The Noel Buxton Trust  Grant making since 1919

Penal grants 

Guidelines for applicants


Purpose of funding

Who can apply?

Amount and duration of grants

The criteria used to assess appeals



How to apply for funding


Purpose of funding

Trustees recognize the variety of Voluntary and Community Sector organisations that work with offenders.    These include local campaigning organisations; self help groups; and service providers. Trustees value and wish to support the commitment of these organisations to the rehabilitation of offenders for the benefit of both the offender and society as a whole. 


Who can apply?

The Trustees prefer to fund registered charities (exceptionally, organisations that are applying for charitable status can be considered).  Trustees tend to offer grants to smaller, grass-roots organisations. The Trustees very much welcome appeals from groups in England , Scotland and Wales . The emphasis of giving is on areas outside London and South-east England. The Trust does not generally respond to appeals from large and well-supported charities.

Please note that we have moved away from funding:

·        policy and larger, more established organisations

·        generic proposals that aim to prevent young people getting involved in crime or cover a wide portfolio of interventions.


Amount and duration of grants  

Trustees are happy to fund projects and core costs.  The kinds of grants we expect to make are:

  • one off grants of up to £3,000  to pay for specific projects that help maintain relationships between prisoners and their families or for work that supports the contributions that volunteers make within the prison community

  • grants of up to £4,000 per year over two to three years, particularly where a guaranteed on-going contribution is going to make a difference to the sustainability of a programme or activity


The criteria used to assess appeals


When Trustees assess appeals we look for evidence of some or all of the following criteria:

  • practical direct support to offenders both in prison and in the community;

  • inclusion of former offenders in activities that involve them as mentors or peer supporters;

  • involvement of volunteers;

  • immediate and sustainable impact;

  • work with prisoners families, particularly to facilitate on going contact between prisoners and their families so that where possible family support will be available on their release .

Trustees also have a strong interest in:

  • applications that support the needs of offenders who are over represented within the youth and criminal justice system, eg black or minority ethnic groups;

  • offenders who have specific needs that are not met through mainstream provision, eg disabled or older offenders;

  • projects that we believe will help to break down the stigma and discrimination that many offenders face


The areas of penal affairs activities that we fund include:

  • peer support and mentoring – to provide support for offenders with appropriate support to help them through times of difficulty;

  • making social connections with friends, family or local community – eg opportunities for serving prisoners to stay in touch with their children or community circles of support for high risk (ex) offenders within the community;

  • skill-based activities through volunteering or training; 

  • activities that both help rehabilitate offenders and help build bridges through various benefits to local communities

Your appeal is more likely to be successful if you are able to briefly describe:

  • how you identified the need for your proposal

  • your track record in doing related work

  • how you ensure the safety of the peple you are supporting when you are working with them


  • how you will know that your work has benefitted or will benefit the people who need your help




In addition to our list of general exclusions please note that grants are not made for: 

  • advice centres

  • counselling for individuals

  • Northern Ireland

  • overseas projects

  • youth

  • vehicles 

  • victims of crime (except those affected by domestic violence and victims involved with restorative justice projects)



Applications can be made at any time. It can take up to six months to assess an application.  Successful applicants will be informed in writing.  The Trustees’ focus on allocating as much as possible of their limited funds for grant-making and limiting administrative expenses means that applications are not acknowledged and no replies are sent to unsuccessful appeals. The Trust will not discuss applications on the telephone or correspond about rejected appeals.


How to apply for funding

There is no application form.  If you wish to make an appeal please send a short letter (1-2 pages) outlining your case for funding.  Please mention that you have read this website and  show how your work fits into our guidelines.  The appeal should include your  charity registration number and the name of the organisation to which cheques should be made payable if different from that at the head of the appeal letter.  Please also include:

a)                budget for current and following year

b)                details of funding already received, promised or applied for from other sources

c)        latest annual report / accounts in the shortest available form.


Please send your appeal to:

The Administrator

The Noel Buxton Trust

PO Box 520

Fleet GU51 9GX.

Thank you for reading these guidelines.  If you decide to make an appeal, please note that the Trustees receive many more appeals than they can fund.  This means, regrettably, that they have to turn down some requests, even though the proposed work falls within these guidelines. 




Registered Charity Number:  220881