Home > Grants and Trusts > Lawrence Atwell’s Charity
 

Lawrence Atwell’s Charity

Registered charity number: 210773

We provide grants to young people to assist them with vocational training and education.

Our grants help young people aged between 16 and 26 to learn new skills and make their way into employment. We cannot help if you are still in secondary education, studying for GCSEs or A Levels, undertaking a course at a private dance/drama college, an undergraduate or postgraduate degree, or studying any other course that is not vocational.

In all cases, the course to be taken should be an essential step towards a vocational qualification or towards employment. The course also needs to be accredited or recognised by a regulatory or independent professional body.

If you can answer yes to all the following questions you may be eligible to apply

  • Are you aged 16-26?
  • Are you a British citizen, asylum seeker or refugee, or have you lived in the UK for 3 years before the start of your course?
  • Is your parents’ income less than £26,000 per year, and has been so for some time?
  • Are you undertaking training that is vocational or a 'First Step' as defined below?

Vocational training

  • Accredited training courses like a BTEC, City & Guilds, NVQ - Level 3 or below
  • Qualifications to work on the railways, drive trucks, security services, work at heights or offshore
  • Art Foundation Courses and Access Courses

Companies that employ young people know these kinds of qualifications will get you ready to join the world of work. Find out about courses that match careers you are interested in at the National Careers Service website.

‘First Step’ courses

  • Courses that enable you to study and get your education on the right path to improve your job prospects and help you to take control of your future
  • Example courses - NVQ Level 1, BTEC First Diplomas/Certificates, and other entry level, access, and foundation courses

How can we help?

We may be able to help with any costs directly related to your course including but not limited to:

  • Course fees, equipment and materials
  • Travel costs
  • Childcare
  • Computer equipment
  • Living costs

How to apply? Complete our Online Eligibility Quiz

If you are interested in applying please register and complete our online eligibility quiz. Once you have completed the quiz you will be directed to our online application form if you are eligible to apply to us.

Please note that we can only accept requests for assistance through our online application form.

Please click here to log in and return to an existing application.

Difficulties applying?

If you are having difficulties accessing our online application, please contact us on 020 7213 0561 or email atwell@skinners.org.uk.

Please ensure you have read our full eligibility criteria, completed the eligibility quiz and read our FAQs before making any general enquiries.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I get an application form?

What size of grants to you make?

What does the application process involve?

How long does it take you to make a decision?

Can you help with a course at a private dance and drama college?

Can you help with a Foundation course?

Can you help with an undergraduate degree?

Can you help with a Masters or postgraduate degree?

Why is family income important to eligibility?

Do you interview people?

Who are suitable people to nominate as my personal referee?

Do you make loans?

Can I apply to more than one charity?

How do you make decisions?

Do you have a deadline?

How long does the application process take?

Can I post you the application form?

Where can I find details of other sources of funds?

Who was Lawrence Atwell?


How can I get an application form?

To access our application form you must first register and complete our online eligibility quiz. We can only accept applications completed online.

What size of grants do you make?

Our grants can range from £100 to £1,500 - successful applicants may receive a one-off award or a series of payments across the duration of a course of study.

What does the application process involve?

When completing the application form we will ask for proof of your parents’ income (if applicable) and also details of two referees we can contact. One will be a personal referee and one will be a tutor or employer referee.

Once your application form is completed online you will receive notification that it has been submitted. We have a very small team and so in busy periods it can take us a couple of weeks to look at your application. At this stage, we will let you know that we will be contacting your referees and request any further information we need.

How long does it take you to make a decision?

We recommend that applicants apply at least eight weeks before they begin a course to ensure they receive a response before the course starts. However, the length of time before a decision also depends on the amount of support requested, how quickly your referees respond to our reference requests and whether you have provided all the information (including supporting documents) when submitting your application form.

Please note that if you apply very close to your course start date we cannot guarantee a decision before this date. This is because we have a very small team and cannot give preference to application submitted in these circumstances.

Can you help with a course at a private dance and drama college?

We are unable to consider applications for young people attending a private dance and drama college.

Can you help with a Foundation course?

We can only assist with a Diploma in Foundation Studies in Art & Design as this is classed as a Level 3 course. We cannot assist with Foundation degrees as these are normally above a Level 3 in the qualifications framework.

Can you help with an undergraduate degrees?

Unfortunately, we cannot help students undertaking undergraduate degrees

Can you help with a Masters or other postgraduate studies?

Unfortunately, we cannot help students undertaking postgraduate studies.

Why is family income important to eligibility?

Young people who grow up in low income homes and those who are care leavers face major barriers in their lives and life chances, especially when it comes to finding and paying for the kind of training and work opportunities they want. This is why we focus our grants on these young people.

Applicants must come from families where the gross annual household income is under £26,000 and has been so for some years. We cannot accept requests from anyone who does not come from this kind of financial background. It also means that we are unable to help in instances where a family living in relative affluence has fallen temporarily on hard times.

We ask all applicants about their family's financial circumstances, no matter how old they are, or if they now live independently. The only exceptions are where family relationships have broken down and/or if applicants are parted from their family, through seeking asylum for example. We will confirm this when approaching applicants' referees in confidence.

Do you interview people?

No. We wish we could meet all applicants face-to-face to learn more about their particular needs, but this is not possible. Instead we rely on referees to tell us more about each applicant’s unique circumstances. As part of our application process, we ask applicants to provide us with contact details for two referees.

  • One referee is usually a recent teacher, tutor or employer – someone who is well placed to talk about the applicant’s potential to complete their chosen training course and find the job they want.
  • The second reference is more personal, because we ask for information about the applicant’s personal/home circumstances. This is especially important where young people have become estranged or parted from their families.

We prefer applicants not to forward pre-prepared reference letters to us. This is because we ask specific questions and need to be sure that each reference is up-to-date. We do not disclose information about any applicant’s background or personal finances to anyone outside the Charity. However, we need to tell referees who we are and what we do, so that they fully understand why they are being asked to support individual grant applications.

Who are suitable people to nominate as my personal referee?

  • Support worker or social worker
  • Church leader, mentor, coach, adviser, family friend
  • Health worker or counsellor
  • Previous employer
  • Prison officer or probation officer

Please note that family member cannot be used as personal referees.

Do you make loans?

No.

Can I apply to more than one charity?

Yes. We encourage applicants to research and apply to as many charities as they can. Many charities like ours work together to help someone to realise their ambitions. We all rely on beneficiaries keeping us up to date about their successes in obtaining funds from other sources. Applying to other charities will not jeopardise your chances of receiving an award, so long as you still have costs to cover.

How do you make decisions?

Decisions on grants are made by a Committee members which hold meetings every one to two months. Once the Committee has made its decision on an application, we will inform the applicant of the outcome of their request within 3-5 working days of the meeting.

Do you have a deadline?

No. Applications are considered on a first-come, first-served basis. Our funds are limited, and applicants are therefore strongly encouraged to submit their application as soon as possible.

How long does the application process take?

From a few weeks to two to three months. This often depends on how long it takes to get responses from referees.

Can I post you the application form?

No. Our process is online, but it is possible to print out the questions to enable discussion between you and your adviser before the form is completed online.

Where can I find details of other sources of funds?

More information about other sources of funding can be found through the Useful Contacts page.

Who was Lawrence Atwell?

Lawrence Atwell founded his charity in 1588 "to set poor people on work". Little is known about his early life, but his family had been living and working in the Exeter area for at least 200 years. In 1564 he made his way to London where, as an adventurous merchant trader, it seems he lost and made several fortunes in his "losses and crosses by land and sea". Perhaps it was his own periodic experiences of poverty and having to battle to make his way in the world again that led to the creation of his charity. Atwell became a member of the Skinners’ Company, one of the ‘Great Twelve’ livery companies of the City of London. Today, the Skinners’ Company acts as his charity’s trustee.