Funding Sources

Many therapeutic gardening projects rely on a patchwork of charitable trust and grant funding to support the various facets of their projects: health, social care, gardening, staffing, core costs, training etc. 

Searching and applying for charitable funding is a time consuming task which requires a strategic approach in order to ensure that as comprehensive a search as possible is carried out. 
Try these steps to start your funding search:

  1. Your local voluntary organisation's Third Sector Interface (TSI) Community Toolkit online provides information on generating income and finding funding. Find your local TSI at  Local TSI's provides a  Community Toolkit which includes a search facility for funding e.g. Voluntary Action Perthshire, Community Toolkit,  Find a Funder database at
  2. SCVO also provides a searchable funder database at
  3. SCVO also offer advice on funding your organisation
  4. Your local council  may also offer advice and information - find their details at your Local Authority web pages and enlist their help in your funding search. Follow this link to Local Authorities in Scotland


Help in making funding applications

Funding Surgeries Many large charitable trust funds run surgeries or information sessions for those seeking help in applying for their funds . Look out for these if you'd like additional help in making applications,  see for example  Lloyds TSB

If you need support to argue for continued grant funding...A new leaflet from NAVCA can be used by local groups to argue the case for continued grant funding with councillors, commissioning officers and procurement professionals at

Growing Communities in Scotland meeting notes which offer advice on applying for Funding.

Exemptions for Charities

Water & Sewerage Charges
Charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASCs) can get help with the payment of water and sewerage charges. Full details about the scheme is available from the Scottish Government website and there are certain conditions on whether charities are eligible to apply.  

Scottish charity regulator OSCR has produced a briefing note which sets out the answers to some of the questions they are often asked about the Water Charges and Sewerage Exemption scheme.


Below are a few examples of  grant funding. This  list is no substitute for a comprehensive funding search but does give an indication of the type of funding available:

Are you a horticulturalist looking for financial assistance?

The Merlin Trust Are you between the age of 18-35 or in your first five years of a career in horticulture with a love of plants, gardens and gardening?
Do you need financial assistance to visit gardens in the UK or abroad? Or to study plants in their natural habitats anywhere in the world?
If so, then the Merlin Trust may be able to help you. Enthusiasm matters more than qualifications. Applications for grants from Britain and Ireland are invited throughout the year. Funding is also available if you are a foreign national studying in the United Kingdom.
See The Merlin Trust web pages for further information at

Funding for Horticulturalists Are you a gardener looking for funding? Try this useful list of possible funders at

The Professional Gardeners’ Trust was established in 2004 to fund training and study for working gardeners in the UK and Ireland see
The PGT provides gardeners with the opportunity to acquire skills and gain qualifications through part-time courses and work placements. This enhances their careers and benefits the horticulture profession as a whole.

The Finnis Scott Award , for information and application criteria see the Professional Gardeners Trust web pages at

Gardening for Disabled Trust Grants for adapting your own garden to accomodate accessible gardening from the Gardening for Disabled Trust

Plants & seeds

Grow Wild If you are a group wanting Grow Wild Scottish seed kits for your group's activity please follow the link below. Each kit contains 5 seed packets, a bee house, plant markers and a how to guide, so you may find this resource supports your planned activity for March 2016.
You can register here using this link:

Woodland Trust Tree Planting Packs  The Woodland Trust has a range of tree packs to suit schools, youth groups and communities. Applicants can receive practical packs and advice for ensuring a successful planting. For more information go to the Woodland Trust web pages for more details at



Funding sources for training

ILA Scotland ILA 200 is a Scottish Government scheme to provide funding for courses such as Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) and IT skills. Employees and employers can find out more about ILA funding by visiting the ILA Scotland website or calling 0808 100 1090 to discuss directly with an ILA Scotland adviser.

Try this list of funders for training A wide variety of social groups catered for click here


General Funding
Tesco Bags of Help grant scheme is now permanently open for applications from a wide range of community groups, schools, local authorities and organisations. Bags of Help will now see the money raised by the 5p bag charge in Tesco stores in England, Wales and Scotland opened up to a greater range of projects that support community participation in the development and use of open spaces.
Projects that will now get the green light as a result of the funding will include volunteer training, physical improvements of open spaces, equipment purchases, community events and sports and leisure activities.  Following a public vote in Tesco stores, three projects in each of the 200 Tesco regions will receive a grant each month, with first place receiving up to £5K, second place up to £2K and third place up to £1K. 
Bags of Help is administered by Groundwork, working in Scotland with greenspace scotland, and funded by Tesco customers from the proceeds of the 5p charge for plastic carrier bags. It will fund projects that benefit communities by activating or physically improving open and greenspaces that do not charge for access. 
Full eligibility criteria and detailed application guidance is available online here
THere are a team of Community Enablers that can provide support or advice when submitting your application. Find their details here.

Awards for All Scotland
Awards for All is a small grants scheme which makes awards of between £500 and £10,000 to support projects that improve opportunities to take part in arts, sports and community activities and projects that promote education, health and the environment. Awards for Allcan fund up to 100% of eligible project costs and is open to applications from constituted voluntary and community organisations, schools and statutory bodies. Awards for All is a rolling programme so there are no deadlines and we are currently funding almost 70% of applications received.Contact 0300 123 7110 or visit the website for more information on how to apply.

Community Food and Health (Scotland) (CFHS)
If you are a group or agency in Scotland who would like to remove barriers to healthy eating 
Community Food and Health (Scotland) has two funding opportunities available for groups and agencies in Scotland that wish to improve access to, and take up of, a healthy, varied and balanced diet. You can apply for either or both of these:

The Capacity Building Fund (Up to £500) is currently open. It will close once all the funding has been awarded. You can apply online. Please read the guidance notes before you apply

The Annual Development Fund (Between £500 and £2000) will open on Friday 10 June 2016 and close on Friday 5 August 2016

CSV’s Action Earth campaign is helping to get people and communities busy outdoors. CSV have grants to give to groups of volunteers who are carrying out environmental projects in Scotland. The campaign runs from April to February each year. Grants from £50 to £250 are available for practical activities that involve volunteers in improving outdoor spaces or creating habitats for wildlife. Grants can be used to purchase plants, tools and materials or to cover volunteer expenses.   
If your group is volunteering on a Local Nature Reserve we can give you up to £500 for practical work, wildlife recording or educational activities that encourage more people onto the reserve.  
If you have any questions contact Robert Henderson at or call 0131 222 9083 / 622 7766. For more information and to apply online go to:

Gannochy Trust Through its grant making, the Trust seeks to make a positive difference for the benefit of people living in Scotland, with a preference for Perth and Kinross.See

Lloyds TSB Foundation (Scotland) The Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland distributes its funds to recognised charities in Scotland which are focused on improving the quality of life for people in Scotland who are disadvantaged or at risk of becoming disadvantaged. It has a particular emphasis on funding grassroots charities (with an annual income of £500,000 or less). Funding is available through three funding programmes. The majority of grants are made through the Henry Duncan Awards (previously known as the Standard Grants Scheme). The two other funding programmes are the Capacity Building Programme which funds projects that enhance the effectiveness of the voluntary sector and the Partnerships Drug Initiative which aims to promote voluntary sector work with vulnerable children and young people affected by substance misuse. The Foundation also runs a number of funding surgeries to give people the opportunity to discuss their application face-to-face before it is submitted. For more information, please visit Lloyds TSB Foundation Scotland 

MacRobert Trust Grants Programme The MacRobert Trust, which makes grants to registered charities in the United Kingdom (but preference is given to registered charities in Scotland), has announced that the next application deadline is the 31st May 2016. The MacRobert Trust makes grants in the areas of Services and Sea; Education and Training; Children and Youth; Science, Engineering and Technology; Agriculture and Horticulture; and Tarland and the Local Area. Grants can range between £5,000 and £25,000 and occasionally
the Trustees make a recurring grant of up to three years. In addition a small grants programme facilitates awards of up to £5,000. 

RIAS Scottish Community Projects Fund Grants of up to £2,000 are available to local community groups towards feasibility studies for building or environmental improvement projects or employment or other initiatives which have social benefit.

SCDC Supporting Communities – offer extended to more groups
SCDC is offering its expanded package of community capacity building support, Supporting Communities, to even more community organisations. The free support is intended to enable community organisations at all levels and stages to improve their effectiveness and influence over the community needs and priorities that they are involved in tackling.
Please visit the Supporting Communities webpage on the SCDC website for more information.

Foundation Scotland
For a variety of local and national Scottish Charitable funding, visit the Foundation Scotland  web pages.


Retailers and Banks

Tesco Charity Trust The funding provided goes towards providing practical benefits, such as equipment and resources for projects that directly benefit children, the elderly, and adults and children with disabilities, living in the local communities around Tesco stores.Amount - £500 - £4,000
Contact: Tesco Charity Trust Awards Scheme, phone: 0845 612 3575
 also try
The Co-Operative
​Dobbies Garden Centres

Bank of Scotland
​Clydesdale Bank


Site Specific Funders

Biffaward Biffaward is a multi-million pound fund that helps to build communities and transform lives through awarding grants to community and environmental projects across the UK. There are three levels of funding available including Main Grants (Community) £5,000 to £50,000. For projects that provide and improve community facilities. Main Grants (Biodiversity)£5,000to £50,000, for projects that conserve wildlife, species and habitats for small Grants – £250 to £5,000. For projects that enable communities to improve local amenities and to conserve wildlife. There are no grant deadlines. Applications are accepted at any time. Find out more at

Is your project local to one of Scotlands airports?
Glasgow Airport Fightpath Fund
Edinburgh Airport Community Support

Scottish Land Fund The Scottish Government has reopened the Scottish Land Fund with a budget of £6 million.
Funded by the Scottish Government and administered by the Big Lottery Fund and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the Scottish Land Fund will offer both funding and guidance to help rural communities throughout Scotland buy their own land and land.

Climate Related and Green Energy Funding

The Climate Challenge Fund Climate Challenge Fund offers grants to a range of community organisations to help with the planning, learning, communication and most importantly, action to reduce carbon emissions. The projects can involve a range of actions, from helping us to use less energy, or walk and cycle more, to local sustainable food. The projects should be delivered in the context of the wider environmental, social and economic dimensions, that give people new skills, improve health, help them to work together or provide better community facilities, but carbon reduction must be at the heart of every proposal.

Energy Saving Trust If you are looking for funding for your community project then try the Energy Saving Trust web pages. There is lots of advice and many funding suggestions to be found on their  database at

Green Energy Trust  Local community groups and not for profit organisations and charities within the UK can apply for grants for the installation of renewable technologies. The funding which is available through the Green Energy Trust will provide grants of up to 25,000 (but most projects receive around £10,000) for up to half the cost of the chosen renewable technology. The maximum amount would only be awarded to exceptional projects that tick all the boxes and demonstrate real value for money. Projects also need to have a really strong community benefit and wider educational element. The Trust considers all kinds of renewable technologies, including small-scale hydro, wind power, biomass, landfill gas, solar energy and ground source heat pumps. Applications involving other technologies may also qualify for support. Grant requests must be to support the capital and installation costs of a renewable energy project. The Trust meets twice a year to consider applications - usually during the first week of April and October. Applications should be submitted as soon as possible. For more information, please visit Scottish Power Green Trust

E.ON Sustainable Energy Fund The E.ON Sustainable Energy Fund offers grants of up to £20,000 to community groups and not for profit organisations who wish to consider and implement sustainable energy projects in their buildings. Projects that can be considered include; the purchase and installation of one or more renewable energy technologies (e.g. wind, solar thermal, PV, wood etc); the renovation of existing facilities to incorporate micro-generation technology (e.g. the reinstatement of a watermill and the purchase of a turbine to produce hydro-electricity); an energy efficiency makeover for your building that could demonstrate significant energy savings and also behavioural change amongst users; and the use of new or innovative technology to deliver either energy savings or micro-generation capacity. To be eligible organisations must benefit specific groups namely: Education, vulnerable people;and people in fuel poverty. For more information, please visit: at


Mental Health Related Funding

See Me funding...does your gardening project reduce the stigma of mental ill health? If it does, why not apply for funding from See Me at


Funding for areas or groups at disadvantage

Baily Thomas Charitable Fund The Baily Thomas Charitable Fund is a registered charity which was established to support projects in the area of learning disability and to aid the care and relief of those affected bylearning disability by making grants to voluntary organisations within the UK and the Republic ofIreland working in this field. The Trust consider under learning disability the conditions generally referred to as severe learning difficulties, together with autism. In this area, they consider projects concerning children or adults. Application for funding is normally considered for capital and revenue costs and for both specific projects and for general running/core costs. They will not offer grants for research into or care of those with mental illness or dyslexia. They offer grants from £250 upwards. The next deadline for applications is the 1st October 2010. For more information, please visit Baily Thomas.

John Watson’s Trust awards grants for educational purposes to children and young people under the age of 21 who have a physical or learning disability, or who are socially disadvantaged. Grants are available to individuals or organisations working with eligible children and young people. Although the Trust operates primarily within Edinburgh and the Lothians, grants may be awarded Scotland wide depending on each individual case see John Watson's Trust


Gardening for Disabled Trust offers grants to individuals in order that they may continue to garden, despite advancing illness, age or disability. In order to apply for a grant, individuals must be a member of the Trust's Garden Club and have a written note from their GP, social worker or occupational therapist, describing their disability. The Trust offers a range of support measures such as; adapting private gardens to meet the special needs of the disabled; making grants towards tools, raised beds, paving and greenhouses; providing help with special gardens in hospitals, centres and schools; distributing information on garden aid and techniques; providing a forum for disabled gardeners by publishing the Garden Club magazine. The Trust committee meets once a month to consider applications. For more information, please visit:

The Sylvia Waddilove Foundation provides grants to charities for educational projects, music composition and performances, herbal medicine, medical research, disability, and farming related projects.Grants of up to £20,000 are available to registered charities with a turnover of less than£500,000. The Foundation favours supporting small charities that will carry out the project themselves (except in the case of medical research), who rely on volunteers and who can demonstrate a successful history of projects. The Trustees will usually meet to consider applications in January, April, July, and October. Applications need to be submitted before the last week in the month before the next meeting. For example, for an application to be considered at the January meeting, applicants will need to submit it before the last week of December. For more information, please visit

Elifar Foundation Support for people with severe disabilities Who can apply? People with severe disabilities or their representatives Every Life Is For A Reason (ELIFAR) Grants can be offered to fund any piece of specialised equipment or course of therapy for a severely disabled child or adult resident in the UK. Applications must be supported by evidence from a health care professional that the grant will make a significant improvement to quality of life and that funds to purchase the equipment/ therapy are unavailable elsewhere. For more information, please visit:

The Archer Trust What's it for? Support for disadvantaged people Who can apply? Small UK charities What is available? Between £250 and £3,000 The Trust helps small UK charities which support needy or deserving people, for example people with physical or mental disabilities or the disadvantaged, and operating in areas of high unemployment. For more information, please visit Archer Trust.

Woodward Trust The Trust aims to support small-scale, locally-based charitable initiatives in the UK. Applications are accepted from UK registered charities with an annual turnover of less than £250,000. For more information, please visit: Woodward Charitable Trust.

Santander Foundation Discovery Grants


The Cranfield Trust The Cranfield Trust is a nationally respected charity providing free management consultancy for charities and social enterprise groups involved in issues of poverty, disability or social exclusion. Highly skilled managers from the commercial sector act as Trust volunteers throughout the country. Volunteers donate their time and expertise to support the voluntary sector, providing advice and mentoring on a wide range of issues to improve management effectiveness, such as: • Business and strategic planning • Financial management • Marketing and communications • Developing IT systems • Human Resources and staffing For more information, please visit: Cranfield Trust.


Hilden Charitable Foundation Within the UK, the Hilden Charitable Fund makes grants to projects that address disadvantages, notably by supporting causes which are less likely to raise funds from public subscriptions. In particular, the Fund wants to support projects that address homelessness; asylum seekers and refugees; Community based initiatives for disadvantaged young people; Penal Affairs. Preference is given to supporting small community organisations with an income of less than £200,000 per year. For more information, please visit: Hilden Charitable Fund.


Funding for rural projects

LEADER is part of the Scotland Rural Development Programme, aimed at promoting economic and community development within rural areas. It replaces the Leader+ programme that ran from 2000 to 2006, and encourages new and experimental approaches to rural development. LEADER is a bottom-up method of delivering support for rural development through implementing a local rural development strategy. Support is aimed primarily at small-scale, community driven projects that are pilot and innovative in nature. Information can be found on the new Scotland National Rural website: Rural Development.


Children and Young People

BBC Children in Need are inviting not-for-profit organisations (including registered charities, voluntary organisations, schools, local authorities, churches, social enterprises, community interest groups, universities etc) working with disadvantaged children and young people 18 years and under, living in the UK, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands, to apply for grants of up to £10,000 through their small grants scheme. BBC Children in Need can only fund projects that focus on the differences made (outcomes) to the lives of disadvantaged children and young people. For this reason, when applying for a grant organisations must provide clear evidence that disadvantaged children and young people will be the primary beneficiaries of the project;and experience positive changes in their lives from the activities or services you are providing.BBC Children in Need aims to fund projects where a small amount can make a real contribution to the success of the project. Grants can be used to cover both, capital and revenue costs. For more information, please visit: BBC Children in Need.

Comic Relief UK Grants Programme
For grants to make a difference to the lives of young people in the UK
Comic Relief provides both capital and revenue and can pay for up to 100% of projects costs but they encourage applicants to get some of their funding from other sources. Comic Relief grants 




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