Funding policies

To help answer any questions that you might have when applying for funding, please read our funding policies before submitting an application:

Why do we need to discuss our project with Barnwood Trust’s Strategic Development Manager?

We have five Strategic Development Managers (SDMs) working across Gloucestershire. Your SDM leads Barnwood Trust’s work in your local area and has a thorough grasp of the key issues and priorities within your community, as well as a clear understanding of how our grants processes work. They are also consulted on all applications in their area, although they aren’t part of the decision making process.

Can we apply for funding for a project if the work has already happened?

No – we can’t fund any application which is retrospective – where the work is completed, or already under way, when you make your application.

If you need to know the outcome of your application within a certain timescale – for example, if you’re applying for funding for an event – then please give us as much notice as you can. If you application is for costs associated with an event, then we like to make our decision at least a month before the event is due to happen – but please bear in mind that after we receive your application, there’s still quite a lot for us to do before we’re ready to make a decision, so please give us as much time as you can.

How many applications can we make?

You can make one application per year for a project, and also one application per year for your organisation’s operational or running costs.

Make sure you ask us for the sum you actually need, as you won’t be able to make another application for the same project. We encourage you to plan for the long term if you can – your application can cover your project delivery or running costs for up to three years. Please note that you cannot make another multi-year application to Barnwood Trust in this period. In summary, you can make only two applications in any given year, one for a project and one for operational costs.

We are a community group but we aren’t formally ‘constituted’ (as a charity, community interest company or social enterprise, etc) – can we still apply?

Yes – as an informal community group you can apply to us for up to £5,000, provided you have a safeguarding policy. If you don’t have a bank account, you can arrange for another organisation to receive the funding and manage it on your behalf.

We’d like to apply for more than £5,000 but we’re a new organisation and we don’t yet have any audited accounts – is this a problem?

You can still apply but organisations or groups that have been formally constituted for less than 1 year can apply for a maximum of £10k. We’ll ask to see evidence of your organisation’s status, such as a copy of your Constitution or Articles of Association, and you’ll also need to have a safeguarding policy. We’ll ask you to share your accounts with us as soon as they are available.

What financial information will we need to provide?

We check your accounts because we need to be sure that your organisation is financially sustainable and that your income is sufficient to cover your costs year on year.

We’ll also ask about the level of free reserves you hold – we don’t normally fund organisations who have free reserves greater than one year’s expenditure, unless their policy is to hold larger reserves.

When we check your accounts, we’ll consider any sums identified as ‘unrestricted’ or ‘general’ reserves as free reserves, less any figure identified as fixed assets.

We also expect you to have sufficient reserves to cover your ongoing legal commitments (such as redundancy costs or existing contracts).

You carry out a ‘due diligence’ check as part of the application process – what does this involve?

Our due diligence checks help to ensure that the grants we award represent a good investment of Barnwood Trust’s resources. The list below sets out what we check, and why:

  • Organisation’s registered address – This is to check that your organisation is based in Gloucestershire, or that the work will support our beneficiaries – disabled people and people with mental health challenges – within  Gloucestershire.
  • Legal objects – We check that the work you want us to fund is in line with your organisation’s legal aims, and also with those of Barnwood Trust.
  • Compliance/track record – If you’re a charity, we check your entry on the Charity Commission’s website to see if you have submitted your accounts in good time over the last few years. This can be a good indicator of a financially well-managed organisation. If you’re a Community Interest Company, then we check your information on the Companies House website.
  • Accounts and reserves – We check that your organisation appears to be financially sustainable and able to cover your costs year on year: but we also check the level of your free reserves, to make sure that you actually need funding from Barnwood Trust.
  • Project costs – We check that you have provided a breakdown of your project costs and that these appear to be reasonable.
  • Safeguarding policy – All applicants have to have a policy in place for ensuring the safety of children and vulnerable adults. We check your policy covers the following areas: recruitment and training; information sharing; and how allegations against staff are handled. We also check that the policy includes a reference to Gloucestershire County Council’s Adult Safeguarding Board and Children’s Safeguarding Board: and that the policy has been reviewed within the last two years.
  • Working relationships with community organisations – If your application refers to working relationships with organisations which are representative of people from under-represented and/or marginalised communities, we make sure that those working relationships are genuine.
  • Other funding awarded by Barnwood Trust – If your organisation has received a grant from Barnwood Trust in the last two years, we make a note of it, but this doesn’t mean your application won’t be considered.

Can we get help with our application?

Yes, we’ll be happy to advise you to help make a stronger application. Before you actually submit the application, the best person to talk to is your Strategic Development Manager. They may be able to help you with your application, but remember that they have to give the same level of help to all applicants.

Once you’ve submitted your application, you won’t be able to change the details or to add more information. If you have any questions about the application process, or you want to talk to us after making your application, contact the Funding Team at

More information can be found here:

Organisational and group funding

Barnwood Trust provides funding to support work that helps to make Gloucestershire the best possible place for disabled people and people with mental health conditions.

Read more organisational and group funding