St John’s Foundation Fund

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With child poverty in the UK already at record levels pre the pandemic, the onslaught of Covid has only heightened this issue. Lockdown has also illustrated the inequality of opportunity for children from different backgrounds and so our vision ‘to build a community where every child from birth to 12 years old is supported to grow into a healthy, happy and educated member of our community’ has never been more prescient. ​

Our ambition is to use the Foundation Fund to significantly reduce the educational attainment gap (Key Stage 2) in BaNES by 2029. This gap is the single most striking measure of inequality, placing BaNES in the bottom decile in the UK.  The causes of this gap are broad and relate as much to the social and emotional development of children from pre-birth as they do to formal schooling.

Furthermore, narrowing the inequality gap will help prevent the broad range of complex social issues experienced by children from different backgrounds. Reducing inequality is about more than just improving education. We will focus our support on physical, behavioral and emotional needs to enable children to be ready to learn. ​

This new direction will see us hone our expertise in the provision of funding and become the initiators of major social change. St John’s want to be an integral part of bringing about transformation in BaNES, acting as a focal point for diverse organisations to collaborate and support childhood development.

As a result of this change in direction, a number of charities which have previously been eligible for funding will no longer meet our criteria.

We look forward to sharing further information regarding the implementation of our strategy as it evolves. In the meantime, if you have any specific queries, please do not hesitate to contact the team.


We would like to emphasise that the Crisis Fund remains open to individuals and families of all ages.

St John’s Crisis Fund provides funding support to individuals and families in Bath & North East Somerset who are struggling financially.

As Covid-19 increased its grip on the country, both in terms of health and financial impacts, here at St John’s we responded by amending our Crisis Fund criteria to make it easier for our referrers to support a wider-range of beneficiaries.

Since March 2020, as a direct result of the Covid-19 outbreak, we have pledged to:

  • Disregard any support St John’s has previously awarded as part of our assessment process, meaning a full allocation of funding can be awarded even if support has previously been given in the last three years
  • Ensure that any funding awarded now does not impact on an individual or family’s ability to secure a full allocation of support from St John’s in the future, meaning applications linked directly to Covid-19 will be treated as ‘one-offs’
  • Be flexible around our usual definition of ‘low income’ (which we usually take to be a monthly disposable household income of £215) and the documentation we require as supporting evidence
  • Be open to funding a wide range of goods and services which may be requested

See the impact on our testimonials page.

In the Organisation Funding department…

St John’s has teamed up with Quartet Community Foundation to deliver vital financial support to FareShare South West. At the start of the Covid-19 crisis, the charity was seeking urgent funding for their Covid-19 Emergency Food Operation. By working together, St John’s and Quartet have given the charity a much needed £40,000 boost. The funds will enable FareShare to continue to support all of the BaNES groups it currently does including schools, nurseries and children’s centres, homeless shelters and the elderly, whilst maintaining the flow of surplus food into the local authority.

“St John’s has been funding FareShare since the beginning of 2019. We recognise the huge value of its work in making sure food is accessible and affordable for charities and individuals living in BaNES. At this time, many more people are struggling to access and afford food, and supporting FareShare is an excellent way of using our resources to effectively help people during this difficult time”

– Sam Gillett, Head of Funding at St John’s

We have also awarded £4,800 to enable 3SG to increase their website’s capacity for volunteer sign-ups and support them in the development of the Compassionate Community Hub (read more about the hub further down). This has enabled them to begin the process of providing vital volunteer support to charities and communities.

To find out more about our Funding Support Programmes, please click here.

Please note, with Covid-19 lockdown restrictions easing, we have decided to resume the normal Individual Funding criteria and cease to offer the above flexibility as of Monday 10 August 2020.