questions. Please read our Privacy Statement
  3. Upload all evidence requested and evidence of your medical condition (if applicable to your application). This must be in the form of a statement from your doctor, hospital or other medical professional confirming your condition.  
  4. Give as much information as possible about your circumstances, why you are asking for a grant and  explain how a grant will help you.
  5. Upload your referrers letter or paste your referrers statement in the box provided and given your referrers contact details in the section For Referrers.
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