Trustees changed their Guidelines for Applications in late 2020 and any applications should refer to the information below. For opening and closing dates for this grant round please refer to our Diary page. The link to the application form will be available below under ‘Application Process’ when there is an open grant round. 

Please take the time to read these guidelines in order to avoid submitting applications that are likely to be rejected. We know that preparing applications can be time consuming and we don’t want any organisation to expend that precious commodity unnecessarily.

Funding Priorities

The Woodward Charitable Trust only makes grants for core costs rather than specific projects as they recognise that smaller charities can find these hard to fund. They hope that this will have a more direct impact on the organisations that they choose to fund.

Trustees only fund organisations that support at least one of the following three target groups and particularly look to fund projects that help families and young people and that are aiming to improve the life chances of their beneficiaries.

  1. Children and Young People (up to 25 years)
    2. Disadvantaged Families
    3. Prisoners and Ex-Offenders

Please note that if your organisation also helps other groups outside our 3 priority areas you may still apply, however, it will be expected that the majority of your beneficiaries (more than 50%) are within at least one of the above areas. If you do not give us details of how you help within our priority areas you will not be funded.

Trustees like projects that promote community cohesion and the development of skills that will change the outlook and outcomes for the users. Organisations that promote volunteering and involve both past and present users in their operations or management are encouraged. Trustees only consider applications for core costs and are looking for organisations which aim to achieve a positive impact in at least one of the following areas:

  • Children and young peoplewho are isolated, at risk of exclusion or involved in anti-social behaviour and projects to help those who have been in the care system. This also covers gang violence and knife crime, education and mentoring as well as projects that work to raise self-esteem and employment opportunities and encourage an active involvement in and contribution towards the local community;
  • Disadvantaged families, this covers parenting support and guidance, mental health, food poverty, refuges and domestic violence projects. We understand that many organisations dealing with disadvantaged families may also work with other disadvantaged people, but please note that at least 50% of your service users must fall into our three priority groups in order to be considered for a grant. It is important to give us details as to how the work of your organisation fits within our guidelines;
  • Prisoners and ex-offenders and specifically projects that maintain and develop contact with prisoners’ families and help with the rehabilitation and resettlement of prisoners and/or ex-offenders after their release.

If you do not give us details of how you help within our priority areas you will not be funded.

Application Form

Please give us details on what the primary objectives of your charity are and who your target users are. Please note that details of specific projects that have been successful, and details on the successful outcomes for your users, are very important in the decision-making process. We are looking for charities that make a real difference in their communities and who stand out in the work that they do.

Participation by past or current users is recognised and should be mentioned, as is sharing best practice and cross community work. We want to know what you do, what difference you make and what you are proud of in the area in which you work. We like to award grants to charities that are really changing the lives of their beneficiaries and whose users are able to progress as appropriate. In order to help us make our decisions we would really like statistics or percentages with regard to your beneficiaries or total numbers that have been helped, not including this information may have a negative effect on your application. We would also like to hear about projects you have planned for the near future, or are planning to run this year, that are relevant to our key priority areas and about which you are excited.

We also request that you tell us the region in which you operate (i.e. Scotland, North East or West, Northern Ireland, Wales, Yorkshire & the Humber, East or West Midlands, East Anglia, London, South East or South West or the Channel Islands). This is in order for the trustees to try and ensure that they support applications from across the whole of the UK.

Application Process

For more information on grant round opening and closing dates, please visit the diary page.

Trustees will only consider appeals made via their online application form. If you would like to keep a copy of your form please fill in the Word template linked at the top of the form in advance of submitting your application online, as you will not receive a copy of your submission once you press submit.

If you have accessibility needs which mean you cannot fill in the online form please call or email us.


Thank you for taking the time to read these guidelines, please note that your application will automatically be rejected if it doesn’t fit within the priority areas.

If your organisation works with many different groups of people within your community, please note that at least 50% of your users need to fall within our three categories and if you don’t provide us with that information then your application is likely to be rejected.

It will also be rejected:

  • if your charity’s income / expenditure exceeded £200,000 in the previous financial year (unless this was for an exceptional one off in which case please give details);
  • if your reserves exceed 50% of your expenditure (we understand that some organisations might wish to hold reserves closer to 100% of annual expenditure, but if that is the case we won’t be able to offer support as we feel our funds can be used more effectively elsewhere). If you are a new organisation we understand that your reserves may not be below 50%;
  • or if you are requesting an unsolicited grant in excess of £3,000.

We will also NOT fund unsolicited applications from:

  • Charities registered or only working overseas
  • Individuals in any capacity
  • Exclusively education based charities or
  • Charities applying for capital and construction projects such as playgrounds, village halls, and disabled accesses

You may like to refer to our previous Annual Reports and our FAQs both of which are available on our website. These should give you more of an idea of both the type of organisation supported and the amount awarded, although please note that our annual reports prior to November 2020 will include successful applications made using the previous guidelines.

As well as registered charities we will consider funding Charity Incorporated Organisations (CIOs) and Community Interest Companies (CICs).

Please note that we will only fund organisations for a maximum of 3 consecutive years, or 3 grants within 5 years, once per calendar year, and that after the last grant you should wait 2 years before reapplying. Although if your organisation also receives, or has received, a grant from our Summer Scheme programme that will not be included in this tally.

Types of grants

The Trustees make two types of grants:

Small grants – up to £3,000, but usually £1,000 or less;

Large grants – Only a few large grants are awarded over £3,000 each year, and these are usually to charities known to the Trustees.

The Trustees favour small-scale, locally based initiatives and most grants are only for one year. Trustees review grant applications twice a year, usually in March and October. Please consult the diary page for up-to-date deadlines for receipt of applications.

Children’s Summer Playschemes

In addition, 60-70 grants of £250-£1,000 per year are made towards Children’s Summer Playschemes. Applications for these are made separately and considered in May each year, grants are only given to charities whose annual income is under £100,000. For more information please see our Children’s Summer Playscheme Guidelines.

Financial Information

We are interested in how much you hold as “free” or unrestricted reserves; which is that part of your funds free from any constraints as to their use. Please note the trustees are unlikely to fund any organisation with more than six months running costs in their unrestricted reserves. If you are carrying over a large amount of free reserves from the previous year, then please attach a note to your application explaining the reasoning behind this.

Please do not send us your Annual Report & Accounts unless they are unavailable on the Charity Commission or Companies House website. If the accounts available on the Charity Commission or Companies House are not from the last calender year, please attach a copy of your most recent accounts and enter the corresponding figures on your online application.

If your charity’s income is under £10,000, we will need to see evidence of your income and expenditure for the past year.

If your application passes the first round, we may contact you for further information.


Please provide us with your anticipated income and your proposed charitable and non-charitable expenditure for the year.

Safeguarding Policies

The Trust requires organisations who work with children and/ or vulnerable adults to submit a safeguarding/ child protection and/ or vulnerable adults policy in order to be considered for funding. Please ensure your policy includes the name and contact details of your Designated Safeguarding Officer in order for it to be considered.

For further information, please see our FAQs page.