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Each of the charities in the list below has their own rules about how to apply and who can be considered for funding. Some welcome direct applications while others prefer referrals from other organisations, such as another charity or a support worker. Read their guidance for more information.

Most charities will take several weeks to process an application. If you need urgent help, contact your council’s Local Welfare Assistance Scheme, which is called Discretionary Assistance Fund if you live in Wales. 

Queens Nursing Institute Benefit Fund

The QNI will consider applications from registered nurses in financial need, who work or have worked in the community for a minimum of three years.

The 1930 Fund for District Nurses

Support considered for registered nurses who have worked as a community, district or school nurse, health visitor, community midwife or community psychiatric nurse

Cavell Nurses’ Trust

Support for:
• Registered nurses and midwives. Retired nurses and midwives
• HCAs and nursing auxiliaries with at least 3 years employment in a hospital or clinical setting under direct supervision of a registered nurse

Junius S. Morgan Benevolent Fund

Applications considered from nurses, former nurses and health care assistants who have practised in the UK for a minimum of five years and find themselves in hardship. 

The Care Workers Charity

Grants and wellbeing and psychological services for people who have worked in registered care or supported living.

Healthcare Workers' Foundation

Healthcare Workers' Foundation is a charity founded by NHS workers, for NHS workers. They offer shopping discounts, childcare grants, and a fund for bereaved families of healthcare workers.

St Andrews Society for Ladies in Need

St Andrews Society for Ladies in Need help women who meet certain criteria outlined on their website, including being retired or close to retirement age, living alone and being born in Britain.

Regional charities

There are some charities who only consider applicants linked to a particular region or country. You can search for these at

One regional charity is the 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.

There are also regional charities for district nurses.

Queen’s Institute of District Nursing in Ireland (QIDN)

Queen’s Nursing Institute Scotland (QNIS).

Health and disability-related funding

Some items and adaptations can be funded by your local council through Disabled Facilities Grants or the occupational therapy service. Call your local council or visit their website to request an assessment.

If you’re affected by ill health or disability, and working or planning to work, you may be eligible for funding to help you to do your job, 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 small, one-off means-tested payments to help with the extra costs that living with cancer can bring.

Headway - the brain injury association is a charity set up to give help and support to people affected by brain injury.

Florence Nightingale Aid in Sickness Trust offers grants to people who are unwell or disabled.

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.

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.

Resources available for times of crisis

Free furniture – Freecycle is a free-to-use non-profit platform where people give away unwanted items for free. You may well find good quality bed frames, tables, chairs and other furniture being given away freely on your local Freecycle page.

Free food – Olio is an app for giving or receiving free food. Food can be donated by individuals or by shops, restaurants and cafes. Search 'olio' on your phone app store. 

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 Citizens Advice Bureau) or searching online.

Free children's clothes and toys – the Young Planet app is a phone app for free second hand children's items including clothes and toys. Search 'young planet' on your phone app store or visit their website to learn more.

Help with energy bills – 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.

Help with water bills – water suppliers run schemes to cap water bills for certain households who have a low 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.

Help with funeral costs – the Down To Earth project by Quaker Social Action supports you to arrange an affordable and meaningful funeral. They can do this face-to-face, over the phone or by email. Down to Earth also support with debt after a funeral takes place.

Funeral payments are available from the government in limited circumstances. Turn 2 Us have a guide about this.

Bereavement Support Payments are also available here to surviving spouses in some circumstances.

Help with housing costs – Discretionary Housing Payments are one-off or regular payments provided by local councils/ local authorities to help tenants whose rent is only partially covered by their Housing Element or Housing Benefit. 

Local Authority 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’re claiming a means-tested benefit and you feel there is a risk to the health and safety of your household, your household cannot afford essential food or heating, 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’. If you can’t find it on their website try phoning your local council’s general phone number and ask for crisis support/ local welfare assistance scheme. There's also a search tool you can use here to help you find the page quickly. 

In Wales this type of support is called Discretionary Assistance Fund and you can apply online here.