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The Family Information Service have put together information on organisations that can offer grants to support families.

ACT Foundation - (ACT) was formed in 1994 and is registered with the Charity Commission (charity number 1068617). ACT provides grants to individuals and other charities, principally in the UK, with the aim of enhancing the quality of life for people in need, (specifically the mentally and physically disabled).

Aid for the Aged in Distress - AFTAID welcomes applications from individuals, their family and neighbours and often are contacted by members of the caring professions and voluntary organisations. AFTAID consider applications for a wide variety of grant requests, there are many reasons why an older person may find themselves financially stretched beyond their means to the point of genuine distress. Emergencies are a fact of life, but for those helped, a drama really is a crisis. AFTAID pride themselves on their almost unique ability to provide grant aid swiftly where necessary.

Caudwell Children - Caudwell Children’s Family Support Service provides emotional and emergency practical support to disabled young people and their families from birth, diagnosis or at times of crisis. The service expanded in 2010, having gained support from Aiming High for Disabled Children.

Christian Community Action (CCA) - A Reading charity committed to helping local people who are in need offering; a listening ear at support centres, essential furniture items from their warehouse, affordable goods through charity shops, work opportunities for those finding their way back into the workplace.

Crisis Changing Lives - A grants programme helping homeless people achieve their educational and career goals. Grant applications can be made by individuals working with a Job Coach or Progression Coordinator at one of Crisis' Skylight centres to access training, buy tools for work or set up a business (providing there is a robust business plan). Grants are awarded in three categories; Education, Self employment and Into employment. No other facility provides homeless individuals over the age of 18 with grants for education and training.

Disability Grants - Helping you save time in finding the right grant...

Earley Charity - The Charity welcomes applications from people who are experiencing difficult circumstances because of low income or poor health. To apply, applicants must; live within the Charity's area of benefit (see map on their website to check if you qualify), have lived in the area of benefit for at least 6 months (this does not necessarily have to have been at the same address), be living in permanent accommodation, have been granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

EDF Energy Trust - An independent Charitable Trust established in 2003 and the first utility trust of its kind. The Trust contributes to the relief of poverty with a particular focus on fuel poverty and helping families and individuals who are struggling to pay for their consumption of gas and electricity. The Trust provides a significant difference to the lives of those in need by awarding grants to clear energy and other household debts and for essential household items. The Trust also funds voluntary sector organisations to provide money and fuel debt services.

Family Action Grants - Grants are provided for clothing and general household needs such as beds and cookers as well as more varied needs such as communication aids and medical adaptations. In general, grants are between £100 - £300 although there are no set limits. If a larger grant is required, funding from other sources is advised or revising the amount you are seeking before submitting an application.

Family Fund - The UK’s largest provider of grants to low-income families raising disabled and seriously ill children and young people, helping ease the additional pressures families face. The Trust can help with essential items such as washing machines, fridges and clothing but can also consider grants for sensory toys, computers and much needed family breaks together.

Newlife - The Charity for Disabled Children Our Nurses support families, our researchers work to improve children’s health, our dedicated team campaign for a fairer deal and our volunteers and supporters know that 100% of every penny they donate or fundraise will be used for equipment to change a child’s life.

The Fashion & Textile Children's Trust  - The Fashion & Textile Children’s Trust (FTCT) gives financial support to families who work or recently worked in the UK fashion and textile industry. This is very broad reaching and covers those who work in a supermarket that sell clothing. Grants start at £250 as well as large and ongoing grants and can provide practical help during a tough financial spot.

The Florence Nightingale Aid in Sickness Trust - The Trust provides grants to help people in need who are ill, convalescent or disabled. These are used to provide medical and household aids that make a huge difference to people's ability to manage at home and live as independently as possible.

The Frederick Andrew Convalescent Trust (FACT) - Established in 1916 with the aim of providing women with financial assistance during times of convalescence. The Trust offers grants of up to £1000 for convalescence and domestic help and up to £600 for therapy, to those of all ages, from all backgrounds and with almost any medical condition.

Friends of the Elderly - Supporting Friends provides financial help in the form of one-off grants and regular allowances for people aged 60 or over. The aim of the service is to help relieve the stress and worry often experienced by those living on a low income.

Glasspool Charity Trust - This Trust is one of the few national charities making grants to individuals which have no restrictions on the type of beneficiary. Due to the very heavy demand on our funds, most grants are given for basic needs. Generally we give white goods and other essential household items. The Trust does not normally make more than one grant to any one individual or family. Exceptions may be made at the discretion of the Trustees in cases of particular hardship.

Macmillan Cancer Support Grants  - A Macmillan grant is a one-off payment for adults, young people or children with cancer, to cover a wide range of practical needs. This can include things such as heating bills, extra clothing, or a much needed break. Every week over 600 people receive a grant from Macmillan Cancer Support.

The Matthew Trust - A small registered charity providing last-stop support & care for people aged 8+ years, living in all communities of our society throughout the UK and who have a mental health problem of any kind.
We also care for victims of aggression (mainly women) and those with mental health problems, both in prisons and special hospitals and when they return to living in the community. The Matthew Trust is a last-stop agency providing direct care. Grants are given only when all other avenues of funding are exhausted.

npower Energy Trust - An independent trust which has been set up to help npower customers who are struggling to pay for energy debt. The npower Energy Trust operates through funds donated by npower and is impartially administered on our behalf by Charis Let's Talk.

Reading Dispensary Trust - The Reading Dispensary Trust was formed in 1802 when a need was identified to provide medical services to those who were sick and in need. It now makes grants for equipment and services not available through statutory sources to those suffering from physical,  mental illness or disability. The Trust prides itself on providing support to which you can be assured of receiving serious consideration to any applications made within the guidelines set down by the Trust.  

Student Grants - Grants are available to full-time students to help with living and study costs. You don’t pay grants back. You can apply for a Maintenance Grant or Special Support Grant. Find out who can apply and how much you can get.

The Tilehurst Poor's Land Charity - A Charity providing financial grants to those in need, hardship or distress who live in Tilehurst, Holybrook, Theale or West Reading.

Turn2us - Turn2us helps people in financial need gain access to welfare benefits, charitable grants and other financial help – online, by phone and face to face through our partner organisations.

John Sykes Foundation was established on April 10th 2014 with the aim of helping to transform the lives of people in and around Reading,

The foundation aims to support people from all walks of life in areas including education, health, disability, sport, arts and culture, science and any other charitable purpose. There are four levels of grants that can be applied for ranging from smaller grants under £500 to larger grants up to £10,000.

Carer’s Grants – what we can help with…  

Carer’s Essentials

Carer’s can apply for grants of up to £300 towards the cost of ONE piece of household equipment which will benefit them in their caring role.

These items can include (but are not restricted to):

  • Washing machine, Cookers, Fridge-freezers, Beds standard price list for household items, based on an average price across a number of retailers can be found in Appendix 1 on the Carers Essentials Guidance Notes. This is to ensure good value for money so that Carers Trust can maximise the use of available funds.

Please take this into account when sourcing quotes for equipment as, unless an exceptional circumstance has been detailed, we will award the amounts on this list as the maximum.

 In exceptional circumstances applications for multiple items (totalling no more than

£300) may be considered. In these cases the items should ideally be interdependent (e.g. washing machine and outside airer) and the exceptional circumstance you would like the assessment team to consider should be outlined in the application.

 Carers Take Time Out

Carers can apply for grants of up to £400 to enable them to take a break from their caring role. Up to £160 (or 40% of the total grant awarded) can be used to pay for replacement care if needed. This care can be accessed at the home of the person in receipt of care, in a respite care facility, or on the break itself. Replacement care may be able to be accessed through a local Carers Trust scheme.

Contact details can be found on Please note the following:

  • The grant can include the cost of the person in receipt of care and/or a family        member, partner or friend to accompany the carer on the break.
  • The break can be taken in the UK or abroad.

 Carers: Skills for You

Carers can apply for grants of up to £500 to enable them to learn new skills that will assist them in their caring role, help them to return to work or enable them to have a new interest outside their caring role. Up to £200 (or 40% of the total grant awarded) can be used to pay for replacement care if needed whilst the carer is taking part in the course or activity.

Carers can apply for grants towards the following:

The cost of courses, training, or tuition. These courses can be educational or vocational. The purpose could be that the carer can return to work or re-train in a career more suited to maintaining their caring role, it could give them skills that will benefit them in their caring role, or enable them to have a new interest or focus outside of their caring role. In the past Carers Trust has funded access to a range of courses such as creative writing, sign language, counselling courses and training for an HGV license.

Costs associated with course materials, books and/or any necessary equipment relevant to the activity.

Costs for applicable travel and subsistence  costs. If including costs for car travel, please ensure that these do not exceed 45p per mile.

For more information, please contact Reading & West Berkshire Carers Hub.

Tel: 0118 324 7333 Email: