Grants to Individuals

Each year we give a small number of grants to individuals who live in Bedford Borough. These are all made under our education object.

Direct Application Programme

This programme aims to significantly improve the financial circumstances or quality of life for low income adults by helping them to access education, leading to a return to work or career change.

Who can apply?

Applicants must be adults who:

  1. Are on a low income
  2. Are returning to work or planning a career change
  3. Left formal education at least five years ago
  4. Are permanent residents of Bedford Borough

If you have recently moved to the Borough to study  you will not be eligible for this funding.

Before you apply for this grant you must check whether you are eligible for any statutory funding such as loans, grants or bursaries. See our help and advice section.

What we don’t fund

We don’t give grants for PGCE courses or recreational courses, including academic courses taken for recreational purposes only. We only fund people who are part way through a course in exceptional  circumstances.

What we look for from applicants

Shortlisted applicants are all interviewed by our Grants to Individuals Panel. In the interview we will discuss a number of issues with you, including:

  • Your motivation for taking the course
  • The skills and experience it will provide
  • Prospects for future employment
  • Your future plans
  • How the course provider and qualification is viewed by the profession/industry you want to work in

We also take into consideration how your chosen course of study will help you develop skills and experience that can be used to meet local needs that fall within our charitable objects .

When to apply

You must contact us by the end of May if you are applying for funding for the academic year  beginning September/October.  We cannot process grants to individuals applications quickly and  we do not provide emergency funding.

Please call the grants team on 01234 369500 for an informal discussion before you apply.

Our Grants to Individuals Panel then meets during the summer to consider applications. If the panel is interested in your application they will invite you to an interview. You will normally find out if you have been successful by the end of July at the latest.

Please contact the grants team on 01234 369500 for guidance on funding for courses starting at other times of year.

Partnership Programmes

Our Grants to Individuals programme operates a number of schemes in partnership  with local organisations. These schemes may change over time but currently consist of:

  • University Bursary Scheme. For low income students at participating state schools and Bedford College. Please contact your head of sixth form for more information.
  • Bedford College Scheme. For low income students at Bedford College.
  • School Uniform Scheme. For students on Free School Meals changing from middle or primary school to upper/secondary school.

Please do not apply to the Trust for information about or support from any of these schemes.  Our partners manage these schemes directly within their own organisations.