GroceryAid School Essentials Grant

Source: GroceryAid

The fund provides non-repayable grants of up to £150 per child of school age

GroceryAid has extended its School Essentials Grant after securing £1m in additional funding.

First launched in 2020, the scheme provides non-repayable grants of up to £150 per child to the families of colleagues within the grocery sector, that can be put towards essential equipment or uniforms needed for school.

The additional funding – which has been provided by the Leverhulme Trade Charities Trust – means GroceryAid will be able to support 6,600 children in total with this year’s fund, an 11% increase on last year.

“We are thrilled to be able to offer more children than ever before the chance to start school with the essential items they need to have the best start to the school year,” said Mandi Leonard, GroceryAid welfare director.

The charity has also extended the window for applicants to apply in order to make the grants more accessible. Colleagues can apply via the GroceryAid website from 9am on 18 June, with the window closing on at 5pm on 20 June.

“After listening to valuable feedback from our supporters, we are leaving applications open for three days to enable more people to apply. We want to ensure the application process is fair for shift workers and those who may not have access to a computer or phone during working hours,” Leonard said, adding that applicants will be notified about the outcome within six weeks.

Each household can request separate grants for a maximum of three school-age children per household. Successful applicants will be randomly selected among those who meet the criteria, which is listed on GroceryAid’s website.

The Leverhulme Trade Charities Trust provides financial support for people working in the grocery sector, such as pharmacists and commercial travellers.

“The Leverhulme Trade Charities Trust is delighted to support GroceryAid’s Schools Essential Grant, providing much-needed assistance to grocery workers and their families during the expensive back-to-school period,” said former Tesco CEO Dave Lewis, who acts as an advisor to the charity.

The extension comes as the cost of living crisis, coupled with surging levels of retail crime and abuse in stores, means GroceryAid’s services are needed in ever-increasing numbers. The charity responded to more than 40,000 separate reports for support in 2023, an increase of 44% on the previous year.

The charity offers a range of grants and wider support for anyone who works in the food and drink sector. Its annual Barcode music festival is scheduled for 2024, with DJ Pete Tong set to headline.