2019-2020 Grants

Cardinal Vincent Nichols (Chair of the Charles Plater Trust) announced the 2019-2020 Plater Trust grants at its annual celebration held at the Cardinal Hume Centre, Westminster on 20th February 2020.

The Cardinal praised the vision of his predecessor, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor. “Cardinal Cormac  first promoted the idea of a foundation to support education for the disadvantaged in succession to Plater College. Here, today, we announce a further eight grants to add to the 44 awarded over the last 11 years. The applications we receive are witness to the considerable and excellent work being done, usually unreported, at parish and local level to meet the needs of the poor, marginalised and vulnerable in our society. Today we celebrate all that you, past and new grant recipients, do. We hope that our contribution will enable you to reach even more of those in need.”






(Photo: © Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk)

Among the projects awarded grants was the first grant awarded to a project for victims of modern slavery. The Medaille Trust will convert redundant church premises and grounds to allow their clients to work create allotments whilst meeting their social, spiritual and emotional needs and play an active part in their communities as they move from victim to survivor. Two other organisations, Father Hudson’s/Brushstrokes in Sandwell and Bolton’s Destitution Project work asylum seekers and migrants, providing for basic needs as well as offering English language and advice services. Soundabout (Berkshire) has gained a grant to work with children with disabilities on music making whilst St Wilfrid’s (Sheffield) plan to work with external evaluators on a Theory of Change to improve the impact of their work. Together for the Common Good will roll out their laity training and parish development programme across five dioceses. The other two awards are for research based projects – the Art of Dying Well aims to deepen understanding amongst health practitioners, chaplains, hospice workers, carers and bereavement groups to help people prepare for a good death whilst the Margaret Beaufort Institute project is to develop theological and ethical resources and training for Catholic pastoral work in prisons in England and Wales.

The eight successful award winners in 2020 are:

Organisation Grant Project Details
Art of Dying Well £30,150


This applied research, undertaken in conjunction with Demos, aims to deepen understanding amongst health practitioners, chaplains, hospice workers, carers and bereavement groups to help people prepare for a good death. This will be achieved through the delivery of workshops and the development of a guide from the workshop material. The findings will also shape future content on the increasingly popular public-facing website
Destitution Project £25,000 Bolton has the greatest number of asylum seekers for any UK town, We are the only charity in Bolton feeding destitute asylum seekers This project is to continue the Caseworker’s contract for another two years to tackle poverty, exclusion and economic inequality among asylum seekers. The team supplied 7,700 hot meals cooked by our volunteers in our kitchen. We supply clothes, rucksacks, shoes for all and when we have them, bikes, push chairs, duvets, sleeping bags. We provide a week’s groceries, toiletries and baby items to an average of 25/30 service users and their families per week. We have a well-attended drop-in, averaging 135 people per drop-in.
Father Hudson’s Care/Brushstrokes £51,167 Brushstrokes aims to develop existing English language education, mentoring and training activities as the primary issue facing asylum seekers, refugees and migrants in Sandwell. The project will be delivered by trained tutors and volunteers and aims to benefit a minimum of 220 existing and 90 new migrants over two years.
Margaret Beaufort Institute £24,756


The key aim of this project is to develop rich, targeted theological and ethical resources and training for Catholic pastoral work in prisons in England and Wales, and to newly shape CST from practice, collaborating throughout with those working in prison contexts.
Medaille Trust £58,950 The project aims to help victims of modern slavery and is to develop an allotment encompassing an “Ed Shed”.  The service is based on a repurposed church. The facility will provide opportunities for clients to have their social, spiritual and emotional needs met to enable them to grow and develop as individuals and play an active part within their communities when they move from being a victim to being a survivor.
Soundabout £12,440 The project is for disabled children and young pupils in four schools for those with special needs in Bracknell, Reading and Maidenhead. They will benefit from improved, consistent delivery of interactive music provision. Special needs teachers, musicians and other professionals will gain knowledge, skills and confidence in how to use simple music making activities in the classroom to stimulate communication skills, learning, physical movement and self-expression.
St Wilfrid’s Centre £49,872 St Wilfrid’s will work with an external evaluation consultant using a Theory of Change model to engage all stakeholders in the development of a new impact measurement framework. Working with Sheffield Hallam University and Social Work England, St Wilfrid’s will share its findings nationally as an evidence-based model of effective practice for helping people who experience severe and multiple disadvantage.
Together for the Common Good £50,000 Catholic laity are well-placed to play a key role in parishes, neighbourhoods and workplaces. However, capacity building is needed. This project centres around T4CG’s new “Here: Now: Us People” (HNUP) Common Good Training and Parish Development Workshop which has been tried and independently evaluated. The groundwork has been done and it is now ready to scale with partners in dioceses of Nottingham, Brentwood, Shrewsbury, Liverpool and Westminster.
Total £302,335



The Trust received 32 applications for funding, requesting over £1 million. These were mostly of the highest quality and only the limit on the amount available prevented more proposals from being supported. The Trust provides grants out of the proceeds of its investments from the sale of the original Plater College.  This year, the Trustees were able to allocate £300,000 to support eight projects. This brings the total number of projects supported by the Plater Trust to over 50 (and grants to over £2 million) since its establishment in 2008.