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Apply for a grant

Apply for a grant We welcome grant applications from organisations and charities whose activities directly benefit people who live or work in the London borough of Tower Hamlets. If this is you and your organisation, please read on and consider applying.

Available grants

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We run two grant programmes, each aims to support high quality charitable work that will improve the lives of people and communities experiencing disadvantage.

We understand that organisations working with marginalised communities may be under financial stress, and in those cases, we will fund core costs, including staff salaries and general running costs.

In 2024, our grant funding priority is Tower Hamlets with only minor funding available for work in Southwark and City of London.

We support work with individuals and communities who are marginalised or disadvantaged for example because they have difficulty in accessing resources, face discrimination or may experience poorer social, economic and health outcomes made worse by the cost of living crisis

We prioritise people who fall into these categories, but this is not an exhaustive list.

  • Mutual support groups e.g. women, young carers, people with long term health conditions
  • Domestic abuse advice and support
  • Welfare advice and advocacy
  • Destitute asylum seekers advocacy and support
  • User-led organisations e.g. disabled, mental health
  • Older people’s befriending projects


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Who can apply?

To be eligible to apply for a grant your organisation must fulfil the following criteria:

  • You are a registered charity, community group or Community Interest Company with a constitution or a set of rules which governs its activities (CICs must be limited by guarantee)

  • You have an organisation bank or building society account where two or more named people (including one trustee or management committee member) must authorise all payments 

  • You can provide annual accounts for the previous financial year (the programme does not support newly established organisations)

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  • Your income is under £600,000 in the most recent financial year

  • You have a sound track record of charitable work in Tower Hamlets 

  • You deliver over 70% of your existing work in Tower Hamlets, if you are applying for core costs and work across one or more boroughs

  • You must have submitted a progress report, if you have received previous funding from Wakefield Tetley Trust

What we ask you to demonstrate when applying

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  • What issues are faced by the people you work with and how will you be supporting them
  • How your organisation adapts to operate if your users or clients needs change
  • How the people you help, your staff and volunteers are supported and safeguarded
  • How your organisation is managing financially and what your plans are to maintain good financial health
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Making an application

Before you make an application

We produce Small Grants 2024 Downloadable Grants Guidance to making an Application. The document contains all the pre-application eligibility information you need, so please review the guidance to be sure you are eligible.

If you are unsure or need further support, please email us, giving your direct contact email or (preferably) telephone number, and we will get in touch for an informal conversation.

We offer a simple downloadable Small Grants 2024 Application Form WORD in Word format. Alternatively, email us (see Contact Us) to be sent the Application Form. We ask you to complete and sign your Application Form before emailing it to us as a Word document. The deadlines for submitting your application are

Monday 27 May, for a decision on Tuesday 25 June

Monday 08 July, for a decision by Friday 02 August

Monday 02 September, for decision by Tuesday 24 September

Monday 04 November, for decision by Tuesday 03 December

What we fund

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We want our funding to benefit people who are particularly disadvantaged and that might include

  • Carers · Disabled people · Children with special needs . People from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities · Refugees · People with no recourse to public funds · People in manual or insecure work · Families affected by domestic violence and abuse · People experiencing poor mental health · People living alone who may be isolated

We will consider requests for time limited activities, project costs or core costs including staff salaries, rent and running costs, and requests for service adaptions or to meet additional costs that you incur to adapt your services to reach vulnerable people.

Permanent funding exclusions:

  • Applications from individuals or on behalf of individuals
  • Charitable work that has already taken place
  • Applicants who have been rejected by the Trust within the last twelve months
  • Organisations newly established with no annual accounts
  • Organisations already in receipt of a grant which has not expired
  • Organisations with significant unrestricted reserves
  • Organisations in serious financial deficit
  • Statutory bodies and work that is primarily the responsibility of central or local government
  • Health trusts, health authorities and hospices (or any sort of medical equipment or medical research)
  • The promotion of religion
  • Animal charities
  • Environmental improvements
  • Building restoration or conservation
  • Uniformed youth groups
  • Schools (including education or vocational training projects working with schools)


  • We ask you to send us a progress report at a time agreed and documented in your offer letter.   

    For grants running for one year or more, we normally required an interim report before we release the final part of the grant.  

    We need to hear about how our grant enabled you to deliver the work that you outlined in your application.  That means we want to hear about your successes, but we also appreciate honesty about the difficulties you encountered and what you learned from those.  

    We are happy to receive case studies, stories, photos and videos as part of your report submission.    

    For very small grants under £1,000 we are happy to have a report by conversation instead of a written report. We still ask you to confirm in writing that the grant was spent on the work and budget that you applied for.  

    Your reports are digested and discussed by the staff and Trustees, they enable us to plan our future funding and to better understand your work and the people you are supporting.

  • Grants are notified by email with a formal grant offer letter.  The grant recipients are asked to sign our Grant Terms and Conditions before we transfer the grant funds.  


    Grant holder key commitments (summary) 

    Your grant will be spent on the purpose agreed in your grant offer letter. 

    All grant funds provided by the Trust must be used solely for charitable purposes.  

    You will inform us of any material change to the project/proposal or your organisation, that affects the use of your grant, and we will need to approve any ‘change of use’.  

    You will inform us of any serious incidents, either those that meet your internal threshold or the higher threshold of the Charity Commission, during your grant period.  

    You will send us a progress report and we must agree on any proposed deadline extension. 

    You will keep accurate and comprehensive financial records of the spending associated with our funding and submit these with your progress report at the end of each agreed reporting period. 

    You will refund any part of the grant that is not required for the purpose we approved.  

  • We do encourage you to use our logo appropriately in communications about work we are directly supporting, and you will need to contact us to get a copy of the appropriate format. 

  • We ask you to not publish details of your grant until after you have signed the terms and conditions.
    We ask you to acknowledge our funding in your communications about the work we are funding or, say,
    your annual report or website.

    In turn, we routinely list our grant to you in our annual report and accounts. If we publish details of your
    project on our website, social media or elsewhere, we will consult you in advance on the content.

  • Wakefield Tetley Trust is a small grant-maker working in the City of London, Southwark and Tower Hamlets.  We aim to support people in need by funding local community-based charities and organisations. Our annual grants programmes are open to all registered charities and community groups in these communities and we welcome applications from all groups. In 2023 we provided £80,000 in grant funding towards work in support of our aims.  

  • We are always grateful if you can share with us photos and videos of the work we have supported. If you
    send these as part of your report to us, please give details of anyone to be credited and confirm that you
    are happy for use the images you have sent to us. Where children are featured, we do need your
    confirmation that you have written parental permission to use those photos or videos.

    • We sometimes add additional conditions to an individual grant and these will be included in the grant offer
    • We may ask to visit you to see the work funded during the life of our funding.
      We can publish the name of your organisation and the broad nature of our offer, but we won’t disclose
      further details publicly except as required by regulators.
    • We will use the information you give us during the application process and during the lifetime of any
      funding for administration, analysis and research purposes. We recognise the need to maintain the
      confidentiality of vulnerable groups and their details will not be made public in any way, except as required
      by law.


    We reserve the right to withhold a grant or require repayment if:

    • We find that any false information is supplied to us deliberately
    • The work undertaken is not the work for which the funding was approved and where we have not
      approved these changes
    • Your organisation becomes insolvent or goes into administration, receivership or liquidation and the
      funding has not been spent on its intended purpose


    Other funders 


    We learn about good funder practice as members of the Association of Charitable Foundations and London Funders 

    We share information with other funders in Tower Hamlets and Southwark via funder forums (hosted by London Funders). 

    We are based in an informal Southwark funders hub at 66 Newcomen Street, with  

    • Peter Minet Trust 
    • Marshalls’ Charity 
    • St George the Martyr  
    • Newcomen Collett 
  • FAQs coming soon.