More than 3000 charities distribute £288 million pounds in grants to individuals in financial hardship every year. And yet these grants are little known and hard to find.
Some give money nationally, others just to people in particular parts of the
country. Some concentrate on those in a particular job - or retired from it -
others to those with a particular medical need.
The charity Elizabeth Finn Care has held a database of them for some years and
this week launched its improved Turn2us Grants Search to help people find the
right charity to apply to.
For example a 45 year old woman with a Glasgow postcode can access 88 separate
charities which will help with living costs, electricity or gas bills, career
training, meeting an emergency, education costs and many other needs.
A 70 year old man living in Somerset can access grants from 73 different
charities. And if he had worked in insurance another five pop up. Adding
conditions such as occupation, health, religion, or family situation brings up
more charities as many operate nationally to cover particular categories of
A whole range of disability and illnesses are catered for as well as twenty
religions and family circumstances such as adopted, estranged, orphaned or
Just about every occupation is covered in the national database, from
accountants to writers, farmers to teachers, pawnbrokers to librarians. Among
the 3000 charities there is a possibility for anyone in financial hardship to
Turn2us says that people who have used the search have gained £2400 a year in
income or more than £550 in one off grants. It also said that two out of three
of those visiting Turn2us had not known about charitable help before and a
third had been struggling financial for more than a year before finding help.
Apart from the grant search Turn2us also offers information about state
benefits and a calculator to work out entitlement. And there are other
resources to help people in need and those who work with them on the Turn2us website.