Building the WTRRP Grants team

When I first joined WTRRP in the summer of 2018, Marie-Jo and Dorothy told me that one of the biggest problems facing the charity is that we don’t have enough funding or any paid staff to help us meet the needs of our growing client base. 

One solution to this is to bid for grant funding. That’s where I come in, and luckily for me, I don’t have to do it alone! Before long, I was joined by an excellent group of volunteers – Grethe Hansen, Mick Hayter and Peter Howard. Together, we make up WTRRP’s brand new grants team. 

We had an early win in March when we were granted £668 by County Councillors Stephen Giles-Medhurst and Phil Williams from their locality budgets. 

Our bids for large grants have been less successful so far, with The Tudor Trust and Help Refugees declining to fund the cost of a part-time administrator and clients’ Home Office and NHS fees. We’re now focusing on learning as much as possible about how to word applications to larger funders. 

In the meantime, we’re submitting applications to smaller local funders and we’ve been quite effective. 

We successfully applied for £1,713 from Magic Radio to fund the food and transport for the children’s activities over the summer. These include the trips to the Lee Valley White Water Centre for teenagers and the ‘Food and Fun’ afternoons for families with younger children.

To complement these activities, we applied for funding for children aged 8-11 to attend activity camps during the holidays. We were overjoyed when Hertfordshire Community Foundation granted us £985 to keep these children happy and occupied during the school holidays in 2020.

One of our clients with leave to remain but no recourse to public funds, has been given a grant of £650 from the COSARAF Charitable Foundation for ESOL lessons, for which we’re very grateful.  

The County Councillors were, again, very generous this summer, and we succeeded in getting commitments for a total of £2,050 from their locality budgets. Councillors Nigel Bell, Asif Khan, Mark Watkin and Tim Williams donated these funds to help adult clients in need of ESOL classes, driving lessons and vocational training. 

We’re waiting to hear back about a couple of other applications we’ve submitted, as we continue to hone our application-writing skills. Meanwhile, we’re hoping clients will begin to see the impact of our work in the form of more opportunities to take part in education, training and fun activities this summer. 

You can help us in two ways. Firstly, please share any potential funding opportunities that you come across. Secondly, let us know if you have any ideas of items, services, activities or projects that we could provide to clients if we had the funding. My email is


Grace Da Costa, Grants Coordinator