Big giver: The Clothworkers' Foundation

Sam Grimmett Batt, grants officer at the foundation, says the organisation likes funding proven projects that have been working for a long time

Sam Grimmett Batt
Sam Grimmett Batt

The Clothworkers' Foundation wants more applications for grants from charities that tackle domestic and sexual violence and alcohol and substance use, and from those that work with disadvantaged minority communities, including refugees, asylum seekers, ethnic minorities and the LGBT community.

The foundation, launched in 1977 by the Clothworkers' Company, gives about £5m a year in grants with the aim of helping disadvantaged people and communities.

The company, founded in 1528 to promote the craft of cloth-finishing, now uses its assets, which consist of property and investments, to support the work of the foundation.

Sam Grimmett Batt, grants officer at the foundation, says it has recently narrowed the definition of its eight programme areas. "We have been going out to visit organisations working in those areas to spread the word that we have funds available," she says.

The foundation funds only capital projects and does not cover core costs.

Its main grants programme, for charities with incomes of less than £15m, has no funding limit. Its grants typically total £25,000, although it has awarded up to £200,000.

The small grants programme gives maximum funding of £10,000 to charities with incomes of less than £250,000 a year.

Grimmett Batt says the number of applications has fallen in the past couple of years, which she puts down to the changes in programme areas and the economic downturn.

Examples of recent grants include £10,000 to the Lantern Project, a Merseyside charity that supports survivors of childhood sexual violence, for creating a book about trauma.

Bedford Housing Link, which works with homeless people, received £50,000 to buy and convert a double-decker bus into emergency bed provision. Action on Addiction was given £28,000 to create an art therapy room at its Wiltshire treatment centre.

"We are quite open, but we like funding proven projects where organisations have been doing the same thing for a long time, and it has been working," says Grimmett Batt.

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