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Grants to support you as a young carer

As a young carer, you may worry about how your family will manage financially. Or you might think that your life, or the life of the person you care for, would be improved if you were able to afford additional items or experiences. These could include an adaptation to your home to allow the person you care for to get around more safely or a break for you to escape from the stresses of day-to-day life and just feel young and carefree.

This is where grants can help. You might be surprised how many charitable trusts are out there that want to help people just like you. There are thousands of trusts across the country that have been set up with the sole purpose of helping people in need to have a better life. There are often no strings attached to their grants and you normally do not have to pay any of it back.

Some of these charitable trusts are particularly keen to support young carers, and some will prefer to support the person you care for instead. Others might help you if you are on a low income, live in a specific area or someone in your family has had a particular job.

The best way to find the funding you and your family could be eligible for is to use a grant search service. Some of the most useful ones include:

  • Turn2us. Their online grant search tool is free and simple to use. If you prefer to talk to someone on the phone instead, you could call their helpline on 0808 802 2000.
  • Disability Grants. This is a website which lists details of charitable trusts that give grants to people with a disability or their carer.
  • A Guide to Grants for Individuals in Need. This is a book published every year by the Directory of Social Change which lists details of over 1,800 charities that make grants to individuals. However, at £95 it is an expensive investment for you to buy yourself so it might be better to see whether there is anywhere nearby that you can look at a copy. Your local library or Citizens Advice Bureau might have one that you can use.

We recommend doing a search based on your own particular set of circumstances to find the grants that you would be eligible for. But to give you an idea of the sorts of funding that is out there, and the factors that can be important, we have provided some examples of grants that might be relevant below.

Some funders are keen to support people specifically because they are carers. A couple of examples include:

  • Carers Trust Grant Fund. This fund provides grants of up to £300 for individual carers over the age of 16. You can apply for funding towards an item or activity that will help you in your caring role. Examples could include funding for home appliances like a cooker, washing machine or fridge; short-term respite care to give you a break; training courses or other educational materials to develop your skills; or holidays either with or without the person you care for. You can apply for this funding through your local Carers Trust Network Partner.
  • Ivy and Jane Charitable Fund. This is a fund supporting young carers that is administered by the Kent Community Foundation. They support people aged 18 or under living in Kent or Medway who care for someone with a disability, illness, mental health condition or drug/alcohol problem. Your family must also be facing some financial disadvantage, such as being in receipt of benefits or being out of work. They provide grants of between £100 and £1,000 for enjoyable childhood experiences that you would otherwise miss out on or essential items that you need like school uniforms. They do not accept applications from individuals directly, so you must be nominated by a professional who knows you, such as someone who works for a charity, a social worker, a GP or a teacher. You can find out more on the Kent Community Foundation website.

Many charitable trusts want to provide assistance to those who are struggling for money or who are facing particularly difficult circumstances. A couple of examples include:

  • Turn2us Response Fund. This fund provides grants to people who are struggling financially as a result of 'a life-changing event' in the last year. This can include having a recent injury or diagnosis of a health condition or disability. The application must be made through one of the organisations they have partnered with and each one has their own eligibility criteria and application process. You can find a list of the organisations who can make the application for you on their website. You should contact the relevant organisations directly and ask if they will help you to make an application.
  • Family Action Welfare Grants. These aim to prevent families and individuals who are in financial need from reaching a crisis point. In addition, they also provide grants for disability aids for the home and items needed to allow someone to be discharged from hospital. They provide grants of usually between £200 and £300. Applications must be made through another organisation such as a charity, housing association or GP. To be eligible, someone in your household must be on a low income, particularly living on benefits, as well as also fitting into one of their other categories. These include:
    • Being aged 60 and over.
    • Having a disability or being unwell.
    • Being an adult who has been diagnosed with a mental health problem and lives in the Greater London area.

Many charitable trusts are quite small and therefore like to operate on a local level, helping people who live in specific areas or regions. These can be found through the grants search above, but your Citizens Advice Bureau may also be aware of other local funds that can help. A couple of examples of trusts that fund people living in specific geographical areas include:

  • Skinners’ Benevolent Trust. This charity provides grants of up to £275 for people in crisis to allow them to buy essential household items. Applications must be made by a charity or support agency like social services, so you cannot apply to them directly yourself. Applications are considered on a monthly basis, so you should get a response quite quickly. To be eligible, you must live in an area where the Skinners’ Company has links including The Square Mile in the City of London, the London Boroughs of Camden, Enfield, Hackney and Hounslow, West Kent (particularly Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells) and Romney Marsh (Kent only). You or someone in your household must also be facing one or more of the following situations:
    • Having a physical disability or chronic illness.
    • Being in recovery from substance/alcohol use.
    • Experiencing mental health challenges.
    • Being a victim of domestic violence.
    • Being in receipt of a State Pension.
    • Being a family with dependent-age children on a very low income.
  • Richard Watts and The City of Rochester Almshouse Charities. These provide grants for essential items like school uniforms and cookers to people in financial need living in the ME1 or ME2 postcode in Rochester, Kent. They can also provide support for trade apprentices under the age of 25. Your application will need to be accompanied by a letter of support from social services, your GP, school or another professional organisation. Everyone who applies will need to be interviewed by a Trustee. They won’t give you the funding directly but will purchase the items needed for you. For more information, have a look at their website.

Lots of charitable funds are set up to support people with a disability or illness, so you could potentially apply to them on behalf of the person you care for. A couple of examples include:

  • Family Fund. They provide grants to support children and young people under 18 years old with a disability or serious long-term or life-limiting illness whose family are on particular benefits. They will consider requests for a wide range of items as long as it will make a substantial difference including washing machines, sensory toys, family holidays, outdoor play equipment, days out and computers. They have quite in-depth eligibility criteria, so it is worth checking in detail before you apply to make sure you are eligible. The parent or guardian of a young person who is eligible can apply to them directly. For more information, take a look at their website.
  • MS Research and Relief Fund. This charity provides grants to people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) living anywhere in the UK. They provide funding for a wide variety of purposes. They will consider applications for practical items, aids, adaptations and equipment including adapted cars, wheelchairs, scooters and stair lifts. They will also consider applications for services which might improve the quality of life of someone with MS or their carer including respite care. They often work with the MS Society to jointly fund grants. You can apply to them directly yourself or on behalf of someone you care for. For more information, take a look at their website.

Many young carers are surprised to find out that their household could be eligible for funding simply because of a job someone in their family has or once had. There are hundreds of charitable trusts, often known as ‘benevolent funds’, whose purpose is to support people from particular occupations and their families who are facing difficult situations. Here are a couple of examples:

  • Hospitality Action. They provide grants for anybody who is currently working in the UK hospitality industry or who has worked in it for a five-year period in the past. They provide grants to help people facing financial hardship to help them with everything from heating to home adaptations or just general living costs. They have previously stated that they are particularly keen to support carers and have helped several already through a partnership with Carers Trust. Take a look at their website for full eligibility criteria and details about how to apply.
  • The Elizabeth Finn Fund. This is a charity run by Turn2us. They can help if someone in your household is on a low income, has less than £4,000 in savings and have or had a professional background. This usually means working in a job that requires a degree, a high level of responsibility or an NVQ4 or above. They give grants of usually around £1,000 to £1,500 to help with living expenses, aids, adaptations, equipment, respite care, transport costs, rent deposits, moving expenses, training and a wide range of other costs. Take a look at their website for a full list of the professions they will support and their other eligibility criteria, as well as further details about how to apply.

Some funders also target particular age groups, including young people like you. A couple of examples include:

  • Lawrence Atwell’s Charity. This is one of the Skinner’s Company’s charities. They provide grants of up to £1,500 to support young people aged between 16 and 26 from low-income backgrounds to get vocational qualifications that will help them move into employment. To find out more, take a look at their website.
  • Prince’s Trust Development Awards. These are grants for people aged between 16 and 30 living in the UK who study less than 14 hours a week or do not go to school and also work less than 16 hours a week or not at all. They can provide you with grants of usually between £175 and £250 towards the cost of course fees, tools, equipment, transport or uniform to help you with training, education or getting a job. A volunteer will help you to complete the application form, so it is quite easy to apply. It can take them up to eight weeks to process the application. To find out more, take a look at their website.

Alongside these, there lots of other criteria that charitable trusts can use to decide who they would like to give a grant to. These can include being male or female, having a particular religion or nationality, attending a specific school or having a certain surname.

Online Help and Advice

Visit our online support section where we have provided advice and guidance on a range of relevant topics to help you in your caring role.

Online support
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