Percy Bilton Charity

The Percy Bilton Charity is a grant-making trust founded in 1962. It supports charities assisting disadvantaged young people, people of all ages with disabilities and mental health problems, and older people.

Picture: Sewcream/Adobe Stock
Picture: Sewcream/Adobe Stock

The charity was founded by the late Percy Bilton, an entrepreneur who in the 1920s and 1930s built up a group of successful property companies which in the 1970s was listed on the London Stock Exchange. He endowed the charity with shares in Percy Bilton Limited, which later became Bilton PLC before the company was sold in 1998 and the total proceeds invested in a diversified portfolio.

How much is available?

There are two types of grants that organisations can apply for: one-off large grants of more than £2,000, and small grants of £500. The average grant is around £3,000 with applications for more than £5,000 rarely being accepted.

For large grants, preference is given to specific items of furniture and equipment (excluding office items) which the charity can fund in their entirety.

Trustees prefer to use the charity’s funding to complete projects in order to maximise effectiveness and ensure grants are taken up as quickly as possible. This means that minibuses, building and refurbishment works are only considered in the final stage of the fundraising appeal when there is a shortfall of £15,000 or less.

Small grants for items including white goods, single beds, flooring and clothing vouchers can be applied for.

Who will be funded?

Of the funding programmes relevant for the children’s sector, the Peter Bilton Charity will consider capital funding for the following projects and schemes:

1. Disadvantaged/underprivileged young people (persons under 25)

Supported housing schemes and educational and training projects to encourage disadvantaged young people who may be homeless and/or unemployed away from crime, substance/alcohol misuse and homelessness. Facilities for recreational activities and outdoor pursuits specifically for young people who are educationally or socially underprivileged or disadvantaged

2. People with disabilities (physical or learning disabilities or mental health problems)

Residential, respite care, occupational and recreational establishments for children, young people and adults with physical or learning disabilities or enduring mental health problems

There are a number of restrictions on what grants can be used for, including running expenses for an organisation, salaries and training costs, summer play schemes nor general community projects.

Who can apply and how?

Only registered charities can apply for a large grant.

Non-registered charities can apply for small grants, although this needs to be accompanied by a reference from another charity, Council for Voluntary Service or the local authority youth service.

Social workers, community psychiatric nurses and occupational therapists within local authorities or NHS trusts may apply on behalf of individuals in financial need who have a disability or severe mental health problem, or who are over 65 on low income, for basic household items.

There is no application form for either large or small grants. Organisations should write to the charity on letter-headed notepaper outlining the project, the amount sought, how this will be sourced and details of how it will be evaluated. Information about the charity also needs to be included.

Less information is required for small grants.

When are the deadlines?

Applications may be submitted at any time for large grants and will be considered at the next appropriate board meeting. Applications for small grants are considered monthly.

The charity may contact the applicant for further information.

Grants must be spent within 12 months of funding being received, and applicants must wait at least 12 months before reapplying.

Funding roundup

  • The RAF Benevolent Fund’s youth support scheme Airplay is to open to new tenders. The scheme operates on 24 RAF stations providing youth club sessions and a younger offering called Ben Clubs. The contract, currently managed by Action for Children, is for the management and delivery of around 76 sessions of youth work and 25 sessions of play work per week. More from or 07565 582 903.
  • Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG), working with project partners Children North East, will use £2m of National Lottery funding to help schools remove the financial barriers to learning and participation that hold low-income children back. The UK Cost of the School Day project will work with 128 schools in Coventry, Neath Port Talbot, the London boroughs of Greenwich, Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea, as well as expanding to Moray over the next three years.
  • Youth Access has been awarded nearly £1.4m to put the voices of young people at the centre of service design. The grant from The National Lottery Community Fund will bring 11,000 young people and 1,100 mental health professionals together with policymakers to co-design mental health and wellbeing services.
  • Housebuilder Barratt Developments has launched a three-year, £1m partnership with The Outward Bound Trust. It will support 2,400 young people to develop the skills needed to prepare them for the world of work. It will provide funding to disadvantaged young people for residential courses, place Barratt employees on the courses as mentors, and host the annual “Big Barratt Hike” with Outward Bound.

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