Chances for Children: Grant Criteria

Chances for Children grants are individually tailored grants of up to £2,000 for children and young people who have experienced a crisis that has recently had a significant and enduring impact on their social and emotional wellbeing and educational engagement.

About Chances for Children Grants

Watch this short video to learn more about Chances for Children grants.

What are Chances for Children grants?

Individually tailored grants of up to £2,000 for children and young people who have experienced a crisis that has recently had a significant and enduring impact on their wellbeing and educational engagement.

We fund items and activities to help improve children and young people’s social and emotional wellbeing and increased capacity to engage in education and learning. 

We only accept applications from frontline professionals (from a registered charity, housing association or public sector organisation):

    • Who are working directly with the children/young person
    • Ideally, have carried out at least one home visit
    • And have made a full assessment of the children’s or young person’s needs

If successful, the professional will need to manage the funds, upload receipts and complete an evaluation survey.

Grant Eligibility

Children and young people must meet ALL criteria:

  • Be children or a young person aged 18 and under, if living with parent/carer, OR 20 and under if living independently, with little or no support from their family
  • Be living on a low income and experiencing financial hardship
  • The children and young people have experienced a crisis that has recently had a significant and enduring impact on all three of the following:
    • Their social wellbeing
    • Their emotional wellbeing
    • And their educational engagement
  • The family or young person has recently taken action to improve their situation, are actively engaging with support and are moving on from the crisis.

We are unable to help

  • Children and young people where poverty is the main factor
  • Where family separation is the main factor
  • Looked After Children living in foster or residential care
  • Children and young people who continue to be in crisis and at serious risk
  • Children and young people living or normally residing outside of the UK
  • Where the main reason is disability or ongoing serious illness of a child. Please see other funders such as Family Fund Disability Grants.

What do we fund?

We fund holistic packages of support for children and young people that can include, but are not limited to:

  • Items and activities to support learning and development such as laptops, books, 12 months of broadband, educational toys, tuition, etc.
  • Clothing and school uniforms
  • Social, sporting and leisure activities
  • Family activities
  • Items for children/young people’s bedrooms
  • Other household items that are not available from sources such as Emergency Essentials or Local Authority welfare schemes, etc.
  • For children who are unable to stay in their family home, we also fund boarding school fees. Please click here for more information on Support For Boarding.

We are unable to fund:

  • Items/activities where there is a statutory responsibility to provide the support
  • Single items, e.g. an application asking for only a cooker or one laptop
  • Applications requesting mainly household items – please contact Emergency Essentials
  • Debt repayments
  • Rent and rent arrears. You could approach Vicar’s Relief Fund
  • Legal costs
  • Medical treatment
  • Car insurance or maintenance
  • Funding that would create an unsustainable situation for the family/young person (i.e. long-term counselling support, unaffordable activities or long-term childcare etc.)
  • Organisations seeking funding for chargeable services they provide themselves
  • We have additional advice on limits for funding therapy and counselling here.

Please do search on Turn2Us or look at Other Support for help with funding other support and funding.

Applicants must:

  • Have gained consent for the application from the parent/carer/young person
  • Have completed the application with input from the parent/guardian and children/young person
  • Demonstrate a clear assessment of the emotional and learning needs of the children/young person
  • Demonstrate how the items or activities applied for will address these needs
  • Show how the grant fits with other support being provided to the children/young people

Please note:

  • All applications are reviewed on the information provided and it is important that applications demonstrate clearly the children and young people’s situation in line with the criteria set out below. Incomplete information will delay an assessment.
  • Our support is complementary to statutory funding and not a substitute for it. We always expect that statutory funding has been exhausted first.
  • We have a limited budget from which we can award grants and will sometimes have to turn down grants that meet the criteria. There can be significant variation from year to year in terms of the funding available.

Frequently Asked Questions

Every family is unique and the crises they face are unique to them too. For that reason we don’t predefine the crises that will be eligible for support. We want to help the children and young people who are most impacted by crises and the ensuing trauma, to help them recover and start to rebuild their lives. Historically, this has included families where there has been domestic abuse, estrangement, kinship care or addiction, plus many other very difficult circumstances.  We look for evidence of the impact of the crisis on the children and young people’s emotional wellbeing, on their wellbeing, their social interaction and on their engagement with education. We want to support those who are worst affected, which means some applications, even though the circumstances are very difficult, won’t be supported.

Holistic simply means that everything is connected.  In our grantmaking, this means that Buttle UK aims to support children and young people in the round across a range of needs. The children and young people we support face multiple issues as a result of crisis and major trauma. We want our grants to be used as flexible as possible to improve the young person’s social, emotional and educational development and make a positive difference in the home. This is why we won’t fund applications where only one item is needed or where the focus is on the parent’s needs or just items for the home.

Good social and emotional wellbeing helps children learn to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.

Children’s social and emotional wellbeing is important in its own right but also because it affects their physical health (both as a child and as an adult) and can determine how well they do at school. Good social, emotional and psychological health helps protect children and young people against emotional and behavioural problems, violence and crime, teenage pregnancy and the misuse of drugs and alcohol.

We aim to support children and young people’s confidence and help them build friendships and social networks. This might be by providing them with items that help them fit in and reduce stress, e.g. new clothes and school uniform, or by promoting positive activities that help them flourish and develop with friends, e.g. sporting and art activities.

Further reading:



Because the children and young people we support face significant and multiple issues, we know that they need on the ground practical support from a trained professional. Our grants can add value to that work and help increase its chances of success. Our grants alone will not make the difference needed.

Working with hundreds of UK agencies also ensures that we are most likely to get support speedily to the children and young people that need it most.

Every family and crisis is different. We are looking to see if the situation has stabilized around the family or young person, for example, the family has fled the perpetrator of abuse; a parent suffering addiction is receiving treatment; or an estranged young person is in education. Our grants have the most impact when they help a family or young person move on.

We don’t set a figure for income as too many factors impact it, such as the amount of children in the home or even which part of the UK they live in. As a general guide, in 2021, the average family income for families that we supported was £16,000 per annum or less.  We will always look at each case in detail to understand the circumstances.