Cookie Policy This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Continue Learn More

Skip navigation

About Family Action’s Welfare Grants Programme

Family Action’s Welfare Grants programme aims to help prevent an immediate crisis from spiraling 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?

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

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 made.

What are the eligibility criteria?

Our welfare grants programme provides grants for essential personal and household needs to assist families and individuals with low incomes, particularly those living on benefits.

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

  • Older People:  Support to promote independence; improve the quality of life and isolation for those aged 60 and over.
  • Sickness/disability:  Support to pay for disability aids that will benefit the applicant in their home. Funds are also available for medical treatment or to defray the expenses of convalescence and recuperation.
  • 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.

Grants available for residents of Greater London only

  • Holidays for Women living in Greater London: Support to provide recuperative holidays for women who are resident in greater London. Please note this fund is for women and their children of 16 years or less only.
  • Local Funds:  Support for any welfare needs for those living in the following locations:
    • St Pancras: support for single parents with children under four years of age resident in the following district postcode areas: WC1 and NW1.
    • Paddington:  support for residents of the W2, W9 and NW8 (Westminster only) district postcode areas.

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; ICT equipment; citizenship applications; legal fees; passport applications; costs associated with employment or education; sponsorship; general appeals; funding for projects or groups; holidays (except for women living in greater London).

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 welfare application per applicant in any 12 month period unless you are apply for Holidays for Women living in Greater London in which case we will only consider one application every 3 years.

How to apply

How do I make an application to the grants programme for the first time?

Enter your email address at the login page at If you’re eligible to register, you’ll be taken to the registration process. This will check our systems and allow you to associate yourself with an existing organisation, or create a new one if required. You will then need to tell us some information about yourself, and verify that you can receive emails to the address that you specified.

How do I return to an incomplete application or make another application?

Go to and log in with your email address and password. You will be taken to a screen where you can access incomplete applications or create a new one.

What do I do if I have problems with completing the application form, submitting the application or have questions about the grants programme?

Email the Grants Service at detailing your problem and using screen grabs to illustrate your problem, if appropriate. The grants service will get back to you as quickly as possible.

NOTE: The grants service is only open between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday

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 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 our application is successful how will the award be made?

Most grants payments will be made by BACS and paid directly into the referring agencies account unless a prepaid Argos card is requested during the application process. The Argos card will be sent directly to the beneficiary by the card supplier. Family Action will email the beneficiary direct with the pin code with which they can activate their card. Please note the Argos cards can only be used “in store” – they cannot be used for on-line shopping.

Where funding is made for an item that cannot be supplied via Argos, e.g. holidays or disability aids, payment will be made directly into the referring agencies bank account.

Enquiries and contact details


Telephone: 020 7254 6251 (from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday only).

Post: With regret we are unable to acknowledge or respond to postal enquiries unless a stamped, addressed envelope is provided.