A man arranges food in a friendship cafe

Poverty Hurts Fund

Rolling grant programme supporting the county's most vulnerable people with food, heating and energy costs and other essential items as well as supporting those organisations providing important advice and guidance as Gloucestershire is hit by the dramatic increase in the cost of living.


7th June 2024

grant amount

Up to £2,500

current status


About the Poverty Hurts Fund

Often perceived as a wealthy county, Gloucestershire is also home to some of the poorest communities in the country as well as some of the wealthiest. The pandemic has exacerbated these inequalities, meaning local people have been amongst the hardest hit by unemployment, loneliness, deprivation and social exclusion. More people than ever are accessing food banks across Gloucestershire. Some community food banks have seen the number of visits increase by more than 55 per cent in the last few months.

Gloucestershire is also a rural county with pockets of deprivation and disadvantage widely spread. Access to services is often limited by the ability to travel with those most disadvantaged in our communities most likely to be reliant upon public transport, which is unavailable or unreliable in many parts of the county.

People in our local communities are becoming increasingly desperate as they struggle to feed their families, heat their homes or run electrical appliances such as fridges and cookers.  Many of those on the lowest incomes, or those who are most vulnerable due to age or physical and mental illness or disabilities are seeing debts spiralling.

Who can apply?

This grants programme is open to voluntary and community groups with charitable aims, registered charities or Community Interest Companies supporting vulnerable people impacted by the increase in the cost of living. If you are a Community Interest Company please ensure that you meet our eligibility criteria, which are listed in the full grant guidelines.

Applicants must be based and working in Gloucestershire.

Priority will be given to groups that:

  • Deliver a project/activity that reflects the concerns and priorities of the target beneficiaries and fits well with existing community activities/services
  • Demonstrate they are well connected within the local community and their project involves working in partnership with local organisations and groups
  • Have experience of working with and reaching out to vulnerable people

What you can apply for?

The Poverty Hurts Fund aims to support activities for vulnerable people and families in need as a result of living in poverty. The fund will support projects and organisations that:

  • Help vulnerable people at risk of or in abject poverty
  • Coordinate a community response to support those suffering as a result of the increase in the cost of living
  • Provide food supplies, a hot meal, warm clothing or other essential household/hygiene items
  • Provide assistance with energy or winter heating costs
  • Reduce isolation and loneliness or improve mental health for people in distress
  • Provide access to local services and information that may help to prevent a crisis situation arising or provide valuable guidance, practical or emotional support for people struggling as a result of the increase in the cost of living
  • Provide opportunities for learning and skills development that may support people to improve their financial position in the longer-term or help to build more resilient communities that can support each other.

Applications must demonstrate how their proposed project will deliver one or more of the above.  Grants awarded through this fund will be targeted towards those areas of our county most impacted by income deprivation and poor access to services but will also aim to achieve a spread of support geographically so that areas are not excluded.

Funding available

Grants of up to £2,500 are available for projects that help those in the community facing very real challenges as a result of poverty and the increase in the cost of living, including low-income families, the frail, elderly, disabled, people with chronic medical conditions or suffering mental illness and the homeless.

How to Apply

Please apply online using the link at the bottom right of the screen marked ‘Apply Now’

You can return to your online application form as many times as is needed, and save it as you go along. The online application link can also be shared with colleagues, or other parties, if more than one person needs to contribute to the application. If you wish to see a Word version of the questions you will be asked, you can view it HERE

As part of the online application process you will be asked to attach the following supporting documents:

  • A constitution/governing document/set of rules, that sets out the purpose of your organisation and how it is managed.
  • A copy of your most recent annual accounts or financial records (if not already available publicly via the Charity Commission or Companies House)
  • A safeguarding policy if your organisation works directly with children or vulnerable adults.

If your application is successful, you will also be asked to provide a copy of a bank statement or other evidence of a bank account in the name of your organisation.


Our next application deadline is Friday 7th June and we will aim to provide decisions by mid July.

What we do not fund

  • Applications from Individuals (we can fund organisations who are able to distribute funding and support to individuals on our behalf)
  • Organisations with less than 3 unrelated Trustees or Directors
  • General appeals.
  • Statutory organisations or the direct replacement of statutory funding.
  • Political groups or activities promoting political beliefs.
  • Religious groups promoting religious beliefs.
  • Projects that take place before an application can be processed.
  • Activities that are intended to raise funds for other organisations.

As a general rule, this grants programme will not fund groups that already have an established social responsibility. This includes local authorities and town councils, housing associations and schools though we may consider applications under particular pre-agreed circumstances when such organisations are best placed to support their local community.

Grant Guidelines

Please ensure you satisfy all of the criteria and conditions outlined within the Grant Guidelines. Do contact us if you have any questions or would like to discuss your project/need prior to submitting an application.

The guidelines are available by clicking on the button below.

interested in applying for this grant?