Covid 19 – Alternative Sources of Help

Student typing on a mac

On some occasions applicants to the Social Workers’ Benevolent Trust (SWBT) do not fulfil the eligibility criteria for the Trust. Included below are some search tools and other sources of help and support available. The list is by no means exhaustive but it is hoped a useful starting point in searching for funding.


Turn2us is a national charity with an informative and intuitive website that helps people in extreme financial hardship gain access to welfare benefitscharitable grants and other support services within the UK. It also provides very helpful details on how to navigate the often complicated system of welfare benefits.

Direct help is available through a range of funds administered directly by the charity including the Elizabeth Finn Fund – those who have a professional background and meet their grant-giving criteria; the Edinburgh Trust provides grants to people struggling financially living in the City of Edinburgh. and the Turn2us Response Fund.

To apply for a grant:

The above link provides details as to how the Fund can help, how to apply, who is eligible and further information.

Please note: As part of the application process, you may be asked for a range of documents as evidence of your occupation and situation.


Head Office Elizabeth Finn Care/Turn2Us
Hythe House
200 Shepherds Bush Road
London W6 7NL 


CWC (Care Worker’s Charity)

This care workers charity is dedicated to helping current, former and retired care workers who have worked within the UK Care profession. Help is offered in the form of hardship grants, online information and advice. There is an eligibility criteria which applicants can check either online via their website:


CWC – The Care Workers’ Charity
W107 Vox Studios West
1-45 Durham Street
London, SE11 5JH



Some sources of financial assistance in the UK

Details of the following organisations may change so please do check before applying

Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB)

Telephone: Citizens Advice/Customer service0344 411 1444

CAB offers free, independent, confidential and impartial advice to everyone on their rights and responsibilities. Offer advice on money and debt, and may be able to help access local grant-makers. Helpful website giving details of local CABs

Please note: The law can vary in different parts of the UK so please check the website.

Disability Grants

A helpful website in finding disability grants for children, adults, families and carers in the UK. Julia Tyrrell, (founder of Disability Grants) wants Disability Grants to be a shared resource where everyone helps each other. She has set up a Facebook page – details about grants and information is available on the website.

Family Action

It aims to preserve and protect the good health (particularly mental health) to those experiencing poverty, disadvantage and social isolation. Provides services, advice and grants to children, adults and families across England.


Family Action Head Office
34 Wharf Road
London N1 7GR

Telephone: 020 7254 6251. Email:

Contact details: Monday to Friday, 9am to 3pm and 6pm to 9pm

Telephone: 0808 802 6666

Text message: 07537 404 282

Live web chat

The Thomas Wall Trust

The Thomas Wall Trust, founded in 1920, gives grants to support motivated adults living in the UK to do education and training courses that will increase their chances of employment.

The charity offers grants up to £1,500 to study on accredited vocational training courses up to qualification level 3 and towards other costs associated with studying, including: child care, travel and mobility costs, and accessible study materials. It may be able to contribute towards funding specialist equipment but rarely at the maximum grant amount.

How to apply

The grants programme is normally open all year round and is awarded on a first come, first serve basis. For more information on the eligibility criteria for charity’s grants for individuals and the online application form, see the Thomas Wall Trust website.

Contact details:

Thomas Wall Trust
8 Dowgate Hill
London EC4R 2SP

Second-hand Furniture and Household Items

Local charities and social enterprises are a great source of free or low-cost second-hand furniture and household items. They collect items donated by the general public and resell at low prices to raise money for other activities.  Items include:

  • Furniture such as beds, tables, chairs, sofas and other household items
  • Kitchen appliances such as fridges, washing machines and cookers
  • Toys, cots, prams and clothing.

Some also sell new goods at reduced prices for those on low incomes or benefits with the option of a repayment or credit union scheme- see the Furniture Re-use Network (details below).There are also projects that distribute disability equipment such as riser recliner chairs and mobility aids.  

Furniture Reuse Network

The Furniture Reuse Network (FRN) is the national body which supports, assists and develops charitable re-use organisations across the UK. FRN strives to ensure that good quality, unwanted furniture and electrical equipment can be accessed and reused by those on low incomes. It aims to relieve poverty and to reduce waste by promoting the re-use of essential household furniture and electrical appliances to help people in need. In addition volunteers offer debt advice, running food banks and hosting creative upcycling sessions. There are around 200 members varying from volunteer –run charities to larger social enterprises who actively work within their communities located across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.


A world-wide organisation with thousands of members who ‘recycle’ old items from clothing to computers, household goods to children’s toys. Subscribers can request items or post items they want to get rid of, then individuals can ‘bid’ for the free item and usually pick it up. The entire service is free-of-charge and non-profit making. There are numerous local groups nationwide and each local group is moderated by local volunteers. Membership is free. To sign up, and to find your community by entering it into the search box on their website.

Gas Energy Benevolent Trust

Contact details:

Freepost British Gas Energy Trust

Telephone: 01733 421021


The British Gas Energy Trust is a registered charity and aims to help individuals and families in poverty, suffering or other distress who are struggling to pay their gas and/or electricity debts. The Trust receives donations from British Gas, but is governed by a Board of Trustees which is completely independent of the donor company. Applicants are strongly advised to seek money advice before applying to the Trust to increase their chance of a successful application.


An online classified advertisement and community website. Classified ads are either free or paid for depending on the product category and the geographical marketalso includes free items for sale.

Guide to grants for individuals in need

A Guide to Grants of individuals in need 2018/2019 edition.

This book is published by the Directory of Social Change and is available in most libraries and some Citizen’s Advice Bureaux. Contains details of over 2,000 trusts which together give a total of around £269 million a year for the relief of individual poverty and hardship.

Independence at Home

Independence at Home is a charity that provides grants to people of all ages who have a physical or learning disability or long term illness and who are in financial need. Independence at Home’s grants vary between £300 and £600 and depend on the item of equipment purchased or building work carried out. The average grant is £350.

You can download a copy of their brochure with case histories of some of the people that the charity has supported:

Contact details:

Independence at Home
4th Floor, Congress House
14 Lyon Road

Telephone: 020 8427 7929

The office is open between Monday to Thursday 9am to 5pm

Martin’s Money Tips

Martin Lewis who founded the Money Saving Expert consumer website continually alerts members of the public to various deals and how they can save money. There’s a great deal of information on a wide range of issues including home improvements, education etc. The website also provides details to apply for energy and utility grants and other sources of help.

The Skinners’ Trust

The Skinners’ Benevolent Trust aims to support isolated adults living on a very low income, who have been cut off in some way from society and who are trying to re-build their lives. Applications can only be made on behalf of clients who live in areas where the Skinners’ Company has existing work or historical links. These include: The City of London (The Square Mile only); The London Boroughs of Camden, Enfield, Hackney, and Hounslow; West Kent (particularly Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells); Romney Marsh (Kent only). Grants of up to £250 for essential household items that cannot be paid for from statutory funds.

Please note the Trust does not accept applications from individuals directly. If you require assistance and think you meet the eligibility criteria please ask your support /care worker to look at their website and contact the Trust on your behalf.

JB September 2021