older people laughing together
Supporting older people

The Sir George Earle Benevolent Fund was established in 1974 by the late Sir George Earle to support the current and former employees of Blue Circle Industries in the UK. Its aim is to work with local communities and projects which support older people, particularly projects which aim to reduce loneliness or isolation in specific geographies around historic cement works.

Amounts available: £500-£3,000

Group annual income: Under £1,000,000

Type of cost: Project or activity costs, ongoing running costs, small scale capital costs

Closing date: Thursday 1st September at Midday

Making a difference for older people

The Sir George Earle Benevolent Fund aims to:

  • Improve older people’s access to social activity
  • Reduce feelings of loneliness or isolation in older people
  • Increase the availability of local projects or activity which supports older people
  • Respond to local social or economic needs
Project ideas
  • Daytime opportunities which address problems of isolation and/or loneliness
  • Drop in centres
  • Befriending schemes
  • Lunch clubs
  • Support groups
  • Respite activities for carers
  • Running costs for self-help groups
  • Small local organisations in areas of disadvantage
  • Organisations that demonstrate a clearly defined need in their local community/area
  • Groups that can successfully demonstrate the impact their project will have on their communities
  • Those that have a robust plan to measure and report positive changes made
  • Those that demonstrate sustainability beyond the life of this grant
  • Projects can cover a small geographic area, e.g. housing estate/village, or larger areas e.g.town/borough where there is evidence of community involvement
  • The beneficiaries must be people (not an individual), not animals and not the environment.
  • We will fund project or activity costs; ongoing running costs, including salaries and volunteer expenses; and small scale capital costs.
  • Funds cannot be awarded to cover costs already paid for.
  • The project budget must be itemised and well costed, indicating where other funds have been secured.

Specific criteria for the Sir George Earle Benevolent Fund

  • If you are already in receipt of a grant from the Sir George Earle Benevolent Fund, you cannot apply again.
  • We will fund ongoing running costs for organisations who are focused on working with older people and who employ fewer than three full time employees.
  • The grant cannot be over 25% of your annual income, unless you are newly set up.

Please also read the general eligibility criteria at the bottom of this page, which give an overview of the criteria for all our grants programmes.

The online application form will require you to supply specified documentation showing evidence of good governance, as well as an appropriate referee. Your organisation needs to have minimum one year of operation; if you have been constituted for less than one year but have been active for longer, please demonstrate this activity or if you can demonstrate a well-planned project with evidence of need, you don’t need to have an existing track record. Reserves are expected to be a minimum of three months running costs and explain why if more than 12 months.

You will be asked to provide a safeguarding policy as part of your application. We need this as there is a high likelihood that you are working with individuals who are at risk or vulnerable, or you are working in a way which puts you in a position of trust in the community. Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility, and we would expect individual policies to be proportionate to the activities they undertake. In some cases, this is being aware of the appropriate safeguarding board contact numbers should you have a concern, or being aware of the safeguarding lead in a partner organisation to escalate to if a concern arose. For services doing lots of direct work with vulnerable people, we’d expect more.

For help on policies, please contact OCVA admin@ocva.org.uk or Oxfordshire Safeguarding Adults Board SAB@oxfordshire.gov.uk.

Dates and timings

Early applications are always appreciated.

Opening date Closing date (midday)
Tuesday 12th July 2022 Thursday 1st September 2022


Your application will be reviewed by the OCF team and designated independent assessors, before a Grants Panel Meeting in mid September 2022. Payment will be made within 4-6 weeks of notification of success.

The grant needs to fully spent by 28th February 2023 and grant monitoring returned within 12 months of application.

Before you start your application, please read our general eligibility criteria. 

General Eligibility Criteria

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