Changes to awards policies
We recently made major changes to our awards policies. The charity will now make grants to selected charities only, though as previously within its field in Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Kent, Surrey and Sussex. A list of the charities we currently support appears below. We have also revised our application form, procedure and timetable.
Funds available for the next 2 years (to June 2019) have already been allocated; except for charities notified as selected for support over that period, no further bids will be accepted.
The trustees’ policy is to make grants for equipment and projects, including training courses, to selected registered charities supporting children and young people with special needs in Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Kent, Surrey and Sussex. We particularly support charitable schools, but also other charities.
The charities we currently support are:
- Autism Sussex – enabling those with an autistic spectrum condition to receive the help and specialist support they and their families need
- Chailey Heritage, East Sussex – providing education, care and transition services to children and young people with complex physical disabilities and health needs
- Chestnut Tree House, Arundel, West Sussex – children’s hospice, providing specialist care and support to children and young people with life-shortening conditions, and their families
- The Children’s Trust, Tadworth, Surrey – providing rehabilitation, education, therapy and care to support children and families in recovering from serious illness or accident, particularly affecting the brain
- Helen Arkell Dyslexia Centre, Farnham, Surrey – identifying and assessing dyslexia, delivering specialist tuition and facilitating expertise
- Lewes New School, East Sussex – a small, human-centred independent nursery and primary school offering education led by curiosity and imagination, aiming to meet the individual needs of each child
- Little Gate Farm, near Rye, East Sussex – helping adults and children with learning difficulties to develop skills, confidence and independence
- Muntham House School, near Horsham, West Sussex – providing a safe, happy and caring environment for children with a range of special needs including Asperger’s, attention deficit disorder, autism and eating disorders
- Step by Step School, Sharpethorne, East Sussex – educating autistic children with severe social and communication difficulties and moderate to severe learning difficulties
- St John’s School and College, Brighton and Seaford – educating children and young people with a range of special needs including Asperger’s syndrome, autism, Downs syndrome and severe communication difficulties
The above list will be kept under review, and organisations being considered for support notified. Uninvited funding bids from other organisations will not be accepted.
In addition to limiting funding to, currently, the charities listed above, as part of its standing policies the trust will not support:
- state- or county-funded schools, academies or other publicly-funded institutions or bodies
- parents’ or friends’ associations, fund-raising intermediaries, grant-making trusts or similar
- organisations which are not UK-registered charities
- individual children or their parents
- projects which are not of direct, bona-fide educational benefit to children or young people with special needs in the counties listed above
Usually we prefer to cover the cost of specific items or small projects rather than make round sum contributions to wider costs. The trustees aim to award initial grants of £3,000, developing a working relationship with each charity and monitoring progress with a view to similar grants in the following 2 years in order to assist with financial stability. A previous focus on dyslexia and certain other conditions is no longer in place.
Examples of recent grants appear on the Achievements page.
Instructions for applicants (subject to change):
1. Charities selected for support will be allocated a Downlands trustee for liaison and oversight purposes. This trustee will be our lead contact with the charity, and will be available to advise it on suitable projects and on timing and formulating bids.
2. Funding bids should be made on the then current application form, which will be made available in due course to charities selected for support.
3. In the interests of brevity and economy, please use the form as it stands and do not re-type, modify or expand it. Limit content to the space and pages made available.
4. The trustees will consider limited other papers only, if they support specific information cross-referred in the application form, such as price quotes for equipment. Do not submit other material, such as annual reports/accounts/reviews, OFSTED reports, appeal letters or general publicity information; they will not be considered.
5. Applications should be submitted both in hard copy and by email. Submit eight hard copies of the application and any supporting documents, preferably double-sided, plus one by email.
6. Applications should be received at the addresses on the Contact page by 10 January, May or September, as notified by the allocated trustee, for consideration at the following month’s trustees’ meeting. Our present intention is for the next awards round to be in June 2018.
7. Eligible applications will be acknowledged, successful applications being announced on this website and notified to applicants shortly after the trustees’ decision. Unsuccessful eligible applicants will be notified in due course. We will wish to visit a charity during our period of support.
8. The trustees intend the application form and these guidance notes to assist applicants give all and only the information required to consider awards, and welcome comments on the form and notes in use.
After an award
The trustees will approve awards one year at a time. Subsequent years’ awards will be conditional on satisfactory progress with the project, supported by periodic follow-up reports and visit/s by our trustee/s, and availability of funds. Depending on the project, funds may be made available either immediately after the award or on production of supplier/provider invoice/s and awardee confirmation that the equipment or services being funded have been received to a satisfactory standard.
Grants are agreed for the specific equipment or project applied for; if for any reason these do not go ahead, the beneficiary organisation is expected to advise us so that the award can be reconsidered.
We will wish to use reports and feedback from the beneficiary organisation and its related publicity material for our own Annual report, website and/or newsletter, and will expect reasonable co-operation in this regard.