Guest Blog: The Association of Charitable Organisations

Published 28 October 2020

Financial support from grant-giving charities

Grants to help pay for daily essentials, bills, furniture and more

What are grant-giving charities?

Grant-giving charities offer non-repayable grants to individuals and their families to help them pay for living costs, essential items and more when they are struggling financially.

There are hundreds of these charities throughout the UK, each there to help a different group of individuals.

What can a grant-giving charity help with?

Charities get requests to help pay for all kinds of things, judging applications case-by-case taking your circumstances into account. Do not worry if your request seems small or unusual – the charity is likely to be very happy to help if it is something that makes a big difference to you and your family’s lives.

Below are common reasons why someone might approach a charity for financial support:

  • Paying for day-to-day essentials: food, bills, clothes etc.
  • Help purchasing or repairing home essentials, furniture and white goods
  • Adaptions to the home and help with extra costs related to an illness/disability
  • Childcare and school costs – school uniforms, IT and study equipment, children’s activities
  • Respite breaks
  • Funeral costs
  • Covering debt and insolvency fees

For items like furniture and white goods, charities will often purchase and deliver these items direct to your home, although some may offer cash grants towards the cost.

Many grant-giving charities also offer mental health and wellbeing services, such as counselling, advice services, online resources and support networks.

Mrs W’s Story

Mrs W had been living in a refuge with her 2 children, since escaping domestic abuse from her ex-partner. Mrs W had been offered permanent accommodation and had secured a deposit with the local authority but had no household essentials such as curtains, bedding and kitchen utensils. She was also concerned about security and felt that the locks in her new flat were inadequate.

Grant-giving charity The Smallwood Trust were able to award a grant to Mrs W so that she and her children had a more comfortable environment to live and also to ensure that the family felt safe by being able to upgrade the security in her new home.

Who do these charities help?

The most common type of grant-giving charity are occupational charities, supporting individuals and families of those working in a certain profession or who had that job previously. Retail workers, nurses, carers, farmers, and pretty much any job you can think of will have a charity helping their colleagues. 

There are also charities supporting those with a certain illness/disability, regional charities, children’s charities, older person’s charities, women’s charities and more. There are also general grant-givers who award grants to those that do not fit into any of the above categories.

How do I find the right charity to help?

When there are hundreds of grant-giving charities, it can feel difficult to know which to reach out to. The Turn2us Grants Search can help you find which charities to apply for support with:

Simply fill out a few details about yourself such as postcode, age, gender, details of any past or present jobs or any disabilities/illnesses and the Grants Search will pull up a list of all charities you may be eligible for support from, allowing you to reach out to those charities.

What is the application process like?

Each charity has their own application process and eligibility criteria. Most will ask you to fill out a short application form and request some evidence that you need support and can meet these eligibility criteria.

This evidence may include things such as copies of recent bank statements, payslips, proof of benefit entitlement etc. Each charity will guide you on what you need to provide.

If you are worried about a charity’s application process, contact one of their friendly team and they will support you with your application.


Visit ACO’s website for more details or please contact

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