Recognising the
Work of Smaller

Sir Jules Thorn was a great humanitarian and whilst his endowment was provided primarily for medical research and medicine generally, he was content for some funds to be allocated to charities in response to appeals of a humanitarian nature. Accordingly, the Trustees allocate resources each year for such purposes.

The Ann Rylands Small Donations programme makes grants of up to £1,500 to support smaller charities across the UK providing support for older people, people with disabilities or others facing difficulties in their lives.

In normal times the Trust receives many more appeals than it can support and this has been exacerbated by Covid-19; which has imposed additional pressures on many charities and disrupted their normal income streams. In recent weeks the volume of applications to the Trust has been ten times the usual level.

Given this unprecedented demand, the Trust has temporarily closed the application system. This is to enable us to assess and respond to existing applications as efficiently as possible.

We hope to re-open the programme in early June.

Some information about other potential sources of funding is available here.


Applications are only accepted from charities registered and operating within the UK. The Trust does not accept applications from individuals, faith-based charities, from charities whose annual income exceeds £5million or for multi-year funding.

Each case is considered on its merits and the Trustees’ policy is to spread the funds as widely as possible. Successful applicants are awarded grants of up to £1,500 towards the charity’s core costs or for a specific project. Please note that this programme does not provide substantial sums for capital appeals.

The programme does not consider appeals from hospices. The  Trust has a separate Hospice Fund, which it has accelerated this year in response to Covid-19.


The on-line application system is currently closed while we respond to the unprecedented number of applications received in recent weeks. We hope to re-open the system in early June.

We would ask charities not to send us appeals by letter or e-mail. Regrettably, we can only consider requests received through the on-line application form.

If your charity has already submitted an application, we will assess your application as quickly as possible and contact you by email to let you know the outcome.

Charities considering whether to apply when the on-line system re-opens should ensure that they have read the guidelines for the programme.

More information about previous awards given under this programme can be found on the Previous Awards section of our website.