Frequently Asked Questions


What sort of projects does the Alec Dickson Trust fund?

We fund volunteering projects run by young people under 30. If you’re thinking of applying, your project should:

  • Be run by a young volunteer, or team of young volunteers
  • Take place in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales
  • Have a clear benefit to others in the wider community
  • Most importantly, your project should encourage volunteering. The more volunteers you can get involved, the better!

We also love innovative projects. If you’re doing something that you’ve noticed a real need for in the community or something that hasn’t been done before, we want to hear from you!

Are there any projects you don’t fund?

We’ll consider most volunteering projects addressing a need in the community, but we don’t fund overseas projects, gap year projects or give grants towards college and university course fees.

What counts as “volunteering”?

We try to be flexible in our definition of volunteering. To us, volunteering is an activity which isn’t for the benefit of the person volunteering and is intended to benefit others. There is no financial gain involved for the volunteer.

Doing something for free (or not being paid) isn’t the same as volunteering!

For example, someone might sing in a choir and not get paid, but they do it because they enjoy it. This doesn’t fit with our definition of volunteering. However, if that person decides to use the choir for something which will have a positive impact on others, such as taking the choir on a tour of local care homes or children’s hospitals, then that could be considered to be volunteering.

The Alec Dickson Trust only funds projects run by volunteers; and we particularly favour projects that promote and encourage volunteering among young people.

How do I apply?

Note: The Alec Dickson Trust Board are currently working on a new online application form. The next round for applications through the new online form will be open Sunday, 7th October, 2018.

Please be sure to read the What we fund  and Top Tips for funding applicants  pages, before you start!

How much funding can I apply for?

Up to £500 – we ask all applicants to provide a detailed budget for their funding project as part of their application, with a breakdown of exactly how you intend to spend the money.

Is there anything I need for my project that you won’t fund?

We don’t normally fund uniforms, equipment or training for personal benefit (e.g. university course fees, laptop for an individual) or direct expenditure for a fundraising event (such as venue hire).

How often do the trustees meet?

The trustees meet approximately once every three months to discuss applications. This could mean that you’ll have to wait a while to hear back from us, so please be patient! You can see when we’ll next be meeting here.

What happens if my application is successful?

We’ll get in touch as soon as we can to let you know if you’ve been successful or not.

If you are, we’ll contact your referee. A cheque for the project will be sent to you once we’ve received your reference.

We ask all of our successful applicants to send us an update after 6 months – this could be a short write up of what’s happened since you applied or photos of the project in action – so that we can see the difference your project is making.

Who makes a good referee?

Your referee should be someone who works in a professional capacity (not a friend or relative) and that you’ve known for at least a year.

Your referee should not be involved in your volunteering project.

Can I apply more than once?

Yes – all applicants, whether they’ve been successful or not, are welcome to reapply for funding. Please note that we will not fund a project more than twice in any twelve month (rolling) period.

About Alec Dickson Trust

We support young people who, through volunteering or community service, aim to enhance the lives of others, particularly those most marginalised by society.