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About Us

All Hands In

About the Earley Charity

The Earley Charity is one of the largest local grant-making charities in central southern England. Its object is the relief of need among older, disabled or poor people living in our area of benefit. The Charity’s terms of reference also make it possible for us to fund community, educational, informational, cultural, sporting, recreational and social initiatives.

Area of benefit

The area of benefit is defined as "the Ancient Liberty of Earley and the neighbourhood thereof". In practice this means all of Earley (Lower Earley and "old Earley"), the northern part of Shinfield, Winnersh, south Reading (including Whitley), east Reading (including Newtown), central Reading (as far west as the Reading West railway line), Sonning and lower Caversham.

The Trustees are only able to consider applications from individuals who live in the area of benefit and organisations that work within the area.

What we fund

The Charity makes grants to local individuals in need. These grants generally take the form of purchases of equipment, goods or services.

Applications are welcomed from:

  • older people

  • families on low incomes

  • those unable to work due to disability or poor health

  • newly housed people

These grants do not normally exceed £500. However, larger grants may be made to provide specialist medical or therapeutic equipment and occasionally for essential building repairs or installations for owner occupiers where disability requires alteration/works.

Care Leavers Independent Living Fund
Young people leaving care from either Reading Borough Council or Wokingham Borough Council can apply for a grant of up to £1,000 to buy essential household items and appliances to support their move to independent living.  To qualify, the young person must have been in care with Reading Borough Council or Wokingham Borough Council for at least 12 months.  Applications are only accepted from the care leaver’s support worker.  Support workers wishing to make an application should contact the Charity for an application form.

The Charity makes grants to a wide range of local charitable, voluntary and community organisations working within our area of benefit. Applications should be for one-off non-recurrent funding for a specific purpose. Grants are normally in the range £500-£5,000. Larger grants may be made to organisations which the Trustees know well.

The Earley Charity has a long history of supporting young people to learn a trade. We therefore welcome applications from people undertaking this type of training.

Douglas Chilvers Memorial Bursary
In memory of one of our Trustees, Douglas Chilvers, a bursary has been set up to provide funding to support young people who show exceptional talent in the performing arts. The Douglas Chilvers Memorial Bursary is open to groups and individuals of proven and potential ability.

What we don’t fund

To comply with our objects there are some activities that we cannot fund. To avoid wasted effort and disappointment we list here the principal areas which The Earley Charity does not fund:

  • Post-graduate education

  • General running/living costs

  • Core costs

  • Open-ended salaries

  • General appeals

  • Religious activities

  • National organisations operating in the area of benefit without a local office

  • General public sector appeals (apart from in a few very exceptional cases)

  • Applications from outside the area of benefit

Other grant-making programmes

The Earley Charity prides itself on its proactive work in the local voluntary and community sector. We make a number of grants for which application cannot be made. The principal ways are listed here:

Major partnership grants: on a small number of occasions we will initiate a grant to a local group which the Trustees know well. The prime example of this is the funding for the building of the Earley Crescent Community Resource Centre.

Earley Charity Workers: we have created an innovative scheme of Earley Charity Workers in key organisations in the local voluntary sector. Earley Charity Workers are advance funded on a rolling programme, always at least two years into the future. Posts are currently funded at Berkshire Women’s Aid, Earley Crescent Community Resource Centre, RISC, Reading Voluntary Action and Weller Centre.

Trustee-led grants: Trustees of the Charity may propose organisational grants on the basis of their own knowledge of local voluntary, community, sporting or cultural organisations. Lobbying of Trustees will disqualify an organisation.

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