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DWF Foundation: Grant Giving

The DWF Foundation provides funds, resources and support to help communities achieve their full potential. Hear more from some of the charities that have been supported by the Foundation.

Between the launch of the DWF Foundation in December 2015 and December 2022, the foundation has awarded grants totalling over £1million.

Charities that the Foundation have supported include:
  • ecobirmingham
  • Glasgow and Clyde Rape Crisis
  • Love, Jasmine
  • Rosemount House
  • North Tyneside Disability Forum
  • Otakar Kraus Music Trust
  • South Tyneside Churches Key Project
  • The Albert Kennedy Trust
  • Khanyisela Projects South Africa
  • Beatson Cancer Charity
  • Cheshire Young Carers 
  • Healthy Living Projects Ltd
  • Helping the Homeless into Housing (H3)
  • LS29 Special Needs Support Group
  • Sandwell Homes & Resettlement Project
  • The Choir With No Name (Liverpool)
  • Women's Information Northern Ireland
  • Substance Matters
  • Twinkle House Ltd
  • Ella's Home
  • Ballylough Living History Trust
  • CPotential
  • Coach Core Foundation
  • Void Art Centre
  • Head2Head Theatre
  • SCT (Spitalfields Crypt Trust)
  • Birthday Dreams
  • BraveheartsNI
  • Gympanzees
  • The Proud Trust
  • Together Against Cancer
  • Scottish Cot Death Trust
  • Old Warren Primary School PTA
  • Fundacja Przedsiębiorczości Kobiet



Find out more

Hear from the charities that the DWF Foundation has supported

ADHD Foundation

Funding from the DWF Foundation supported a project which enabled young people with a diagnosis of ADHD to undertake diversionary activities and structured health based learning outcomes.
ADHD Foundation

The project enabled young people with a diagnosis of ADHD and also with secondary diagnoses of autism, dyslexia, dyspraxia and related mental health problems frequently co-occurring for children with learning difficulties, to undertake diversionary activities and structured health based learning outcomes.

The objective was to enable young people to understand their neurodevelopmental challenges and related social, emotional and mental health needs, in a safe environment with qualified staff who understand their needs.

The project aimed to build confidence social skills and the strategies needed to learn 'self regulation'. Self regulation is the skill where by young people learn to regulate emotions thoughts and behaviour. This enables them to overcome their disadvantage through reducing their anxiety and improving their relationship skills to reduce their sense of isolation.

Birmingham Royal Ballet

The grant from the DWF Foundation supported the Dance Track programme which is delivered to primary schools with high levels of deprivation and low levels of cultural engagement.
Birmingham Royal Ballet
The grant from the DWF Foundation supported the Dance Track programme. Dance Track is delivered in affiliated primary schools across North, South and Central Birmingham. All of the schools are in areas of the city classed as ‘cultural cold spots’ by Birmingham City Council, with high levels of deprivation and low levels of cultural engagement. Most of the schools have been identified as having higher than average numbers of pupils from ethnic minority backgrounds, with special educational needs, and/or eligible for the pupil premium (additional government funding for disadvantaged children). For many children in Dance Track affiliated schools, the programme is the first time they will engage with the arts outside of the national curriculum.

The programme is provided free-of-charge to ensure it is accessible to all, regardless of financial means. In the 2019-20 season, the first year of the programme was made up of 87 children, and the second year, 35 children. Of this, 53 are boys and 69 are girls, with 70% of children coming from black or minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds.

The impact of Dance Track is measured throughout the programme, with key skills such as confidence, concentration and communication tracked regularly. Parents are asked to complete an initial questionnaire scoring their child’s abilities when they join the scheme and asked to re-score abilities at the end of their child’s first year on the programme.

Dance Track Plus is a similar programme where each year, Dance Track students work towards the Arts Award, a nationally-recognised qualification, which enables young people to discover the enjoyment the arts can bring, and supports them to develop key creative and communication skills. Students in the first year of Dance Track work towards the Arts Award Discover, covering topics including dance and music, with a particular focus on Birmingham Royal Ballet’s work. Second-year students work on the Arts Award Explore, with activities including meeting Birmingham Royal Ballet dancers to find out about the life of a professional ballet dancer and devising their own choreographic routines to share with their peers.

Cheshire Young Carers Board

Support from the DWF Foundation helped respite activities for children to continue along with pastoral care support to support young carers and families, as lots of support simply disappeared as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold.
Cheshire Young Carers Board

This year has proved to a challenging year for everybody and young carers have certainly been impacted by "lockdown" measures. A significant number are living with family members with underlying health conditions meaning they needed to isolate more strictly. 

In March the Cheshire Young Carers Board made the decision not to furlough any of the team, simply because we knew the demand on our services would be increased. It is only with the continued support of funders that we have been able to continue working with children who are young carers.

The summer holiday period is always a challenging time for young carers and this year it was even more important that we delivered some respite activities and had these children focus on more positive things and give them some fun. For our summer programme, the staff team "pulled out all the stops" with some incredible online activities.

Behind the scenes we have provided a significant amount of pastoral care support to support young carers and in some cases families, as lots of support for families simply disappeared as the pandemic took hold.

Getaway Girls

Funding from the DWF Foundation supported a year-long training and development programme for young women aged 18-25.
Getaway Girls

Get into Youth and Community Work was a year-long training and development programme for young women aged 18-25 from the Harehills and Gipton areas of Leeds. The programme included training for peer group work and support/mentoring opportunities to gain experience supporting vulnerable girls and young women aged 11-25. 

The Introduction to Youth and Community qualification was completed by 38 young women who have increased their knowledge, skills and experience about working with young people. A group of 27 young women participated in peer support groups.

The volunteers have increased their skills, knowledge, experience and confidence in working in the community. A great example of this is a young woman who has established DJing sessions as part of the Sister Sound Salon Music sessions. Funding has been secured for DJing equipment so she can use her skills to support more young girls.

Three young women have also been supported to secure jobs, a further three are now at University and two are studying Level 3 in Youth work. We have supported young women with many issues they have faced such as domestic violence and mental health problems. Participants in the programme have also been supported to access further support counselling. They are now involved in decision making at Getaway Girls including planning for the future.

Global foodbank support

In response to the pandemic in March 2020, the DWF Foundation trustees set up a fund to support local foodbanks.
Global foodbank support
In response to the pandemic in March 2020, the DWF Foundation trustees set up a foodbank fund. This was in response to feedback from people in DWF locations as well as the charities the foundation works with. It became clear that food poverty was going to become a problem for many around the world. Initially, the trustees committed £5000 to support local foodbanks and set up an online donation page for people to make donations that would be used to support foodbanks. 

Since its set up over £4500k has been raised through donations and the trustees have now committed over £20K to support foodbanks.  This has recently been bolstered further by a donation from DWF of £18K from fund that would have been for Christmas parties that are not going to happen this year, a message from the people of DWF was they wanted to do something good with it. 

Liverpool Mental Health Consortium

Funding from the DWF Foundation supported a project about promoting good mental health and positive attitudes towards mental wellbeing in the context of art and creativity.
Liverpool Mental Health Consortium

The project was about promoting good mental health and positive attitudes towards mental wellbeing in the context of art and creativity. It was about bringing people together having fun and using the arts platform to help break down stigma towards mental distress in a playful and creative way.

The event featured a line-up of music - including Colonel Mustard and the Dijon 5 - spoken word and dramatic performances alongside a range of creative activities. Local artists offered screen-printing wall-papering and lantern-making workshops with a pop-up exhibition of finished artwork decorating the walls of the venue. There was also a 'soap-box' opportunity for people to get on stage and “rant” for up to five minutes about something that mattered to them. DJs Rebel Soul The Walrus Said and Kid Blast span an eclectic mix of tunes from all over the world and the Cabaret from the Shadows and the Suitcase Ensemble also performed.

In the evening local performance collective Bring the Fire led a torch lit procession around the Baltic Triangle. The feedback about the event was very positive and the people who attended felt it made a great alternative to formal meetings or support services which tend to be less 'celebratory' of differences and less likely to see the positive insights which mental distress can bring. It was also a chance to be 'out and proud' about experiencing mental health problems within a safe environment.

St Oswald's Hospice

The DWF Foundation funded a specialist car seat which was needed to enable children at the hospice to get out and about for trips and activities.


St Oswald's Hospice

The children who come to St Oswald's Hospice for specialist short breaks have life threatening conditions and multiple complex disabilities. Changes to safety advice meant that we were no longer able to transport children who weighed less than 22 kg in their wheelchairs within our minibus. Instead we were told that we must provide a specialist car seat which would fit in a minibus seat and could be tilted according to the clinical needs of the individual child. This was an unexpected cost which we were unable to afford. Sadly for a time this meant that we were unable to take our younger children out on the trips which are such an important part of their short breaks with us. Then the DWF Foundation kindly agreed to fund the specialist car seat we so badly needed.

Your gift meant that we were once again able to get all of our children out and about for trips and activities across the North East region. And we have made the most of it! The children have been all over the place and have enjoyed all sorts of great activities. Your gift meant that they were once again able to access our local hydrotherapy pool - always a hugely popular session.

They have also been able to make regular trips to a nearby trampolining facility (for rebound therapy) and have had great fun with the specially adapted bikes at a Newcastle leisure centre. They have been to the cinema, watched some of the matches at Newcastle Falcons and had fun at parks all over the region - you name it and we've probably tried it! This month we are planning a fishing trip with our very enthusiastic 'Rods and Cods' group and over the summer we are hoping to rent a beach hut at Blyth so that the children can enjoy a day at the seaside. In short your gift has meant that all of our children have the freedom to get out to have fun and to participate in their local community.

The Choir with No Name

Support and funding from the DWF Foundation has enabled us to host weekly choir rehearsals, where some of the most isolated and vulnerable members of the community come and sing together.
The Choir with No Name

We spent our grant from the DWF Foundation on the rehearsal costs of our Liverpool choir for homeless and marginalised people. These costs include rehearsal venue hire fees and food. We are hugely grateful to The DWF Foundation for the support and funding which has enabled us to host weekly choir rehearsals (pre-covid-19), where some of the most isolated and vulnerable members of the community come and sing together and sit down for a hot meal together afterwards, cooked by our team of amazing volunteers.

We also performed all across the city (and beyond) to show the world the amazing things our members can achieve, as well as give choir members something to look forward to, work towards together and feel proud of.

The most common word our members use to describe choir is 'family', and our supportive choir community is for many the vital safety net that can be the difference between someone becoming (or remaining) homeless or not. Our choirs offer members the opportunity to experience the many health and wellbeing benefits of singing together, as well as the chance to make friends, build up their confidence and resilience, learn new life skills and then find themselves in a better position to tackles life's other challenges, such as securing housing, finding work or enrolling in recovery services.

Here's what our Liverpool choir members tell us:

"The choir has been a life-saver for me. It has given me a focus and a sense of belonging"
"It's family and it inspires me to be a better man"
"The best thing about choir is the community spirit, getting myself out of my comfort zone. Singing songs makes me feel happy. Being able to be me without being judged"