The Trust has designated a Special Fund for smaller charities to provide support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Priority will be given to existing and recent grant recipients and to charities working in the areas of homelessness, food supplies, domestic violence, mental health, young people and older people.

Grants of up to £5,000 may be made to cover core costs or to fund operational changes made in response to the crisis.

Applications should be submitted by email to and the Trust will endeavour to award grants to successful applicants within a month.

Special Category

The Special Category for 2020-2021 is for smaller charities supporting prisoners and ex-offenders.

Since 1988, rather than have specific funding programmes, the Trustees have selected a special category each year from within one of the broad grant categories of education, health and social welfare and have invited registered charities to apply. Charities may be nominated by any of the Trustees, members of the Trust or the Company Secretary.

Charities that fall within the special category may send an introductory email to the Company Secretary at describing how they fall within the special category and their specific funding needs for the relevant year. Thereafter, only charities that are specifically invited to apply will be considered.  Special Category Grants are usually made to about 10 charities.  The Trust will make grants for core costs such as day-to-day running costs. The Trust also makes project grants, capital grants and grants for salaries and bursaries.  Grants in the Special Category are usually only made for one year and amounts range from £2,000 to £10,000.

The Trustees award most special category grants in November each year.  The special category for the following financial year is usually selected at the Trustees’ meeting in November and will be posted on the website.

Recent Special Categories:

2019/20 Smaller charities providing palliative care and bereavement services.

2018/19 Smaller charities supporting refugees and asylum seekers.

Borderlands, Bristol

The Bike Project

2017/18 Smaller charities using sport or dance to encourage healthy and active lifestyles for disadvantaged young people.

Birmingham Royal Ballet, Dance Track

2016/17 Smaller charities providing counselling, support and vocational opportunities for people with mental health issues

2015/16 Local charities supporting homeless people with education, employment, tenancy support

2014/15 Equipment and activities for hospitals, hospices and other healthcare settings

2013/14 Assisting young people with employment