Here we set out the policies for the distribution of grants by the Alex Ferry Foundation, based on our Strategic Plan 2020-2022. The Foundation will pay particular regard to applications for grants which are likely to benefit workers, former workers and their families in the UK shipbuilding, engineering and related manufacturing industries.


The Foundation will consider making grants in the following categories:

Type of Grant

Minimum annual £

Maximum annual £

Micro Grants



Community Grants



Policy and Research Grants



Exceptional Grants




All grants will have a focus on the ways in which the quality of life and wellbeing of workers, former workers and their families in the relevant industries may be improved (the relevant industries are the shipbuilding and engineering industries and related manufacturing industries).  The Foundation is interested in collaboration and joint working to achieve our charitable objectives.  We will encourage and prioritise applications that contain match funding or shared funding proposals.


Grant types

Community Grants and Micro Grants

The Board will make these grants across the whole of the UK.  However, the Foundation will seek local partners to work with us to identify and assess suitable projects in line with our objects.


For this reason, the Foundation will initially work with the CSEU District Committees (DCs). DCs are a focus for CSEU affiliated unions at local or regional level in the relevant industries.  DCs are invited to identify charitable projects that reflect local priorities, our strategic plan and objects.  District Committees can then submit to the Foundation the considered proposals it wishes to ‘sponsor’. We will allocate community and micro grants based on these submissions.


Micro Grants

These small grants will be delegated to the District Committees and are designed to support projects, activities or events that benefit workers, former workers, their families or their communities.  There will be a light touch approval process, but we want District Committees to use these grants as a catalyst for improving wellbeing and living well in their local areas.


Community Grants

The Foundation want to award grants that are effective in:

  • bringing people together and building strong relationships in and across communities
  • improving the places and spaces that matter to communities
  • enabling more people to fulfil their potential by working to address issues at the earliest possible stage.
  • involving the local community in the design, development and delivery of the grant receiving planning. We feel that your project or activity will be more successful as a result.


When we review an application for a grant submitted by a DC, we use a wide variety of different criteria to assess it. Each application is different and we are not prescriptive in our approach. However, there are some characteristics we think are important for any organisation which we support for a community or catalyst grant.

  • True to their mission. Organisations that are clear and consistent about what they aim to achieve. This is demonstrated through their actions and practice.
  • Responsive to need and well placed to deliver. Well placed to deliver services and aware of what is going on around them.
  • Person centred. The interests of the individual are at the heart of what the organisation does. People are meaningfully involved in developing solutions to the issues they face.
  • Using resources well. High quality, well run organisations that have the skills and capabilities to make proper and effective use of their resources


Policy and Research Grants

The Board will award policy and research grants around the general issue of ‘good work’ and ‘work and wellbeing’. The Foundation will not make a general call for research grants but will pro-actively identify partners and issues it wishes to fund.  We have agreed a broad approach to these grants. Firstly, the research/policy grants will be national projects and be identified and overseen (and sometimes directly delivered) by the AFF staff.  Secondly, these research and policy grants projects will tend towards longer term issues, potentially with greater impact and profile.  Thirdly, the output of research or policy may have a dissemination and/or advocacy element with partners.


Exceptional Grants

The Board will consider grant funding the following activities in exceptional circumstances. The charitable purpose for these grants must be made explicit and the Foundation indemnified against legal challenge.

  1. Campaigning, lobbying, or general awareness raising work that fits with our policy/research and Strategic Plan
  2. Work that provides legal advice specifically to support court action that fits with our priorities and Strategic Plan.




Individual Grants

The Board has taken the view that providing individual hardship grants or other types of grants to individuals will not form part of our current grant making policy.  Instead, the needs of individuals will be addressed by targeting community projects that would benefit workers and former workers in the relevant industries.


Who can apply for a grant?

The charity does not accept unsolicited applications for funding.

Applications for community grants must be made using such application form as may be specified by the Trustees. All grants must be approved by the Board of Trustees

Grants can be for revenue costs and for (community and catalyst grant only) capital costs for equipment (computers/play equipment etc)

Grants will be made for a maximum of three years and up to the end of the current 4-year Strategic Plan 2019-2022.

If a potential grants recipient is not a registered charity then funding will be restricted to activities that are charitable.

Our community grants will be made to organisations with an annual income of between £50k and £2m. In exceptional circumstances we will consider applications from organisations with income up to £5m.

If an organisation has an income of over £2m and wish to apply they will have to demonstrate uniquely well placed to deliver the work and are unable to source funding from elsewhere.

We fund established and stable organisations (by this we mean at least 18 months old and have published their first set of annual accounts) that have a track record. We are looking for applicants that have the necessary expertise and experience and are well placed to deliver the work for which funding is sought.

We make grants to fund work with a charitable purpose in the UK only. We primarily fund registered charities but are willing to make grants to other types of not for profit organisations, such as Community Interest Companies (CICs) or constituted community groups if you can explain how you would use our funding for charitable purposes.


The Foundation will not normally make grants for:

  • Proposals for loans or social finance
  • Proposals for grants for the annual running costs of your organisation
  • Proposals that are only for the benefit of one individual
  • Work that is not legally charitable
  • Work that has already taken place
  • Scholarships or student fees
  • Travel bursaries
  • Local authorities or work usually considered a statutory responsibility
  • We will not fund the education of pupils
  • Organisations that do not provide direct services to clients (such as umbrella, second tier or grant-making organisations)
  • Work that benefits people outside the UK
  • Uniformed groups
  • Professional associations or training for professionals
  • Services that actively seek to proselytise or promote any religion
  • Holidays, overseas travel or events (such as festivals, conferences, exhibitions and community events)
  • Healthcare which has a clinical basis including medical care and research, physical therapy, hospices or other palliative care services or specialist equipment
  • Heritage or environmental conservation projects



Sharing Information with other Grant Makers

We reserve the right to share information on applications received and information received from organisations which have a grant with other grant makers unless an organisation expressly requests otherwise. All personal data will be dealt with in line with current Data Protection Policies.


October 2019