How We Work

The reality is that many people in our society are at risk of falling into financial hardship, triggered by one or two commonplace life events such as redundancy or relationship breakdown. Even for many people in work, wages may not be enough to meet the basic needs of living, resulting in cycles of debt and insecurity, affecting relationships and mental health.

There are gaps in the support the state and large charities are able to provide. Our principle objective therefore is to assist people in financial hardship in Swindon who are unable to access support from other sources.

We do this by pooling donations from compassionate local people and charitable trusts. We then make small grants to people in financial hardship.

Swindon Hardship Fund is apolitical and open to all, regardless of age; disability; gender reassignment; marriage and civil partnership; pregnancy and maternity; race; religion or belief; sex and sexual orientation.

Our small grants are intended to provide relief to individuals and families who are going through a particularly difficult period in their lives and/or whose financial hardship is severely affecting their prospects in life.

We will always ensure that we only give grants for things for which the state and larger charities do not provide, and are mindful that our donors and the Charity Commission need to be comfortable with where our funds are going.

We make small cash grants, when needed within a few days. These are made through trusted local partner organisations that are engaged in supporting people in Swindon.

We do not maintain staff or a premises so that we can direct as much support as possible to individuals experiencing severe financial hardship in our town.

In 2022:

92% of grants were urgent or very urgent.

72% of our beneficiaries were single parents.

76% of our beneficiaries were between the ages of 16 and 35 years

Recently the majority of grant applicants have been women with children, fleeing or recovering from domestic abuse.

Currently around 20% of those who receive a grant do not have a fixed address.

Grants vary greatly but have included living expenses (other essentials, food, fuel, bus fayre, medicine, glasses), rent and household bills, bedding, flooring, beds, mattresses and furniture. A specialist pram for child with complex needs, train cost to a mother’s funeral, amongst other examples.