Chances for Children: Grant Criteria

Individually tailored grants of up to £2,400 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.

Watch this two minute video to find out more about our grants.

Please note, our Chances for Children grants are currently up to £2,400.


What are Chances for Children grants?

Individually tailored grants of up to £2,400 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 wellbeing and increase their capacity to engage in education and learning.

Download our quick guide here.

Who can make an application to Buttle UK?

We only accept applications from frontline professionals working for a registered charity, housing association or public sector organisation who: 

  • are working directly with the children/young person 
  • have made a full assessment of the child’s or young person’s needs
  • have carried out at least one home visit (optional for schools and colleges)

If successful, the professional will need to manage the funds, upload receipts within 8 weeks of receiving the grant, and complete an evaluation survey. 

Download our model for a successful grant application here.

Who does Buttle UK help? 

Children and young people must meet the following criteria:

  • Aged from 2 to 18 (including 18 year olds) if living with parent or carer OR aged 20 and under if living independently with little or no support from their family.
  • Accessing early, primary, secondary or post 16 education/training for a minimum of 12 hours per week
  • Living on a low income and experiencing financial hardship
  • Have experienced a crisis that has recently had a significant and enduring impact on:
    • their wellbeing
    • their development and education
  • 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.

Use our short eligibility guide to find out if you and the family you support are eligible for a Chances for Children grant.

What does Buttle UK 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, wi-fi, educational toys, tuition, etc.
  • Clothing and school uniforms
  • Social, sporting and leisure activities 
  • Family activities  
  • Items for children’s or young people’s bedrooms 
  • Household items that are not available from other sources and which directly address the children’s needs

For children who are unable to stay in their family home, we also fund boarding school places. Please click here for more information on Support For Boarding.

Who are Buttle UK unable to help?

  • Children and young people where poverty is the main issue
  • Where family separation or ongoing contact arrangements are the main issue.
  • Where poor housing or homelessness is the main issue
  • Looked after children
  • 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, ongoing serious illness or the additional needs of a child. Please see other funders such as Family Fund Disability Grants
  • Where the parent or carer’s long term health is or has been the main issue

We do not fund: 

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

Applications must:

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

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. 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 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

If making an application for a family with several children, including children under two, we will fund items and support to benefit all children, including babies and toddlers.  We will not fund an application when it is just a parent/carer and a child/children under two because, whilst limited, there is support via health visitors, Family Hubs and Sure Start Centres. There are also dedicated charities for very young children such as Baby Banks

Applications can be submitted for children aged 2 to 18 (including 18 year olds) if living with parent or carer OR aged 20 and under if living independently with little or no support from their family


Accessing early, primary, secondary or post 16 education/training for a minimum of 12 hours per week

For young people aged 20 and under, we require evidence that they are enrolled and attending education or training as part of the application.

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

Please also read We do not fund

Holistic simply means that everything is connected. In our grant-making, this means that Buttle UK aims to support children and young people with a flexible range of support to address their wellbeing and educational needs. The strongest applications show a clear link between the grant item requested and the impact it will have to address the crisis the child has been through. We will not fund applications where only one item is needed; where the focus is on the parent’s needs; or it is solely items for the home.

The children and young people we support face significant and multiple issues and 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, or where technology or language may be a barrier to applying.

Our grants have the most impact when they help a family or young person move on. Every family and crisis is different. We are looking to see if the situation has stabilised 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.

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. In 2022, the average family income for families that we supported was £17,400 per annum or less.  We will always look at each case in detail to understand the circumstances. 

You can download the Chances for Children application form questions to help you draft your application. You cannot use this document to submit an application.

Use our family finance information proforma to help you collect the information you need on the family’s four-weekly income, debts and savings.

Our funding cannot stretch to support families where the main issue is caused by long-term health conditions and we advise that you search for funding to support specific conditions. We can sometimes consider applications that meet criteria where parental health has recently taken a significant downturn, or there is a terminal diagnosis.

Talk to Us

If you still have questions or are unsure whether you are eligible for a grant, please call us on 020 7828 7311 and one of our Grants Development Officers will be happy to help. A five-minute phone call could save you a lot of time.