Buttle UK’s COVID-19 response

30th June 2020

Updated: 30/06/20

During the current health crisis Buttle UK is still fully operational, and committed to maintaining the distribution of our Chances for Children grants as closely to normal as possible.  

Our Chances for Children grants are, as always, targeted at improving the social and emotional wellbeing of children and young people and their capacity to engage in education and learning. However, they will be tailored to meet current and changing needs as the immediate, and longer-term, impact of the crisis becomes clear.

Please remember, we no longer run the Emergency Essentials Fund. If you are looking for a single item please apply here: https://www.familyfundservices.co.uk/emergency-essentials/

Buttle UK Chances for Children Grants

We award grants of up to £2,000 to support vulnerable children and young people living in poverty and experiencing a crisis, to engage with education and learning and improve their social and emotional development.

Since April 2020, applications to us have more than doubled. We have increased our grants budget but we may not be able to fund every application that meets our eligibility criteria.

All applications must come via a support worker, who has registered on our site. We do not accept applications to Chances for Children from families. 

Who do we help

We prioritise applications for the following:

  • Children and young people impacted by domestic abuse 
  • Estranged young people (aged 16-20) needing support to engage in education or training
  • Children cared for informally by grandparents, relatives or friends
  • Children and young people who have experienced seriously adverse family circumstances

Unfortunately we are unable to help:

  • Families who continue to be at risk of abuse (i.e. still living with perpetrator of domestic abuse)
  • Where the child or young person lives or normally resides outside the UK
  • Where poverty is the only factor
  • Where the main reason is disability or the severe illness of a child (for support please refer to Family Fund Disability Grants)

Where can I find more about eligibility for support?

Please see the ‘Need Support?’ pages of our website.

For information on other organisations that can provide you support, click here.

Information for support workers applying for a grant

Due to restrictions placed by COVID-19, Buttle UK will only provide funding for activities and family days out, etc. that are safely available and accessible to families.  As they begin to open and be offered again, please do include requests for activities in applications.

Our support will focus on:

  • Funding safe and accessible social, arts and sports activities that will support children and young people to increase their social and emotional wellbeing
  • Maintaining educational activity and stimulus within the home environment
  • Establishing internet access and electronic communications  
  • Household essentials

The examples of potential items below are illustrative only. Please discuss with your Grant Development Officer other items and costs you know children and young people may need. We will be as flexible as we can.  

1. Children and young people have access to

  • Essential clothing and footwear
  • Educational toys and books for home activity and learning e.g. stationery, board games, arts and crafts materials, and if there is capacity, garden play equipment

2. Household essentials – WE WILL NOT FUND SINGLE ITEMS

  • White goods
  • Kitchen essentials (crockery, cutlery, pots, pans etc)
  • Beds and bedding
  • Storage furniture
  • Essential furniture items (table and chairs, desks/chairs etc)
  • Household safety equipment (stair gates, socket covers etc)

3. Staying connected and engaged in learning

  • IT equipment – laptops and electronic tablets
  • Accessories - printers, headphones, data storage
  • WiFi access
  • Access to online learning and revision platforms and online tutoring


Are Buttle UK still offering grants?

Yes, definitely. We can only receive applications from a support worker. . Be aware that we won’t fund things that cannot be accessed, e.g. sports club activities and after school clubs. More information is available above.

How will you issue grants?

Where a support worker is still working with a young person or family and can access and supervise the grant, we will send the grant to your organisation via a prepaid card or a bank transfer.

We can also order some items, such as beds or white goods directly from a supplier.

What are you doing to keep things running normally?

All staff are safely set up to work from home with phone and internet access, so there will be little change to our usual processes. Our main phone line is open between 9am-5pm Monday to Friday. The website and application portal is open 24/7.

Can we apply for a grant as an organisation?

We provide grants to individuals that meet our criteria. We do not provide funding for organisations. If you are a frontline organisation seeking support to provide COVID19 relief and support services, please do look at Lottery bodies or contact your local Community Foundation to ask about National Emergencies Trust funding.

Can I apply for just one item, like a washing machine?

We do not fund single items. We aim to provide tailored grants that address the social and emotional wellbeing of children and young people as much as the needs in the home. Please contact Family Fund for their Emergency Essentials Programme, or Glasspool.

Are you still accepting Support for Boarding cases, or can I talk to you about an existing application?

Yes, to discuss boarding cases please contact Andrew Walters on 0207 798 6236 or by email andreww@buttleuk.org

Are you able to fund debt, bills or living expenses during this time?

Unfortunately we cannot help with bills, debt or general living expenses. We advise that you contact Turn2Us, the Vicar’s Relief Fund or speak to a debt advice service such as Stepchange.

Can I apply for more than one family/young person I’m supporting?

Yes, but please make a separate grant application for each family via our online application portal. If you are in any doubt about the application then please contact us and we’ll put you in touch with the Grant Development Officer for your area.

As a parent who is unable to reach their support worker, am I able to apply for a grant?

I am afraid not. All applications must come via a support worker – please do try to contact them by phone.

I have a pre-existing grant that the family can’t use now, can I use this for something else?

Please contact the Grant Development Officer who awarded the grant to discuss any changes to what the family will use the grant for. We will be as flexible and reasonable as possible in agreeing changes.

For information and advice please contact the Grants Development Officer in your area:

Gari Sparling
Grants Development Officer

Covering London, East of England and East Midlands
Email garis@buttleuk.org
020 7798 6237

Keeley Mudd
Grants Development Officer

Covering London and South East England
Email keeleym@buttleuk.org
Tel 020 3262 0535


Beth McIvor
Grants Development Officer

Covering Northern Ireland and West Midlands
Email bethm@buttleuk.org
Tel 028 8774 6778

John Hamilton
Grants Development Officer

Covering Scotland, North East England and Yorkshire and the Humber
Email johnh@buttleuk.org
Tel 0141 778 2839


Ffion Haf
Grants Development Officer

Covering Wales, North West England and South West England
Email ffionh@buttleuk.org
Tel 01443 408 209

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