Although there is increasing public knowledge about disability welfare benefits, mystique remains about local initiatives and grants that may be available following serious injury. This article outlines some of the less well-known charitable grants available.
At the outset, it is important to note that we cannot provide a comprehensive summary of all available grants given that they range from meticulously specific (such as diet-dependent) to those with seemingly open-access to all.
Please bear in mind that while many charitable grants are not explicitly for injured individuals, this should by no means discourage your application. Most of the time, serious injury or long-term illness falls within a grant’s eligibility criteria if you are already part of an organisation’s chosen social group.
For example, many of our clients turn to charities such as Headway, which provides grants to those who have suffered a catastrophic brain injury. Similarly, The Spinal Injuries Association and Back Up Trust offer advice and practical support to people with spinal cord injuries.
The net of charitable organisations offering support to those with disabilities is wide. Below, we highlight some of the lesser-known types of support available.
Charitable grants and organisations
Many of our pro bono clients have suffered life-changing injuries and require long-term mobility assistance. In some cases, this may include using a powered wheelchair or mobility scooter to aid independence.
Unfortunately, specialist disability equipment can be expensive and likely to exceed a few thousand pounds. Organisations such as The Mobility Trust provide crucial support to those who cannot obtain such equipment through other means.
The Mobility Trust
The Mobility Trust aims to open up access to all individuals in need of mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs, with a particular focus on widening support to otherwise marginalised social groups. More information on the Mobility Trust can be found here: https://mobilitytrust.org.uk/
Support available for specific social or religious groups
Some charitable initiatives are dedicated to supporting a particular social or religious group. A couple of note-worthy examples are listed below (although this list is by no means exhaustive).
Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF)
The MCF offers a wide range of support to freemasons and their families in varying situations of hardship, including personal injury. Quite remarkably, MCF provides a grant to people with the following needs: daily living costs, medical treatment, mobility equipment, adaptations, counselling or residential care. These benefits are available subject to an application but, if successful, could resolve many stresses arising out of serious injury or illness. More information can be found here: https://mcf.org.uk/get-support/freemasons-and-families/.
Many of our clients are unable to return to work for some time, if at all, and it is imperative they can alleviate their lack of income through other means.
National Zakat Foundation (NZF)
The National Zakat Foundation offers a broad range of hardship relief to unemployed and/or low-income Muslim individuals.
Four types of funds are on offer in the following areas: help with basic living costs, financial help towards rent, deposit and rent arrears, support with training course fees or access to higher education. More information can be found here: www.nzf.org.uk
A wide range of grants are available specific to occupation. While some are better known than others, we would encourage you to explore those available. Below are a few noteworthy examples:
The Lighthouse Club (LC)
The LC offers financial and emotional support to the construction community and their families experiencing financial hardship or who have recently suffered an injury. Enquiries about available support can be made by contacting the Construction Industry Helpline or by getting in touch with a Lighthouse Club in your local area. More information can be found here: https://www.lighthouseclub.org/.
Teaching Staff Trust
This trust provides financial help to individuals currently employed or retired from working in education with persons under 19s. This includes nursery workers, teaching assistants, learning support staff, teachers, lunchtime supervisors and school administrators. The trust offers a broad range of financial support, including help with bills, household costs, travel and other essentials to any of the above professionals who have suffered ill health or serious injury. More information can be found here: https://teachingstafftrust.org.uk/.
The Licenced Trade Charity (LTC)
The LTC offer financial support to individuals who have worked in the licenced drinks trade (such as pubs, bars, breweries, etc.) for five continuous years or more. Available assistance may include securing accommodation by paying rent and deposits, providing essential furniture or a one-off grant towards disability aids. More information can be found here: https://www.licensedtradecharity.org.uk/.
The Vegetarian Charity
While it may be common knowledge how our lifestyle choices can influence our prospect of recovery from injury, it may be surprising that your commitment to a specific diet can broaden your grant accessibility.
For example, The Vegetarian Charity supports vegetarians and vegans under the age of 26 who have come to experience financial hardship. While the grant is modest (up to a maximum award of £500), an application could help meet ever-increasing grocery costs or as a contribution towards home adaptations, for example, a shower chair or the purchase of a long-lasting walking frame. More information can be found here: https://www.vegetariancharity.org.uk/.
As disability awareness increases, we hope more injured individuals will be able to access adequate financial and practical support over and above basic statutory provisions.
While the above list is by no means exhaustive, we hope it serves as a useful starting point to illustrate the vast scope of initiatives on offer.
Sara Palinska contributed to this article.