Family Action’s Welfare Grants programme aims to help prevent an immediate crisis from spiralling and threatening the stability of families and individuals.
A broken washing machine for example would for many of us be a financial burden to replace; for a family with three children and a very low income however it may mean taking out a high-street loan and plunging further debt.
Welfare grants are an integral part of our whole family approach to finding solutions for those who need it the most. Coupled with emotional and practical support, grants help us to create a safety net for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged members of our society.
Who can apply?
All applications must be made, on-line, by a suitable referring agency. Suitable referring agencies include: statutory agencies or charities that provide health or social care; housing associations; probation services and GP’s.
We are only able to accept applications from referring agencies that:
- have knowledge of and are able to assess the needs of the individual or family in need
- have a bank account in its own name and are able to bank and administer grants on our behalf. Payments will only be made to the referring agency unless a prepaid Argos card is requested during the application process. If a prepaid store card is requested it will be sent directly to the beneficiary
It is vital that the individual or families needing assistance meet the eligibility criteria of Family Action’s welfare grants programme. We regret that if an application is received on behalf of someone who does not meet the eligibility criteria a grant will not be awarded.
Who cannot apply?
We do not accept applications directly from individual members of the public.
Anyone who is not a service user of a registered Referral Organisation.
Current employees of a Referral Organisation or their family members are not permitted or eligible to make an application for a grant under this Scheme.
What are the eligibility criteria?
Our welfare grants programme primarily provides grants for essential personal and household needs to assist families and individuals with low incomes, particularly those living on benefits. In addition funding is available for disability aids that will benefit the applicant in the home and to provide recuperative holidays for women who are resident in greater London.
In addition to living on a low income and having right of residency in the UK welfare grant applicants must fall into one or more of the following “priority areas” listed below to be eligible to apply for a grant.
Grants available nationally (including London).
- Mental Health: Support for adults (over the age of 18) with a clinical diagnosis of a mental health problem.
- Domestic Abuse: Support for families or individuals who have recently experienced domestic abuse.
- Older People: Support to promote independence; improve the quality of life and isolation for those aged 60 and over. Please note that we will require ID for the applicant that shows proof of age, this can be a passport, driving license or birth certificate. Once an application has been submitted please email a scan or photo of the ID, quoting the Application number, to: email@example.com
- Disability/Sickness: Support to pay for:
- disability aids that will benefit the applicant in their home. Please note, we do not fund ordinary personal and household needs under this category such as cookers or bedding unless a clear case is made that they have to be specially adapted to meet the applicants needs and we may require additional information before a grant is made to support the application.
- items required (not preferred) by the assessment to allow discharge from hospital to home that cannot be provided by NHS or Social Care. Please note we will only consider applications received from NHS Trusts or Social Services under this category. An explanation of why they are needed and why they are not provided by NHS or Social Care needs to be provided on the application form.
Grants available for residents of Greater London only.
- Holidays for Women living in Greater London: Support to provide a recuperative holiday to recover health or strength after a long illness, physical or mental. The holiday must be applied for either during the illness or within 6 months of discharge from hospital or end of treatment and the application must be supported by evidence from an NHS professional. Evidence from the NHS professional should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org after the application has been submitted and the application number should be quoted in the subject line of the email. Please note this fund is for women and their children of 16 years or less only. Applicants must live in the Greater London area.
What items cannot be funded?
Items we will not fund include: day to day living expenses; council tax arrears; debts (including utility bills); fines; rent deposits, arrears or payments; moving costs; funeral expenses (including associated expenses, such as headstones); gifts (such as toys for birthdays, Christmas or other festivals); repayment of Social Fund or other loans; bankruptcy or insolvency costs; items already purchased; driving lessons, ICT equipment; citizenship applications; legal fees; passport applications; costs associated with employment or education (including school uniforms); sponsorship; general appeals; funding for projects or groups; holidays (except for women living in greater London), mobility scooters or similar mobility aids for use outside the home.
How much can I apply for?
The average grant is likely to be in the region of £200 to a maximum of £300 in most cases. Grants of up to £500 can be made under the Disability/Sickness priority area and up to £600 for women’s holidays (depending on the size of the family).
If the applicant requires more than the maximum amount available from Family Action you will be asked to explain how the balance will be raised.
How many grants can I apply for?
We are only able to consider one application per applicant in any 12 month period. We will only consider grants for a holiday (for women living in Greater London) every 3 years.
What happens after I have submitted the application form?
You will immediately receive an automated email providing you with a unique reference number for the application submitted (please quote this number in any future correspondence) and the latest date of the meeting at which the application will be considered by the grants team.
You will be informed of the outcome, by email, within 3 working days of the meeting date at which the application is considered.
If your application is successful how will the award be made?
Payment of grants to successful applicants will either be made by BACS to the referring organisation or by an Argos eGift card which will be sent directly to the beneficiary by Argos. If the payment is to be made by Argos eGift card Family Action will email the beneficiary direct with the pin code with which they can activate their eGift card so a personal email address of the beneficiary must be provided on the application form. eGift cards cannot be sent to the referring organisations email address.
The eGift card may be used at any Argos store, or online at www.argos.co.uk
Payments options for Family Action service users are detailed on the application form.
The referring agency will make the choice as to which payment method is preferred on the application form.
If an application is unsuccessful how can I ask for the decision to be reviewed?
The majority of unsuccessful applications are because the applicant does not meet our eligibility criteria so it is very important to check these before taking the time to submit an application. The other key reason is because funds are not available – we have allocated all the funds.
Eligibility criteria are published on the website where we also publish updates on funds available at any given time so it is important that you read ALL information available on the website before submitting your application.
If your grant application is unsuccessful and you would like us to review our decision we are happy to do so on receipt of an email detailing the reasons why you feel a review is required. In your email please provide the unique reference number of the application in the subject line of the email and send it to email@example.com We will respond to each review request individually as soon as we can which will usually be with 7 working days.
Please note we will only enter into correspondence with the referring agency that submitted the application.
Enquiries and Contact
Telephone: 07816408119 on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday between 2pm and 5pm. Calls will not be taken outside these hours however you can always email us.
Post: With regret we are unable to acknowledge or respond to postal enquiries unless a stamped, addressed envelope is provided.
NOTE: The grants service is only open between 9.30am and 5.30 pm on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday