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Open Doors Grants Programme

The Open Doors Grants Programme provides cash grants alongside intensive support delivered to recipients by a range of partner organisations. It is administered by Family Action and supported by our corporate partner NewDay.

Who can submit a grant application?

All applications must be made, on-line, by a Referral Partner Organisation of Family Action who has signed a contract with us. Only the following organisations are eligible to apply:

  • Adferiad Recovery
  • Bethany Christian Trust
  • Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid
  • Extern Northern Ireland
  • Family Action Services
  • Leeds Women’s Aid
  • Local Solutions
  • Richmond Fellowship
  • Riverside
  • Street Talk
  • Women @ the Well

Prior to submitting an application on behalf of an applicant you need to ensure they understand how the data will be used and to obtain their consent to their data being processed by Family Action, for the purposes of making an application for a grant from the Fund.  For full details please refer to the Terms and Conditions attached to the on-line application form.

Who cannot submit a grant application?

Only staff members who work at the organisations listed in the section above may apply for an Open Doors grant for their service users.

We do not accept applications directly from individual members of the public.

Current employees/volunteers of a Referral Organisation or their family members are not permitted or eligible to make an application for a grant under this Scheme.

Who is eligible for a grant?

We will consider applications for individuals and families who meet all the following criteria:

Organisation: Be a service user of Family Action or an authorised partner of the Open Doors programme.

Residency status: Have right of residency in the UK.

Income: Be in receipt of one or more of the means-tested benefits listed below:

  • Income-based JSA
  • Income-related ESA
  • Income Support
  • Universal Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Pension Credit
  • Council Tax Support

* We recognise that there may be exceptional circumstances where an applicant is not currently in receipt of means-tested benefits at the time of submitting the application. If this is the case you will be expected to provide a detailed explanation on the application form and we may need to defer the application in order to ask for more information.

Be experiencing severe and multiple disadvantage: i.e. experiencing at least two of the following simultaneously at the time the application is submitted:

  • Serious mental health problems. (For the purposes of this grants programme a “serious mental health problem” is defined as a “clinical diagnosis” of a mental health problem.)
  • Homelessness/at imminent risk of being made homeless. (For the purposes of this grants programme “homeless” is defined as those sleeping rough, sofa surfing or living in temporary accommodation such a refuge, hostel or B&B or those who have moved into new accommodation within 9 weeks of the application being submitted immediately following a period of homelessness. Those at “imminent” risk of being made homeless is defined as those “threatened with homelessness within 28 days”.)
  • Domestic abuse
  • Sexual exploitation
  • Substance misuse
  • Frequent contact with the criminal justice system (but not in prison)

NOTE:  It is essential that the partner agency makes a good case for funding on the application form.  For example, if the service user is threatened with homelessness within 28 days we would expect this to be demonstrated in the text sections on the application form.

What items can be funded?

Grants are available for essential personal and household needs such as clothing, beds and cookers, smartphones, utility bills and rent deposits. Almost any essential need can be considered (with the exception of the exclusions below) if the application demonstrates that a positive difference will be made to the life of the applicant as a result of receiving a small grant.  The applicant will have to demonstrate that a small grant will make a significant difference in averting a “crisis” situation and that this can be sustained.

What items cannot be funded?

Grants are not available for: daily living expenses (e.g. food and travel), rent due or rent arrears, education or training needs; laptops/computers, business start-up or other employment costs; legal costs, recreational needs; council tax arrears; debts (except utility bills); fines; funeral expenses (including associated expenses, such as headstones); gifts (such as toys for birthdays, Christmas or other festivals); repayment of loans; bankruptcy; items already purchased; holidays and passport costs.

How much can be applied for?

The average grant is likely to be in the region of £250 to a maximum of £320.  If the applicant requires more than the maximum amount available from the Open Doors programme they will be asked to explain how the balance will be raised.

How many grants can I apply for?

One application can be made per family or individual in a 12 month period.

Enquiries and contact details

Email:             [email protected]

Post:               With regret we are unable to acknowledge or respond to postal enquiries unless an email address is provided.

Phone:           07816 408119 on Tuesday to Friday from 1pm to 3pm. Calls will not be taken outside these hours however you can always email us.

NOTE:  The grants service is open between 9.00 a.m. and 3.00 p.m from Tuesday to Friday.  The grants service is closed on Mondays