STAR RATING: 4/5
The Directory of Social Change’s website contains details of more than 3,500 trusts operating both nationally and locally, who between them have £362m available each year for “needy individuals”, writes Gary Vaux.
Previously, the content was only to be found in book form as A Guide to Grants for Individuals in Need and The Educational Grants Directory. These two publications (costing £35 each) have been in existence for almost 20 years and have proven to be very popular in social work offices.
This, of course, says a lot about the failings of the Social Fund and other “official” sources of help.
The website claims to include all publicly registered charities that give at least £500 a year to individuals. If you are visiting the site for the first time you can view it and access some of the information before deciding whether to subscribe or not.
And there’s the rub – the cost of subscription is steep. It ranges from £158 for a charity or voluntary organisation with just one registered user, to £670 for a statutory organisation with between 11 and 15 licensed users.
The website is only fully accessible by password and a different licence might be needed for each user.
The advantage of the website is that it is constantly updated as charities change contact details or criteria. “Searches” by key words such as a profession, industry or location are also possible, which saves ploughing through the printed version.
For those who can afford it, the website is a more valuable resource. For the rest of us, the printed version will remain available and at a more realistic price.
Gary Vaux is head of money advice, Hertfordshire council and Welfare Rights columnist for Community Care