A large number of charities and trust funds offer funding to individuals pursuing study in further and higher education. Funding is usually awarded on the criteria of economic hardship, academic excellence, or both, and there are often other strict eligibility requirements based on subject or place of residence.

The funds provided normally relate to the amount of money a particular charity or trust may have, and can vary in amount from a few hundred pounds to several thousand. They are frequently intended to be partial funding only, so you may find you need to apply to more than one source if you need funds to cover costs relating to your studies.

The Bishop David Sheppard 10th Anniversary Trust

The Bishop David Sheppard 10th Anniversary Trust exists to give young people who experienced issues within standard education channels a second chance. The Trust was formed in 1989 to try and make a difference to the lives of as many young people as possible. The Trust still follows the same mission in assisting those that have the desire to go back into education, in the hope that it could improve their lives and the lives of their families.

People between the ages of 21 and 49 who live in the Anglican diocese of Liverpool (which includes Southport, Kirkby, Ormskirk, Skelmersdale, Wigan, St Helens, Warrington and Widnes) and who are doing second-chance learning at a college or training centre are eligible to apply. The Trust makes awards to help students buy uniforms, books, stationery, equipment, tools and for other sundry expenses that could arise related to the course, which may cause hardship for those who find it difficult to make ends meet.

Please note: All those who apply must make themselves available for a brief interview. The interviews are usually held either at the Trust address or at your College. A date will be arranged once the application form has been completed and returned.

Applications are usually considered in March, May, September and December.

For further information about how to apply, please call 01744 623238.

Sarah Cowley Educational Foundation

The Sarah Cowley Educational Foundation is a trust fund available to students attending either further and higher education courses; or to assist in the entry into a profession, trade or calling. The main criteria for applying for assistance are:

  • Resident within St Helens
  • Under the age of 25 on the 1st September prior to the start of the course

For more information and eligibility, please visit https://www.sthelens.gov.uk/schools-education/sarah-cowley-educational-foundation/ on St Helens Council’s website.

For an application form, please visit https://www.sthelens.gov.uk/media/3289/sarah-cowley-application-form.pdf.

Helena Kennady Foundation

HKF contributes to widening participation in higher education by awarding annual bursaries to students who have overcome significant personal and financial hardship to complete a course in a further education college and progress to higher education.

HKF offers financial help to students currently undertaking a course in a not for profit adult or further education institution, who intends to progress to a higher education programme. Before making an application to the Foundation please ensure that you meet our eligibility criteria as follows:

Students can apply to the Foundation if they are:

  • In the final year at a publicly-funded further education institution (e.g. in the last year of Access / A level / BTEC / Scottish Highers course at a UK FE / sixth form college) at the time of applying
  • Aiming to start a first-time programme of higher education in the autumn of the year in which they are applying at a UK higher education institution (i.e. HND, BA, BSc, Bed, Foundation Degree). Students taking a ‘gap’ year will be considered.
  • Experiencing barriers to continuing their education
  • Able to demonstrate that they face severe financial hardship.

See www.hkf.org.uk for further details on eligibility and how to apply.