Relief in Need Charity


The Stratford upon Avon Relief in Need Charity, or Relief in Need Charity, administers the charities of John Combe, Thomas Combe, Richard Smith for Bread, Thomas Durant, Hubert Gibbs and Annie Justins and is itself administered by the Municipal Charities of Stratford upon Avon.

More detailed information regarding the individual charities can be found in the Governing Deed.

​​Core Purpose

​The Relief in Need Charity exists primarily to provide financial assistance to individuals and families in conditions of need, hardship or distress living within the town boundary of Stratford upon Avon or, in exceptional circumstances, those living immediately outside of the Town who the Trustees deem would be eligible for grants if resident within the Boundary. In addition to grants to individuals, the Charity will also consider applications from organisations who wish to fund specific projects or initiatives where the beneficiaries fit the criteria detailed above.

Grant Applications

Applications are subject to income and expenditure assessment and will be considered for a variety of reasons. Grants are not approved for the repayment of debts, rent or council tax arrears, nor are rental deposits provided. Documentary evidence in support of financial information will be requested and grants are not generally considered unless all statutory benefits are being claimed.

When applying for financial assistance in connection with a specific health condition, applicants will be asked to include, where possible, a letter in support of the application from an appropriate external support individual or agency such as a GP, Occupational Therapist, Nurse for Older People or Warwickshire County Council Adult Health & Community Services.

Applications are welcomed from individuals using a generic application form or via support agencies, such as Citizens Advice South Warwickshire, where a current Financial Statement is submitted on behalf of the applicant. Applications from organisations are considered based on a brief business case.

All grant applications are treated in the strictest of confidence, in line with GDPR legislation and the Data Protection Policy of the Municipal Charities of Stratford upon Avon.

Scope of Grants

Charities for relief in need operate in the same field as statutory services. Trustees who administer such charities are careful to avoid repeating or abating those services. Charity trustees are therefore familiar with the system of social benefits, the effect upon them of grants from charitable sources and the gaps left by them which can be filled by charitable services or facilities to relieve those in need.

By consulting with the Local Authority, Social Care, the Department for Work and Pensions and any other relevant body concerned with people in need, Trustees are fully conversant with what assistance and services these organisations can offer in particular circumstances, by way of grants, and may be able to ascertain information about people living within the Charity’s area of benefit who have needs which statutory services are unable to relieve completely.

Trustees are not confined to giving relief in those cases of need which are also eligible for supplementary benefits or limited to providing those items which have been allowed for in calculating the amount of supplementary payments.

The provisions of the scheme give the Trustees a wide choice in the sort of relief that they can give out of the income of the Charity, so long as the need is clear. Whatever relief they give is given only to assist the kind of people mentioned, must be related to the needs of each case and must be reasonable in the circumstances, taking into account what relief is available from other sources.