Who we support

Our National Partners

As part of its grant programme, The Openwork Foundation is proud to partner with two national charities for the next three years; Cruse Bereavement Care and Dementia UK

The Openwork Foundation will support both charities in the form of an annual grant of £50,000 to each charity.

As well as providing financial support to maintain their vital services, The Openwork Foundation will work in partnership with these charities building a mutually beneficial relationship, sharing knowledge and best practice and help raise awareness of their crucial work.


Cruse Bereavement Care is the leading national charity for bereaved people. Cruse offers support, advice and information to children, young people and adults when someone dies, and works to enhance societies care of bereaved people.

Cruse offers telephone and website support and, until Covid-19, had been providing face to face support for 60 years.  It has a free National Helpline (0808 808 1677) local services and a website specifically for children and young people called Hope Again. Its services are provided by trained volunteers and are confidential and free.  Cruse also provides training and consultancy for external organisations and for those who may encounter bereaved people in the course of their work

Each day, more and more people go to Cruse for support, and the impact of the traumatic bereavements, some caused by the pandemic, will be felt for many years to come.  In the region of 60% of callers to the Cruse helpline say their grief has been negatively impacted by the pandemic and calls have become more complex.

In 2019-2020, Cruse and Cruse Scotland supported over 67,500 people directly, including children and young people. In 2020, they supported over 32% more people than in 2019, as a result of increased demand from the pandemic. 

Children and young people can be particularly vulnerable following a death in their lives. The effects can be profound, resulting in withdrawal and isolation, poor school attendance and achievement, anxiety, depression and low self-esteem. Unresolved childhood grief causes enduring and lifelong difficulties.

The Childhood Bereavement Network estimates that 23,000 parents die each year, leaving around 40,000 newly bereaved children under 18. Many others are bereaved of a sibling, grandparent or someone else close. During the pandemic, thousands more children and young people have been bereaved of close relatives and felt the ripple effect of deaths in their communities.

What will our funding support:

The grant of £50,000 per year from The Openwork Foundation will help Cruse to support more bereaved children and young people to develop coping tools and resilience.  A Children and Young People’s Service Manager will be appointed to recruit new volunteers, specialising in the support of children and young people.  Cruse will also expand its range of services for children and young people, providing more choice in how they can access the much needed support.

Through this partnership The Openwork Foundation hopes that more children and young people will be able to access the support services from Cruse and that they have somewhere they can turn to when someone they love dies.

You can read more about the personal stories of young people Cruse has supported here https://www.hopeagain.org.uk/hope-again-personal-stories



Dementia is an umbrella term for a range of conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease and can be devastating. It can rob someone’s memory, personality, and ability to communicate. The toll on families can be enormous – emotionally, physically, and financially – watching their loved one deteriorate over time.

Dementia UK provides specialist dementia support for families through their Admiral Nurse service. When things get challenging or difficult for people with dementia and their families, Admiral Nurses work alongside them, giving the compassionate one-to-one support, expert guidance and practical solutions that can be difficult to find elsewhere. They are a lifeline - helping families to live more positively with dementia in the present, and to face the challenges of tomorrow with more confidence and less fear.

The pandemic has had a devastating impact on dementia care and support. NHS, social care, and community services have all been in short supply, and many have ceased entirely, leaving an immense backlog in dementia diagnosis and care management. People with dementia are left feeling bewildered, debilitated and extremely vulnerable.

The dementia specialist Admiral Nurses can make all the difference. They support around 70,000 carers annually, including 27,624 people on their national dementia Helpline in 2020 – a 34% increase, compared to the year before.

The Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline ensures that anyone, anywhere in the UK, can access expert support and advice from a dementia specialist nurse. 

Admiral Nurses take the time to listen; to get to understand each family’s unique situation. They can recognise the touchpoints that are causing the most stress; and they have the expertise and experience to suggest coping mechanisms or support networks to alleviate some of that pressure. For many carers, it can feel as though they are being listened to and understood for the very first time. 

What will our funding support:

The grant of £50,000 per year from The Openwork Foundation will fund Dementia UK’s most recent Helpline Admiral Nurse, Julie Green, who joined the team in January 2021.   Julie will provide the holistic and expert care that families need to cope with each of their own personal situations. Julie works within a team of 48 helpline nurses delivering vital care and support to make sure Dementia UK can provide this crucial care to as many people as possible.   You can find more information about Dementia UK’s Admiral Nurse service here: https://www.dementiauk.org/get-support/admiral-nursing/ 

Through this partnership The Openwork Foundation hopes to help Dementia UK bring specialist dementia care closer to every family who needs it. 

Grants and Volunteering

The partners, advisers, and staff within the Openwork Group can nominate a UK registered charity for a grant of up to £10,000 for a specific project or operational costs to maintain their valuable services. These grant applications are assessed quarterly by our Grant Committee, which is made up of members of the Openwork Group.

Grants we have previously awarded have helped:

-       charities fund the salaries of specialist staff

-       fund respite for carers supporting vulnerable people, children and adults alike.

-       fund the building of adventure playgrounds for disabled children

-       purchase medical equipment and mobility equipment

-       build hydrotherapy pools and conversions in hospices

-       contribute to the cost of specially adapted minibuses for people living with disabilities.

-       fund the training of hearing dogs for deaf people

We also issue smaller grants of up to £250 to charities where there is not a specific project to fund. It gives our supporters the opportunity to support a cause close to their heart, that may have supported a member of their family or themselves.

Applications for these grants must also be nominated by a member of the Openwork Group.

Through the Openwork Foundation ‘community challenge’ programme, staff are encouraged to complete challenges throughout the year to help local charities where they live and work.

Previous challenges have included:

-       painting and decorating charity premises

-       renovating sensory playgrounds

-       providing young carers and their families with a day of fun and respite

To encourage participation, all Openwork staff receive one paid day a year to volunteer.  The Openwork Group uplift their fundraising by 50% to allow them give back even more.

The mission of the Openwork Foundation will always be to make a positive difference to those in need, whether it be through the donation of money, the giving of time or the sharing of skills.

Together, we’re proud to make a difference.



Nominating a charity

Advisers and colleagues throughout the Openwork Group have the opportunity to nominate an eligible UK registered charity, supporting vulnerable children or adults in the UK or overseas, for a grant.

Charities that wish to apply for funding though any of our grant programmes must be nominated by a member of Owl / The Openwork group. We do not accept unsolicited applications for any of our grants.

In addition to raising funds and awarding grants, our colleagues and advisers are actively encouraged to volunteer in the community.

External Link