St John’s Crisis Fund provides funding support to individuals and families in Bath & North East Somerset who are struggling financially.
The programme provides funding for a wide range of items that meet the most essential needs, such as beds, white goods, furniture, carpets, counselling, debt support and basic employment skills and training.
All applications must be made by a registered professional referrer. Once an application has been received, our aim is to respond within five working days, but we are able to respond within hours if the need is urgent.
The programme is open all year round so referrers can apply for funding at any time.
To be eligible for support from the Crisis Fund, the individual or family must:
- Live within, or be moving permanently to, Bath and North East Somerset;
- Have an overall monthly disposable income of no more than £215. At our discretion, this can be higher if the family is larger or has some other extenuating circumstance;
- Not be residents of St John’s Foundation Almshouses.
Previous financial assistance from St John’s within the last 3 years is checked. Any sum already awarded will be deducted from the individual or family’s allowance.
Items or services St John’s can fund include, but is not limited to:
- White goods
- Household items
- Removal costs
- Home repairs and decorations
- Carpets and flooring
- Utility bills/rent/other arrears
- Bankruptcy fees
- Debt Relief Order fees
- Educational courses leading to employment
- Counselling and mentoring
- Funeral expenses
St John’s will not fund:
- Fines (including Magistrate Court Fines)
- Rent in advance
- Retrospective funding (any item or cost which has been spent prior to approval by the funding team)
- Gap Year projects
- Holidays (although we may consider funding trips for children which enrich learning opportunities)
- Vet bills and any costs relating to pets
- Legal Aid
Please note that we cannot accept repeat applications for the same item.
Applications to St John’s can only be accepted by referral agencies through our online portal.
Referral agencies can include charities, health professionals, local authorities and other third sector organisations. Examples of organisations currently registered as referrers can be found in the ‘Find a referrer’ section below.
We are not able to accept applications directly from individuals seeking support.
Registering as a referrer
To register as a referrer, please click ‘Apply Now’ to access our Funding Portal and click ‘Register’.
After registering, you will be sent a link to set a password which will give you access to the applications system.
Please download our guidelines document for instructions on completing an application.
Employment and work-related support
- DWP, Job Centre: Anyone who is unemployed can access support from the Job Centre to get into employment. This can involve financial support to attend courses, to purchase equipment and to remove any barriers that may be preventing people getting into employment.
- Future Bright is for employed people receiving benefits or tax credits and looking to develop their careers. They offer advice, training and a personal budget to pay for courses and equipment.
- Learner Support is a Government scheme for applicants aged over 19 years who are already on a further education course but not receiving student finance. Provides funding for accommodation and travel, course materials, equipment and childcare.
- Sure Start Maternity grant
- Wheels to Work voucher distributors
- DHP can pay rent arrears, or the shortfall between the amount of rent being paid and the benefits received. Applicants need to be in receipt of Housing Benefit or the Housing Element of Universal Credit to be eligible. Applications need to be sent in by post.
- Welfare Support (01225 477277)
Offices in Manvers Street, Bath, and above the One Stop Shop in Midsomer Norton.
Clothing and School Uniform
- Skip: The School Kit Project (07944 46894) For uniforms, shoes, coats, bags, stationary etc. They will accept referrals from schools, agencies or any other organisation liaising with the family who can confirm their circumstances.
- The Clothes Line (Mercy in Action)
For clothing, shoes and school uniforms. Drop-in centre at The Jubilee Centre on Lower Bristol Road every Monday from 12-3pm.
- Fashion & Textile Children’s Trust– Grants for families where the parent/s work (or have previously worked) within the fashion and textile industry. This is much broader than it sounds – for example it includes supermarkets that sell clothes, carpet shops, laundries. They can fund white goods, clothes, furniture, mobility equipment.
- Dawe Family Trust provides small grants to individuals in need in the UK and around the world.
- Disabled Facilities Grants – For amendments to the home, e.g. widening doors, installing stairlifts, specialised showers, etc.
- Family Action– Family Action’s Welfare Grants programme aims to help prevent an immediate crisis from spiralling and threatening the stability of families and individuals – e.g. white goods. All applications need to be made online via a referrer.
NB: They will not fund council tax, rent or utility bill arrears or any other sort of debt.
- Glasspool provides timely, small, one-off grants to individuals and families in need of financial support for everyday items to help them set up or remain in their home or improve their well-being.
- Healthy Start – An NHS scheme. Free vouchers every week to spend on milk, fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables, infant formula milk and also free vitamins. Applicants need to either be pregnant or have children under the age of four and be on benefits (or be pregnant and under 18). Vouchers can be redeemed in numerous supermarkets.
- St Monica Trust Community Fund – Applicants must be over 40 years of age, have a physical disability or long-term physical health problem, live in B&NES, Bristol or South Gloucestershire and have a low income and limited savings.
- The Bright Side of Life provide funding for ill or disadvantaged children to improve their conditions of life.
- The Family Fund provide help for disabled children.
- Turn2us lists all relevant funding across the country. They also have a couple of funds:
- Turn2us Elizabeth Finn Fund – Grants for people with a professional background who need help in a crisis.
- Turn2us Response Fund – Help for people who have experienced a life-changing event in the last twelve months, such as redundancy, domestic abuse, bereavement etc.
- Variety provide equipment grants for ill or disabled children.
- Vicar’s Relief Fund – the VRF supports vulnerable individuals across the UK by providing crisis grants, usually within 1-3 days. They focus on accessing accommodation, preventing eviction and setting up home.
Organisations registered as Crisis Fund Referral Partners
Action for Children
AWP – Recovery Team
AWP Specialist Drug and Alcohol Service BaNES
B&NES Children’s Social Care
B&NES Children Center
B&NES Connecting Families
B&NES Family Intervention Team
Bath Area Play Project
Bath Rugby Foundation
Bright Start Childrens Centre
Bristol Children’s Hospital
Cameley CEVC Primary School
Carers Support Centre
Developing Health & Independence
DHI My Script
Future Bright BANES
Genesis Furniture Project
Genesis Trust Bath
Keynsham Children’s Centre
Mercy in Action
National Probation Service
Options for Living
Parkside Children’s Centre
Radstock Children’s Centre
Solon South West Housing Association
Southside Family Project
Sovereign Housing Association
Stroud Beresford Group
Three Ways School
WE Care & Repair
Wiltshire Citizens Advice
YMCA Bath Group
Youth Offending Service
Our client was in a very difficult debt situation which left her with virtually nothing to live on after deductions from her Universal Credit.
I assisted her to submit her bankruptcy application yesterday and she said it is a huge weight off her shoulders. She told me that she felt she had no options when she was referred to me, and often contemplated suicide. She is now managing well.
Had a real positive impact on her mental health and helped her financially. She is now able to engage better with mental health services, as she often couldn’t hear the door but now they can use the key safe to let themselves in to see her. Now she has a washing machine she is able to have clean clothes and doesn’t need to rely on friends to pick up her washing to take to the laundrette for her. She is also housebound and agoraphobic, so having her tv license sorted has relieved a lot of pressure in terms of debt and also allowed her to be able to watch tv again. Overall it boosted her wellbeing so much!
The children’s bedroom floors were bare and cold and it was difficult to keep the rooms warm. Now that they are carpeted it has made a huge difference to their well-being and has given them a safe, warm and inviting environment to sleep and spend time in. For this, the family are very grateful.
With B&Q vouchers, I was able to support the family to purchase wall paper paint and decorating materials in order to renovate the lounge, which has given the family a comfortable room to spend time in together. This has made a massively positive impact on the family’s wellbeing and a step towards being able to sustain themselves without the support of services.
The application process is straightforward and accessibility to information is easily obtainable, particularly since the launch of the new website which is easy to navigate, has a modern feel and contains the celebrations of many successful stories of the good work that St. John’s continue to support with. The department team are responsive and will always go the extra mile where needed. Funding and support through St John’s is invaluable to the families that we work with and leads to many of our families being able to sustain an independent life and contribute back into their community and society.
The funding has greatly improved my client’s situation. He had moved into a lovely new flat after being in supported housing but was unable to furnish it himself. The flat had no carpets and curtains, and this made it feel incredibly cold and dreary, especially as the weather was getting colder. My client was not able to relax and enjoy his new home due to this. The support from St John’s was absolutely amazing and curtains were ordered straight away and within a week the carpet was being fitted. Now that the flooring and curtains are sorted, he has been able to feel at home and is over the moon with his flat.
The application process was very easy and the response was much faster than I expected. The team were absolutely brilliant and incredibly patient and responsive, and everything went incredibly smoothly. I have been telling all my colleagues about St John’s and the incredibly easy application process and the communication from staff.
XX was evicted from his mum’s house and it was sold due to having large debt on the property. He was placed into temporary accommodation and thankfully was successful with a property on Home Search. He literally had nothing other than the clothes on his back. Now he is happily housed in a sheltered bungalow and without the help from yourselves he would not have been able to move into his new tenancy.
XX had a long history of unstable housing and homelessness. He had a previous eviction for growing cannabis about seven years ago and since then has struggled to find any stability. He has addressed his drug use and having stable housing has helped him to move onto permanent employment. Your funding helped him to settle into his flat. Thank you.
XX has her grandson now living with her due to a special guardianship order which has prevented him going into care. He has his own bedroom but she was struggling to get his bedroom up together and was unable to afford a bed or buy carpet for his room. There was also no carpet in the hallway or on the stairs. The funding secured through St John’s has enabled her to provide a bed and carpet which has significantly improved her grandson’s environment and given him a comfortable place to relax and spend time in, having a positive impact on his emotional wellbeing and having somewhere to call home. This has also been evidenced in that her grandson was not in education previously, but has now secured a placement in an alternative school provision.
XX is on a low income. He struggles to find funds to support him. He is socially isolated and has mental ill health, he can quickly become overcome with feelings of hopelessness. Having some support to improve and overcome barriers can boost his mood immensely and help him to feel confident that his current situation will be improved and things will be better in the future.
XX, who has ADSD, was homeless and staying with us until she could access supported accommodation. She has now moved into the Foyer but had no furniture and no funds to buy any. This funding has given her a new start with essential items to furnish her new home. Without the help of St John’s this would not have been possible.
A fridge-freezer was important as XX was unable to store food properly in the house. Having a bed for her child has had a huge impact as she has been able to keep the child in her own room, keeping the family in a much better bed-time routine.
XX left domestic violence several years ago and was left with lots of debt. She lost her job recently and as a result she was no longer able to manage even small repayments. Your award meant she could finally clear herself of the burden of these historic debts and get a fresh start. As a result she now feels ready to find another job and move on.
XX, a single parent initially presented because of anxiety and stress levels. This was due to her adult child’s behaviour. XX was supported by St. John’s to attend 6 sessions of 1:1 work. This work was around self-care, working on skills such as appropriate confrontation while reducing conflict in the home, setting up boundaries and developing a lifestyle that they were entitled to. The outcome of this work is that …. they feel much safer in the home, the relationship with their child has improved, XX has much better sleep patterns and therefore has been working more. XX states that overall there has been good improvement in the home, feeling safer, getting a lot more rest, spending time being creative. There has been no physical aggression in recent months. And states “things are a lot more peaceful”. XX’s child is returning to university next autumn.
St John’s Foundation are an amazing charity – they very kindly helped my family by providing funds to repair our only car after the engine blew without warning. Without their help, we would otherwise not have been able to afford the repairs and would have been without transport for work and for our children, the youngest two of whom have autism and need to travel for school and other medical appointments. We were overwhelmed by the extent of the help that St John’s were able to provide, especially during a time when Covid-19 has impacted so heavily on our already stretched finances. Families who are experiencing financial hardship and who already have additional needs, all too often do not have the financial means to deal with emergencies, like home or car repairs. Charities such as St John’s are a critical lifeline for families such as ours and we can only thank them for their very kind assistance and for taking the time to understand our situation. I am honestly not sure what we would have done without them.
Rapid expansion of infrastructure required to roll the Compassionate Communities programme out more widely and quickly than anticipated, in response to the Covid-19 outbreak
3SG has had to urgently upgrade their infrastructure in light of their role coordinating the volunteer response to COVID in BaNES.
3SG has stepped into the gap because there was concern about the safeguarding of volunteers on unregulated Facebook pages, and 3SG offered support to provide a safe framework for this work. NAVCA has been signposting 3SG’s work to 200 similar organisations across the UK as a best in class example of rapid, safe and flexible emergency response
St John’s has agreed to provide funding support in a coordinated response alongside BaNES Council, Virgin Care and other local stakeholders.
3SG will be using the increased capacity to advertise emergency volunteer roles on behalf of their members that can be filled by the Compassionate Community Connectors.