General Application Guidelines


1.1 The Baily Thomas Charitable Fund is a registered charity which was established primarily to aid the research into learning disability and to aid the care and relief of those affected by learning disability by making grants to voluntary organisations working in this field.

1.2 Learning Disabilities Learning disabilities (intellectual disabilities), and autism are our priorities for funding.  We consider projects for children or adults.  We do not give grants for research into or care of people with mental illness, dyslexia, dyspraxia nor ADHD, if they do not also have learning disabilities (intellectual disabilities).

1.3 The Fund’s work is linked with The Rix-Thompson-Rothenberg Foundation therefore applicants cannot apply to both.  If you receive a grant from either trust you are not eligible to reapply to the Fund until 2 years from receipt of the grant.


2.1 Funding is normally considered for capital and revenue costs and for both specific projects and for general running/core costs.

2.2 Grants are awarded for amounts from £250 and depend on a number of factors including the purpose, the total funding requirement and the potential sources of other funds including, in some cases, matching funding.

2.3 Normally one-off grants are awarded but exceptionally a new project may be funded over two or three years, subject to satisfactory reports of progress.

2.4 Grants should normally be taken up within one year of the issue of the grant offer letter which will include conditions relating to the release of the grant.

2.5 The following areas of work normally fall within the Fund's current policy providing they benefit the learning disabled:

  • Capital building/renovation/refurbishment works for residential, nursing and respite care, and schools;
  • Employment schemes including woodwork, crafts, printing and horticulture;
  • Play schemes and play therapy schemes;
  • Day and social activities centres including building costs and running costs;
  • Support for families, including respite schemes;
  • Independent living schemes;
  • Support in the community schemes;
  • Snoezelen rooms.

2.6 We do not normally fund:

  • Hospices;
  • Minibuses except those for residential and/or day care services for the learning disabled;
  • Advocacy projects;
  • Conductive Education projects;
  • Arts and theatre projects;
  • Swimming and hydro-therapy pools;
  • Physical disabilities unless accompanied by significant learning disabilities.
  • Grants for acquired brain injury unless the resulting learning disabilities occur early in the developmental period (i.e. birth, infancy or childhood), impacting on brain maturation and development and learning in childhood.
  • Appeals which are ethnically or religiously selective which the Fund defines as therefore not benefitting the wider community.

Printed Copies

You are required to submit your appeal using the Fund's online grant application form following the instructions under "How to Apply - Apply Online".   

To aid the preparation of your application prior to beginning the online process, you can download a copy of the general application guidelines and application form please click here to download a PDF version. This will open Adobe Acrobat in a new window.  Please note that handwritten applications cannot be accepted and you must not use this form to complete your application and then send to us via post or email.  If you submit a handwritten appl