Bursaries & benevolent fund

Sometimes we all need a helping hand. As part of our commitment to supporting our members in times of need, we offer some financial bursaries and benefits. These funds lighten the load for families in extreme circumstances – or support them in happier times; like when you or your child begins university.

PLEASE NOTE: due to the Coronavirus crisis, we have suspended the normal operation of our benevolent fund activities below.

The Benevolent/Hardship fund has been rolled into a new and enhanced Community Member Support Fund.

Bursary applications for 2020 will be deferred until next year.

Our normal Regional charity fund is also being rolled into the Community Member Support Fund with the aim of supporting more local charities helping people get through the crisis.

Benevolent fund

The Benevolent Fund exists to provide assistance to members and their families who are experiencing severe financial hardship. Donations are made to those with exceptional needs, for whom state support is insufficient or not forthcoming. Typically many individuals and families are in distress and have few other places to turn to for support.

If you’re a Community member and would like to apply for the Benevolent fund, you can download an application form Word version here or a printable PDF version here. Alternatively, you can call the Service Centre on 0800 389 6332 and ask to be posted a form. If your organisation has a workplace rep, you can also speak directly to them.

Regional Charity fund

The Regional Charity fund is a £500 fund available every 3 months for local charities and good causes supported by our members in our Community branches. If you are a member with a charity or good cause you believe Community could support, you can apply online by clicking this link. (All physical applications must be submitted to your local Regional Office for consideration).

Higher education bursary fund

Community has always been a champion of lifelong learning. But we always want to do more.  So we have established a fund that provides members (or their children) with a bursary to support them in their first year at university or higher education college.

“As somebody who has been a lifelong learner through the union, I know the value of a good education.  I also know that thanks to this government the cost of higher education has dramatically increased.  That’s why I’m proud that we are offering this opportunity to our members and their children.

“I hope members who are going back into education or the sons or daughters of our members will consider applying.  We did talk about whether we could provide all members and their children with a higher education benefit but rather than providing £20 book tokens for all, we decided it would be better to provide a smaller group of individuals with a bursary that could transform their experience of their first year in higher education and that, in turn, they could go on to inspire others.” Roy Rickhuss, General Secretary

The small print!

  • Bursaries are available for the first year of study only.
  • Bursaries are primarily available for the first degree course entered into by the student, or for the first year of some postgraduate professional conversion courses e.g. PGCE. Bursaries are generally not available to masters degree courses.
  • Bursaries range in value, up to £4,500, depending on the successful applicant’s circumstances.
  • Bursaries are available to both members returning to education, and their children entering into higher education (Higher education is classed as education at University or similar establishments at degree level or equivalent).
  • The benefit is available to members throughout the UK, irrespective of national funding provisions;
  • Bursaries are not available where the course of study is outside of the UK.
  • Members must have a minimum of 3 years membership;
  • Successful applicants (members’ children) will commit to union membership if they are not already members.
  • Bursaries will be paid after the course of study has commenced and will be paid in reimbursement of, and in payment of, specific costs and expenses – for example, the purchase of course materials and equipment, housing and travel costs etc.  Bursaries will generally not be paid towards the actual cost of study (tuition fees).

How to apply for 2020

  • The closing date for applications was 30th April 2020, and applicants will be informed whether their application has been successful or otherwise in or about May/June 2020.
  • If you’re a Community member and would like to apply for the Higher Education Bursary, you can download an application form here. Alternatively, you can call the Service Centre on 0800 389 6332 and ask to be posted a form. If your organisation has a workplace rep, you can also speak directly with them.