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You may be able to apply to the Elizabeth Finn Fund if you are struggling on a low income and you, your spouse, partner or ex-partner have a professional background.

Who can apply for help?

To qualify for the Elizabeth Finn Fund you must meet all of the following qualifying rules (eligibility criteria):

  • Have worked in one of the listed professions or have a spouse, partner/ex-partner who has done so. In most cases, these are positions where the job requires a degree, some level of responsibility or an NVQ4 or above. The fund also helps people who have run their own business with employed staff or have earned a living from the arts. For more information, see the list of eligible occupations on the Turn2us website. The applicant must provide evidence of this employment, and 
  • Have less than £4,000 in savings (€5,000), and
  • Have a low income or claim benefits, and
  • Have British or Irish nationality or be a ‘resident’ of the UK or Ireland (you live in one of these countries for at least half the year).

What type of help is available?

The support the Turn2us Elizabeth Finn Fund gives depends on your circumstances. If you qualify, the kind of help the fund may be able to offer might include: 

  • A flexible grant of up to £1000 (single rate) or £1,500 (one plus rate) to help with living expenses or pay for essential items, such as the replacement of basic household goods, such as a fridge, washing machine or cooker.
  • One-off grants to cover the costs of a particular purpose, for example, house repairs for an older person or equipment to make life easier for a carer or a person with a disability.
  • Respite care grants to enable a carer to have a break.
  • Transport expenses, for instance, to run a car or help with the costs of taxis/public transport if an applicant needs this to overcome geographical isolation or mobility limitations caused by health problems. This type of grant is not awarded when the applicant does not receive Personal Independence Payment (PIP) or Disability Living Allowance for mobility.
  • Home starter packs for essential household items needed because of a significant move or change in circumstances.
  • Rent deposit, rent in advance or moving costs.
  • Vocational training to help an applicant return to employment.
  • Bankruptcy and Debt Relief Order (DRO) grants through a third party advice agency.

How to apply

You can apply online to Elizabeth Finn Fund through the Turn2us Grants Search

Paper copies of the application form, for those who are unable to make an online application, are available from: Elizabeth Finn Fund, Hythe House, London W6 7NL.

Making the most of your application to the Turn2us Elizabeth Finn Fund

  • Read the list of eligible occupations on the Turn2us website before applying, to make sure you are likely to qualify for our support.
  • It’s a good idea to gather all the documentation you might need before you make an application. See the Turn2us Grants Search: Information you may need page on the Turn2us website for examples of the kind of evidence you might need. For the Turn2us Elizabeth Finn Fund, this will include bank statements for all accounts you hold, proof of your professional background and details of any benefits you claim.
  • It is important to give the fund the complete picture about your situation and that of your dependents. The fund understands that it can be difficult to answer questions about your personal circumstances and provide documentary evidence. However, the fund only asks for information that allows it to fully assess your application and offer you as much support as possible.
  • The Elizabeth Finn Fund receives a large number of enquiries that take some time to deal with. However, all enquiries do receive a reply - whether the fund can help or not - but it may take up to two weeks to process enquiries and respond to you.

How Dougal found help from the Turn2us Elizabeth Finn Fund

62 year old Dougal lives with his wife, Morag, in their rented home in Scotland. Morag has a chronic illness so Dougal is the sole breadwinner. Dougal worked in the Merchant Navy for many years but was eventually made redundant. 

After losing his job, Dougal sought advice from the local Citizens Advice, which helped the couple to claim around £1,000 a month in benefits. This income helped but it was not enough to cover all their outgoings and they had to supplement it with Dougal’s redundancy pay and pension.

Eventually Dougal’s redundancy pay and pension had completely run out. 

“We were in a very big mess,” he says. “Unable to meet nearly all our bills, including the rent.” This took its toll on Dougal. “I’m a master mariner,” he explains, “I’d worked all my life in the Merchant Navy and then on shore in the office. This was the first time I’d been unemployed. To suddenly find that I couldn’t meet my commitments and put food on the table - it was very, very depressing.”

Grants help

Dougal was advised by the Merchant Navy Board to seek out a grant from a charitable fund. After typing ‘grants’ into Google, he found the Turn2us website.

Using the “very easy to use” Grants Search tool, Dougal identified the Turn2us Elizabeth Finn Fund as a possible source of help. After going through the application process, to identify his needs and confirm he qualified for the fund's support, Dougal was awarded a one-off grant of £1,500.

It was such a pleasant surprise. I was very emotional because I didn’t expect that kind of help. The grant allowed us to get back on our feet, pay off the critical priority bills and allowed me time to sort things out so we could have a peaceful existence.”

Signposting to other services

The Turn2us Elizabeth Finn Fund can often also signpost applicants to other services that might be able to help them. Dougal was prompted to contact his energy provider regarding the bills he had been unable to pay. He was able to claim help from the supplier's hardship fund.

Thanks to Bridget McCall, Turn2us Information Specialist at Turn2us for helping us write this page. You can find out more about welfare benefits, charitable grants and support services on the Turn2us website.

Next review due: February 2019