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The Skinners’ Benevolent Trust

Registered charity number: 1132640

The Skinners’ Benevolent Trust provides immediate needs crisis grants of up to £250 for individuals and families to assist towards purchasing essential household items.


We do not accept applications from individuals directly.

We only accept applications via referral from support agencies such as social and support services, housing associations, refuge and rehabilitation organisations, and local charities.  If you require assistance, and you think you meet the eligibility criteria, please ask your support worker to look at our website and contact us on your behalf.  If you are a support worker and have a client in need, then we may be able to assist.  Contact details are listed under "How to Apply".

Eligibility criteria

Our current priority areas are:

  • those living with mental health issues
  • those in recovery from substance/alcohol use
  • victims of domestic violence
  • those in receipt of a state retirement pension
  • those who have some kind of disability or chronic illness
  • families with dependent age children on a very low income

Applications can only be made on behalf of clients who live in areas where the Skinners’ Company has existing work or historical links.  These are:

  • The City of London (The Square Mile only)
  • The London Boroughs of Camden, Enfield, Hackney, and Hounslow
  • West Kent (Particularly Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells)
  • Romney Marsh (Kent only)

Support agencies must have personal, ongoing knowledge of their client’s situation.  Applicants must have already applied to a local welfare scheme, where available, and received a decision.


Grants generally do not exceed £250.  Support agencies need to identify specific item(s) within this range, either from our Preferred Supplier (brochure supplied with application form), or from a retailer of your choice (for items not available via our Preferred Supplier).  Grants are paid either directly to our Preferred Supplier, or to the support agency.   For payments to support agencies, agencies will need to have a facility to receive and monitor the grant to ensure funds are spend on the items agreed.

We can consider grants for essential household items such as

  • white goods – cookers/ovens (electric only), washing machines, dryers, fridges, freezers
  • general furniture – beds, tables, chairs, sofas, bedding, curtains, floor covering, carpets
  • children’s items – clothing, cots etc

Please Note:  Items currently available through our Preferred Supplier are - white goods; kitchen starter packs; tables and chairs; bedroom furniture; bedding packs; a limited range of beds; baby cots.  All other items can be selected from a retailer of the applicant's choice.

Sorry, but we cannot consider

  • applications made directly by individuals
  • applications from organisations providing ‘one-off’ or ‘drop-in’ support or advice
  • requests for items that fall outside our criteria – e.g. computer or mobility equipment, debts, payment of utility bills, building works/modifications
  • items that have already been purchased
  • requests from people who have received a grant in the previous two years

How to apply

Applications can be submitted at any time during the year. We consider applications on a monthly basis, depending on what funds are available. If the application is successful we will be in touch to discuss the conditions on which the grant has been made – either an outright grant, or a pledge grant if the item required significantly exceeds our limit of £250.

Support agencies should contact the Grants Administrator for an application form – email charitiesadmin@skinners.org.uk – telephone 020 7213 0562 – or by post to The Skinners’ Benevolent Trust, Skinners’ Hall, 8 Dowgate Hill, London EC4R 2SP

Our Benefactors

The Trust’s funds are derived from bequests made over the centuries for the relief of poverty.  We would like to recognise and commemorate the following generous benefactors –  Thomas Hunt, Sir Thomas Devitt, Lady Tyrrell Giles, George & Martha Walton Wise, John Meredith,  Sir James Lancaster, Sir Jeremiah Colman, Mr & Mrs Eardley Wilmot, and Frederic Holl-Morris.