If you are unable to afford your living costs, an essential home repair, or a cost related to disability, you may qualify for assistance from a charity.
Each of the charities has their own rules about how to apply. Some welcome direct applications while others prefer referrals from other organisations, such as another charity or a support worker.
These are some of the main funds that can help nurses and healthcare assistants.
If you or your partner has worked in another occupation, you may wish to find out if there is a charitable fund related to people from that particular profession.
A longer list of funds can be found here: https://grants-search.turn2us.org.uk
Support considered for registered nurses who have worked as a community, district or school nurse, health visitor, community midwife or community psychiatric nurse
Applications considered from nurses, former nurses and HCAs who have practised in the UK for a minimum of 5 years and find themselves in hardship.
Nurses in employment or retired who live in England, Scotland or Wales. Grants for specific items. Cannot fund mortgages, rent, fuel, phone bills, food, educational fees, medical or personal care, or pay creditors.
Applicants must apply using the form on the website (can be posted on request).
Grants to people who hold or have formerly held occupations requiring a certain level of responsibility and education, or whose partners have done so. Nurses and former nurses can apply. Applicants must be British Citizens. Applicants must be on a low income and have under £4000 in savings.
Grants are considered for people who have worked in registered care or supported living. There are further criteria listed here: https://www.thecareworkerscharity.org.uk/grant-criteria
There are some charities who only consider applicants who are linked to a particular region or country.
You can search for these here: https://grants-search.turn2us.org.uk
One regional charity is Benevolent Fund for Nurses in Scotland (BFNS)
Applications are considered from any member of the profession who worked or trained in Scotland and is experiencing financial difficulties due to their inability to continue working.
Telephone: 07584 322257
If you’re affected by ill health or disability, and working or planning to work, you may be eligible for funding from the government's Access to Work Scheme.
The Mobility Trust provides powered wheelchairs and scooters for people who have severe disabilities.
MacMillan Grants are are small, mostly one-off payments to help people with costs caused by or related to their cancer.
Headway - the brain injury association - is a charity set up to give help and support to people affected by brain injury.
The MS Society gives grants to people affected by MS for items or activities needed as a direct result of MS. It also gives grants to carers of people with MS. See here for more information.
There are many more charities helping with costs caused by ill health and disability. You can visit the Turn2us website and perform a grants search to find more. You can tick boxes that apply to your situation to see grants related to the situation.
Some items and adaptions can be funded by your council.
You can read about Disabled Facilities Grants.
If you’ve been assessed as needing care and support you can choose direct payments instead of a standard care package. You can find out more here.
Freecycle is a nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns and neighborhoods. It's all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Each local group is moderated by local volunteers and membership is free.
Applications to the British Gas Energy Trust are welcomed from families and individuals in need, suffering or other distress living within England, Scotland and Wales. You do not need to be a customer of British / Scottish Gas.
Visit their website here for details.
Water suppliers run schemes to cap water bills for certain households who have a low annual income. Many water companies also run charitable funds which can clear water bills in exceptional circumstances. Contact your water supplier or check their web page for more information.
Down to Earth project by Quaker Social Action supports you to identify and arrange an affordable and meaningful funeral. They can do this face to face, over the phone or by email. The Down to Earth team are experts in this area, supporting thousands of people across the UK to look at their options, keep costs affordable, and identify ways to raise money for a funeral. Down to Earth also support with debt after a funeral takes place.
Call: 020 8983 5055
Local authorities have a set fund available each year that can be accessed by tenants who are having difficulties paying their rent, perhaps due to the impact of the bedroom tax or LHA rate, although other extenuating circumstances are taken into account. Local authorities only have limited funds to administer DHPs, which are renewed annually; once the fund is used up, no more DHPs can be paid.
Further information from Shelter, including an online tool to access your local authority’s DHP claim form, can be found here.
The Trussell Trust’s 400-strong network of foodbanks provides a minimum of three days’ emergency food and support to people experiencing crisis in the UK.
Often food banks will also be hubs for advice, information and other types of support.
To access a food bank you need to be referred by one of the Food Bank’s local referral partners. These can include health workers, charities, social workers and advice centres. Your local food bank can advise you on where to get a referral if you would like some guidance on this.
You can find details of your nearest Trussell Trust food bank here.
There are often other local places that offer food or free community meals. You can find out about these by asking a local advice centre such as the Citizen’s Advice Bureaux or searching online.
Emergency Assistance from the council is usually limited to applicants who receive means-tested benefits and can show an urgent need for support. Support is also sometimes available to provide second hand essential items such as cookers, fridges and washing machines to households who receive means-tested benefits.
If you are claiming a means-tested benefit and you feel there is a risk to the health and safety of your family, or you urgently need an essential item you cannot afford, check your council’s website for details of their emergency assistance. Usually this information is in the section titled ‘Benefits’.