Scholarship grants for displaced people, & other funding news

Melanie May | 13 May 2022 | News

pound coins rest on ten and twenty pound notes

As the OU opens a scholarship programme to support people displaced by conflict or crisis, here’s news of this and other recent funding announcements – available, and awarded.

The OU opens fund to provide scholarships to displaced people

A new fund has been launched by The Open University (OU) to support people displaced by conflict or crisis.


The Open Futures Sanctuary Scholarships programme is designed to help refugees, forced migrants and people seeking asylum; those fleeing armed conflict, violence, or persecution in their home nation, including those currently affected by the war in Ukraine.

The £240,000 per year fund offers 12 scholarships each year for the next three years, awarding a full fee waiver amounting to £20,000 per student. A further 50 fully funded places will be offered on OU Access Modules starting in Autumn 2022 with the aim of providing qualifying applicants with the skills and confidence to progress into Higher Education.

The scholarships fund will provide a study starter pack and access to careers and employability services including bespoke guidance, online tools, events, and links to employers.

The Open Futures Sanctuary Scholarships Programme is part of a series of student support awards, worth more than £2.6 million, available to apply for through The Open University.

New Which? Fund hands grants to projects looking at everyday consumer challenges

Projects that look at the disadvantages faced by diverse consumer groups are set to receive a funding boost as the Consumers’ Association unveils the recipients of its newly launched Which? Fund.

Grants of tens of thousands of pounds will be awarded toorganisations that aim to identify the root cause of everyday challenges faced by diverse and disadvantaged groups when accessing services such as insurance or pensions.

The new Which? Fund has been set up to support work that will uncover consumer harm in some of the UK’s most disadvantaged communities. It also supports the consumer champion’s commitment to be the voice of all UK consumers. 

The successful projects include:

The projects, which will progress over the next year, will help offer insight not previously explored in disadvantaged communities to enable evidence-based solutions and facilitate positive change.

Grants available for green projects through Octopus Renewables Infrastructure Trust

The Octopus Renewables Infrastructure Trust has launched a second round of funding for UK charities and community groups. It has £53,949 to distribute to innovative projects that support environmental challenges, green skills, jobs and training and fuel poverty initiatives. 

The Octopus Renewables Infrastructure Trust (ORIT) invests in the transition to net zero and is looking to provide grants and volunteering support.

It is particularly interested in supporting initiatives that promote a “just transition”, ensuring the benefits of the green economy transition are shared more widely and help those who stand to lose economically.

For its second round of funding, the Trust is providing a further £50,000, with £3,949 rolled from round 1. It is accepting applications for grants up to a maximum of £10,000. Applications can be made via BizGive and decisions  are made on an ongoing basis.

Oleksandr Usyk

Ukrainian Olympic champion & world heavyweight boxing champion launches foundation

The Usyk Foundation will help Ukrainians affected by the Russian invasion by providing for their basic needs.

Ukrainian Olympic champion and world heavyweight boxing champion Oleksandr Usyk and his team have created the foundation to mobilise financial support from the international community. The BGV Charity Fund, a partner of Oleksandr Usyk’s foundation, will help with the implementation of some projects in Ukraine.

The fund will see humanitarian aid delivered to local governments, medical institutions, or humanitarian headquarters around Ukraine.

Conversation Stamford CIC have previously been funded through HCCT. It provides external Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) workshops to young people in a range of settings

Cambridgeshire Community Foundation set to receive £4.6m donation

Cambridgeshire Community Foundation is set to receive the largest donation in its history from the Harry Cureton Charitable Trust (HCCT).

Through the Revitalising Trusts Programme, co-ordinated jointly by UK Community Foundations and the Charity Commission, HCCT will transfer endowed assets of £4.6million to Cambridgeshire Community Foundation to create the Harry Cureton Charitable Fund. The fund will make grants to individuals facing serious challenges resulting from a health condition and to organisations which support them. This is the largest transfer of funds to date using the simple transfer process provided through the Revitalising Trusts Programme since it was established in 2018.

This transfer of funds follows an eight-year partnership which has seen Cambridgeshire Community Foundation support HCCT with its grant making to individuals with challenging health conditions. The trustees decided that transferring to their local community foundation was the best way to protect the legacy of their trust, and to ensure its future development. The new fund aims to increase grant giving by around £200,000 per annum.

This is the largest transfer of funds to date through the Revitalising Trusts Programme, since it was established in 2018. The programme is co-ordinated jointly by UK Community Foundations and the Charity Commission which facilitated a simple transfer process through the programme.

The Royal Academy of Music receives biggest single gift in 200-year history

The Royal Academy of Music recently announced the Gatsby Chair of Musical Theatre, made possible by a £6m donation from the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, given to fund the role of Head of Musical Theatre in perpetuity. This is the biggest single gift in the Academy’s 200-year history, and the first fully-endowed chair at any UK conservatoire.

Professor Daniel Bowling, the Academy’s Head of Musical Theatre and first incumbent of the Gatsby Chair, will continue his tenure, leading the postgraduate course and company.

In addition to the Gatsby Chair two further major gifts, both from donors who wish to remain anonymous, will fund the Dame Myra Hess Chair of Piano and the William Lawes Chair of Chamber Music. The three new endowed chairs kick-start the launch of the Academy’s Bicentenary Campaign, which aims to raise £60m.

The Bicentenary Campaign will raise funds to invest in state-of-the-art facilities, attracting and retaining the best teachers and collaborators and finding and funding outstanding young musicians.