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Hardship grants for midwives: everything you need to know

Ruth Samuel, the RCN Foundation's Benevolent Service Grant Manager, looks at the help available to members of the midwifery team during times of financial hardship.

When you hear the words ‘RCN Foundation’, you might think of nurses. Perhaps you’ll have heard about the work we do providing grants for projects, further training, and hardship.

You may not have heard that we also support those working in another vital profession – midwifery.

If you’re a midwife or midwifery support worker and are having financial difficulty due to an unexpected crisis or circumstance, the RCN Foundation may be able to help you with a one-off hardship grant.

Hayley’s story

Hayley is a midwife who experienced an injury when fairly new in her role within an NHS trust. This meant that she wasn’t eligible for full sick pay for most of her recovery period, and was reliant on a combination of reduced pay and benefit entitlements.

When Hayley’s children started at a new school, she was unable to afford the costs for the uniforms required and was not eligible for a school uniform grant from her local council or the school.

The RCN Foundation was able to award £250 towards the cost of school uniforms. Hayley told us this made a big difference to her situation.

How the RCN Foundation can help

We may not be able to always provide the amount needed to fully resolve a financial difficulty, but our highly trained and experienced team can signpost applicants to other sources of support, personalised to each individual situation.

Many of our applicants have never been on a reduced income before, and find the benefit systems overwhelming, while also going through other challenging personal circumstances such as bereavement, escaping an abusive partner, or serious ill health.

The Benevolent Service team provides information about the benefits and advice services that are available, and in many cases we also offer details of counselling or peer support groups, to help with emotional support during these huge transitions.

See if you’re eligible

If you’re unsure if you’d meet the criteria for a grant, check our webpage and if you’re still unsure, go ahead and apply there – our online form will automatically identify if you appear to be eligible for a grant or not.

Remember, you do not need to be a member of the RCN to apply for an RCN Foundation grant – whether it’s for hardship, education, or anything else.

Midwifery teams offer invaluable support to so many, even when some staff members might be going through their own personal and financial challenges. It’s our privilege to give back and support the midwifery community.