Main Grants Programme 2023


Income of under £200,000? Read about applying for a small grant here.

The Leathersellers’ Main Grants programme now operates through targeted funding rounds to reduce the number of unsuccessful applications made by charities who will not receive funds.

We recently accepted expressions of interest from charities with the core focus of preventing or tackling the occurrence of and/or reduce the likelihood of long-term negative consequences of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).

As a committed Flexible Funder, we continue to explore ways of reducing the burden on applicants. This year, we were delighted to incorporate an initial expression of interest form, which will then allow us to invite only those charities with a higher likelihood of success to make a full application.

We aim to be open and provide clear and relevant information. If any of the guidance below or our application form do not meet those standards, please do contact us with any questions or points to clarify/improve upon – we welcome your feedback.

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This ACE Funding Round aims to support UK registered charities or charitable incorporated organisations (CIOs) but not Community Interest Companies (CIC) that:

– are operating in the UK in an area of deprivation
– have an organisational annual income over £200,000 and under £2,000,000 (for the coming or current year)
– have as their core focus, the goal to prevent the occurrence of and/or support recovery from ACEs by providing services to children and young people and/or adult survivors in recovery
– use a trauma-informed approach and evidence-based interventions
– can demonstrate the effectiveness of their approach through evaluation or external research
– are either lived-experience led or can show significant input from those with lived experience

We recognise that some communities suffer from a greater likelihood of ACEs due to systemic barriers. We welcome applications from charities who support under-represented groups.

Please note:

– If your application to the Main Grants Programme in 2022/23 was declined, you are welcome to apply to this round if you meet the given criteria.
– If you have been awarded a grant previously, you will not be eligible to apply for the same period of time as that of your grant. For example: if you received a one-year grant you cannot reapply for one year after the date of your final grant payment. If you received multi-year funding for four years you will not be eligible to apply for further funding for four years from the date of your final grant payment.

If you are unsure as to your particular circumstance / when you last applied or received funding from us, please contact us.

If your charity meets the criteria in the first tab you can apply for

  • an unrestricted grant (core costs) of between £20,000 – £25,000 per year for a period of up to four years.

In our criteria and on our form we have used a number of terms that it may be useful to explain further:

Adverse Childhood Experiences
We are use this term to recognise traumatic events that occur during childhood that can have a significant impact on a person’s physical, emotional and mental health throughout their life. Examples include:

  • abuse – physical, sexual or psychological/emotional
  • neglect – physical or psychological/emotional
  • domestic abuse
  • substance misuse by a close family member
  • mental illness of a close family member
  • having a close family member serve time in prison
  • parental or caregiver separation or divorce on account of relationship breakdown

We recognise the charities that work to prevent the occurrence of and/or support recovery from ACE’s cover a broad range of activities including working with victims of child sexual exploitation, county lines, gangs, those cared for by the local authority, homelessness, human trafficking, asylum seekers and refugees etc.

Area of Deprivation
We recognise all relative measures of deprivation as tracked by the Indices of Deprivation or similar tools. We ask you who your work helps and why this is needed for that group or in that area so you can explain the need that exists there.

Trauma Informed Approach
A trauma-informed approach aims to provide an environment where a person who has experienced trauma feels safe and can develop trust. This means people at every level of an organisation (including volunteers) develop an understanding of trauma, its symptoms and its impact, which then influences their work. This reduces the risk of excluding people who have experienced trauma. Many organisations describe it as a cultural shift rather than simply a behavioural one as the approach is integrated into policy, procedures, practice and environment.

Evidence Based
When wishing to support evidence based work, we are looking for charities that use
– the best research evidence
– the expertise of their staff and volunteers, and
– the lived experiences and voices of the children and young people they help when designing, learning and improving, and providing their services.

The application process includes an initial expression of interest form, invited applications and a visit by members of the Leathersellers’ Foundation Charity Committee. Visits will be conducted in October-November 2023 (Group 1) and January-February 2024 (Group 2).

Deadline to submit expressions of interest: 11:59pm Friday 19 May 2023

Selected charities invited to apply: 5 June 2023

Deadline to submit applications for shortlisting: 5pm 3rd July 2023

Applicants informed of shortlisting decision: 22nd September 2023


Group 1 visits: October-November 2023

Group 1 decisions: December 2023


Group 2 visits: January-February 2024

Group 2 decisions: March 2024

Confirmation of receipt of application

You will receive immediate email confirmation of receipt of your application from (please check your junk/spam folders as this is an automated system and so may get caught).

  • When can I reapply for funding?

If you were previously successful in obtaining a charity main grant, then you need to wait for a period equal to the length of that grant before reapplying. For example: if you received a one-year grant you cannot reapply for one year after the date of your final grant payment. If you received multi-year funding for four years you will not be eligible to apply for further funding for four years from the date of your final grant payment.

If you are unsure whether you are eligible to apply, please contact us.

  • Does the Leathersellers’ Foundation only fund charities in London?

No, we support registered charities working within and for the benefit of communities across the UK.

  • Why would I not be invited to make a full application?

We regularly find that some applicants do not have ACEs as their core focus. Another reason applications do not progress are insufficient safeguarding policies (unsigned, not dated, do not include relevant legislation/ key contacts, or are actually a statement rather than a policy) – further guidance is available at  NSPCC’s guidance on writing safeguarding policies and practices..

  • Can I request feedback if my expression of interest is unsuccessful?

Unfortunately, as we only have a small Grants team at the Leathersellers’ it is not possible for us to provide feedback to all applicants. We will provide feedback to any applicants that are invited to make a full application.

  • Do we need to have a connection to the Livery Company or one of its members?

No, the Leathersellers’ Foundation does not require a charity to have a particular connection to the Livery or to have previously been funded by us. If you do have a connection, there will be an opportunity to identify that in the application form.

  • If we apply for too much funding, will we get nothing?

No, if your requested sum is larger than the Committee consider appropriate, they may grant a smaller amount. Your funding request is not an all or nothing consideration.

  • My organisation as a whole has an income over the limit (£2million) but the project I want to apply for is within the limit – can we still apply? 

No, the income limit applies to the organisation as a whole, not to the particular area of work you are looking to fund.