Margaret Dobson Further Education Trust

Status: Open for applications


The Margaret Dobson Further Education Trust makes grants to support people with a learning disability after they reach normal school leaving age, to learn skills to help them live more independent lives.

Latest Information

The trustees meet annually (usually in June) to discuss bids presented for grants.

Deadline for applications:    31st March 
Deadline for reports on previous year's grant:   15th May 

Key Criteria

Grants are available for registered Charities, Charitable Incorporated Organisations or Community Interest Companies.

To be eligible for funding organisations must have an annual turnover of less than £1 million.

Grants will not be made to organisations who have received funding in the previous year except where a specific project has been awarded funding over a period of more than one year.

Eligible Expenditure

Funding is available to cover the direct costs of projects which provide practical skills for young adults with a learning disability to better prepare them to lead more independent and fulfilled lives.

Examples of eligible expenditure include:

  • Salaries.
  • Equipment.
  • Printing and marketing where part of a specific project.   
  • Running costs where it can be shown that the charity may close if not supported at this time.

To be eligible for funding organisations must provide:

  • Information on the type of challenges being addressed by the project.
  • The number of people with a learning disability supported.       
  • Evidence that the project is required and fulfils the need identified.
  • Information on how they have consulted with people who could benefit from the project.
  • Information on the demonstrable difference the project will make to the lives of people it is aimed at. 
  • Information on the cost of project and amount of funding the organisation has found from other sources.  
  • Details of ant contributions from parent organisations. 
  • Evidence of the projects sustainability after the Margaret Dobson Further Education Trust funding has finished.
  • Information on how the impact of the project will be evaluated.

Applicants are more likely to be successful if they can demonstrate that:

  • People with learning disabilities, their families and carers are consulted in the design and running of the project.
  • They are working in partnership with relevant local organisations and service providers.
  • They have thought about the opportunities for participants to make use of what they have learnt once the programme has ended.
  • They have been actively seeking other sources of funding for the project.
  • There will be a demand for the service to be provided.

Priority will be given to projects which meet at least two of the following criteria:

  • Designed for, and aimed, at people with learning disabilities aged 16 to 25.  
  • Offer the opportunity for people to gain transferable life skills, which may include how to access support.     
  • Offer employment experience.     
  • Build in accredited training.   
  • Enable social interaction with other people and allow self-expression and confidence-building.     
  • Applications from smaller organisations which are demonstrating an entrepreneurial approach to a locally identified issue.


The following are not eligible for funding:

  • Individuals.
  • Schools.
  • General applications which have no specific purpose other than to increase the financial resources available to the charity.
  • Organisations that are overtly religious.


Payment and Application Procedure

The grant is paid by cheque directly to the charity.

Applications should be submitted electronically to the Trust’s Secretary and include:

  • A completed cover sheet (which can be downloaded from the Trust’s website).
  • Two page application including information as detailed in the guidelines.
  • A copy of the organisation’s latest accounts.
  • A Business Plan (if the organisation is new).

Addresses and contacts

Contact details:
Sharon Shortland
The Margaret Dobson Further Education Trust
Laurel House
Old Main Road
Fleet Hargate
PE12 8LH