Charities that give Bankruptcy fee and DRO fee assistance / help

Updated 19/May/2016

Below are some of the charities that will award grants for bankruptcy fees or Debt Relief Order (DRO) fees. You need to distinguish between the Bankruptcy deposit fee (currently £525) and the the Adjudicator fee is £130 - as at Sept 2012. DRO fees are currently £90 (but these are only available to people with a total debt figure of lerss than £15,000. there is no Court Fee to pay for this as it is all done online). Where you're applying to a charity for help to pay the bankruptcy fee and/or adjudicator fee, you need to give the charity the ADJ payment reference number (i.e. it will begin with ADJ) so that the payment can be made by them directly.

Assistance with paying the court fee will usually be made on court Form EX160A (available at any County Court or High Court at the back of the booklet that explains what financial assistance the court will grant and under what financial circumstances - or you can download and print it out yourself. Don't print the entire booklet, but do read it, and then just print out the pages at the end of the booklet that contain the form you'll hand into the court. You should also collect at a court, or download, and read the allied booklets - Form EX160C Extended Table of Contributions - to be read in conjunction with Court fees - Do I have to pay them? (EX160A)).
If you are unable to get a grant (not a loan as it is not re-payable) from any of these charities, take a hard look around your home for things you could possibly sell on Ebay (or similar) - you might be surprised what’s in your garage or attic or cupboards that is sellable. Even ornaments on your mantelpiece that have no great emotional value may be sellable.

When you make your bankruptcy and/or DRO applications, do NOT forget to add in your current years Council Tax as well as ALL of your water bill for the whole year IF you are NOT on a water meter (it's a full year debt from the beginning of the tax year. Even if you are on benefits now and are getting Council Tax benefits, you might get a job before the end of the tax year, so why pay Council Tax for the rest of the tax year when you can get it wiped out in the bankruptcy or DRO).

Charis Grants
PO Box 42
Peterborough  PE3 8XH
Tel:  01733 421021
Fax :  01733 421020
Email: for info on who they currently represent

You can download the application forms from each of the sites this charity management company services and see additional info (mainly water and energy companies)
The Anglian Water Assistance Fund DO NOT give grants for bankruptcy fees or Further Assistance Funds (furniture, etc) any more - they have now stopped this.
The trust funds below are all administered by Charis Grants and also give grants to reduce or clear arrears of gas or electricity debts, or help with other essential household bills or costs.

EDF Energy Trust Fund


Only current domestic customer of EDF Energy can apply to EDF Energy Trust is aimed primarily at clearing energy debt but in exceptional circumstances can help with other bills and costs.The Trusts can help people by giving grants to :--
Reduce or clear some forms of debt, bankruptcy fees;
Help with other essential domestic bills and costs, e.g. bed, cooker, washing machine, fridge, etc.
(you can apply for help with these even if you don't apply for help with your Gas / electricity charges, so long as you are an EDF customer )

British Gas Energy Trust


This is a national Trust Fund which helps only current domestic customers of British Gas or Scottish Gas by giving grants to reduce or clear arrears of gas or electricity debts - or help with other essential household bills or costs ( called "Further Assistance Payments" - however it needs to be a very good case). The Trusts can help people by giving grants to :--
Reduce or clear some forms of debt, bankruptcy and Debt Relief Order fees;
Help with other essential domestic bills and costs, e.g. bed, cooker, washing machine, fridge, etc.
(you can apply for help with these even if you don't apply for help with your Gas / electricity charges, and you do NOT need to be a British Gas customer )

This and numerous other trust funds are administered by Charis Grants (mainly water companies' trust funds), which may also give grants for bankruptcy /DRO's, so check with them first, as the rules governing who they give to, and what they will give for are regularly changing


The Heinz, Anna, and Carol Kroch Foundation

P.O Box 5,
Lancashire LA2 7XA
Tel: 01 524 263 001
Fax: 01 524 262 721

This Trust fund is very small and will not help people who contact them directly.
They only help people who approach them via an institution, such Social Services, Citizens Advice Bureau, NHS etc. who need to make the application on your behalf.
They are not able to give ANY advice directly to members of the public.

People who suffer from severe poverty and financial hardship and who also have ongoing medical problems. They are also willing to consider recent cases of domestic violence.
They need to know the background of the client, family makeup (including age) income and expenditure, what a grant will be used for, an indication of other charities apporached and how much money has been raise to date.

Applications must be made by letter, with a supporting letter from a medical, advice organisation, or welfare professional.
Applications should include full financial information including income and expenditure.

The Royal British Legion  
Will ONLY help serving and ex-service personnel and their dependents - this also includes anyone who is or has been in territorial (part time) armed forces

This provides the detailed definitions for those who are eligible for support from the Legion and any specific eligibility requirements for specific Poppy Support services.

2. Eligible beneficiaries
The eligibility criteria for support from the Legion are outlined in The Royal Charter. Those eligible will fall into one of the following categories:

  1. Beneficiary (the qualifying person or person who served in the Armed Forces);
  2. Dependants, which include:
  3. Children;
  4. Spouses and partners; and
  5. Other dependants.
  6. Carers.

Definitions for each of the categories above are provided in the sections below. However, it should be noted that generally across the Legion anyone who is eligible for Legion support is referred to as a "beneficiary".

3. Beneficiaries
Beneficiaries are people who satisfy any of the following :--

  1. Any man or woman who is currently serving as a Regular, Reserve, or Auxiliary,  Member of the Royal Navy, Army or Royal Air Force and who is aged 16 years or over and has received 7 days' pay;
  2. Any man or woman who has previously received 7 days' pay as a Regular, Reserve, or Auxiliary, member of the Royal Navy, Army or Royal Air Force, and is aged 16 years or over;
  3. Any man or woman who served with the Mercantile Marine afloat in hostile waters or as a full time member of Allied Civil Police Forces or who is entitled to the campaign medal issued to the Royal Navy, Army or Royal Air Force to those giving them direct support or under their command;
  4. Any Member of Voluntary Aid Societies, who has served full time and in uniform in direct support of the United Kingdom Armed Forces;
  5. Any British subject (whether by birth or otherwise) who has served at least 7 days in:
    •  the Forces of an Allied Nation and received 7 days' pay from that nation or
    • a resistance organisation of an Allied Nation during hostilities in which the United Kingdom Armed Forces were engaged.
  6. Any man who served in the Home Guard for at least 6 months, or in a Bomb and Mine Disposal Unit for at least 3 months or was awarded the Defence Medal in respect of service in the Home Guard or in a Bomb and Mine Disposal Unit.

4. Dependants
Dependants can include children, spouses, and partners (this category includes widows or widowers) or other dependants; these categories are detailed below.

4.1 Children
A child is any child of a beneficiary or spouse who is:

  1. Under Compulsory School Age (CSA);
  2. Under the age of 25 and in full-time education;
  3. Requires ongoing care for a physical or mental impairment.

4.2 Spouses and partners
A spouse or partner is anyone who:

  1. Is married to a beneficiary;
  2. Has entered into a civil partnership with a beneficiary;
  3. Is currently cohabitating with a beneficiary and has been for more than 12 months;
  4. Has previously been married to a beneficiary and has not entered into a new marriage, civil partnership or cohabitating relationship;
  5. Has previously been in a civil partnership with a beneficiary and has not entered into a new marriage, civil partnership or cohabitating relationship;
  6. Has previously been in a cohabitating relationship with a beneficiary for more than 12 months, which ended not more than 12 months earlier and has not entered into a new marriage, civil partnership or cohabitating relationship;
  7. Was married to a beneficiary who died, and has not entered into or is no longer in, a new marriage, civil partnership or cohabitating relationship;
  8. Was in a civil partnership with a beneficiary who died, and has not entered into or is no longer in, a new marriage, civil partnership or cohabitating relationship;
  9. Was in a cohabitating relationship with a beneficiary for 24 months or more when the beneficiary died, and has not entered into a new marriage, civil partnership or cohabitating relationship.

4.3 Other dependants
Other dependants are people who are:

  1. Financially dependent on a beneficiary;
  2. Cohabitating with a beneficiary;
  3. Related to a beneficiary by way of birth, marriage or civil partnership.
  4. Entirely dependent on a beneficiary due to a physical or mental impairment.

5. Carers - Carers are those who have an ongoing caring responsibility for a beneficiary. .

The Officers Association
Only anyone who has held a commission in the British armed forces can apply

Commissioned Officers are those who have achieved a rank of, or above, the following :--

  1. Second Lieutenant - Army;
  2. Second Lieutenant - Royal Marines;
  3. Sub Lieutenant - RN; and
  4. Pilot Officer - RAF.

They include Officer Cadets (not to be confused with Cadet Officers) who have received seven days pay, as per the definition of a "beneficiary" as in the British Legion above .

Most Regiments and units within the armed forces have their own specific Trust Funds who will likewise assist financially and are listed in the book called "Charities for individuals in need" published by the Directory for Social Change, a copy of which is held in most public libraries.

The Licensed Trade Charity

Licensed Trade Support & Care
London Road
Berks SL5 8DR
Tel: 01344 898550
Email: support&

Will ONLY give assistance for anyone who is, or has been, employed within the Licensed Trade (i.e. a pub, club that sells alchohol, an off license, a restaurant that sells alchohol, etc).

Unison Welfare

help for UNISON + former NALGO members and bona fide dependants of partners of current or past members
1 Mabledon Place
London WC1H 9AJ
Phone: 0207 551 1620


There are undoutedly several other unions and trade associations that will help with the fees who are currently untapped, so the best place for info on this will be the Trades Union Congress (TUC)
Congress House
Great Russell Street
London WC1B 3LS
Phone 0207 636 4030
Fax: 0207 636 0632

The Civil Service Benevolent Fund
Only for anyone who currently is, or has been, a civil servant of ANY kind.

Macmillan Cancer Care
Only for anyone having cancer or a family member having cancer who is suffering financial hardship.

MS Society
Assistance with bankruptcy fees will be considered from applicants who have sought specialist money advice. 
However, please be advised that this charity are ONLY able to help people who are affected by multiple sclerosis (MS) with bankruptcy and DRO fees once they have sought specialist money advice.
They are not able to help people who do not have MS with these costs

The Dibs Charitable Trust

Mr Davis 
12, City Forum,
250 City Road,
London EC1V 8AF
Fax: 0148 471 8647

These are usually heavily oversubscribed, but worth a try if all else has failed

United Utilities Trust Fund

you need to be a customer no matter where you live.

Sutton Coldfield
B72 1TJ
Phone: 0845 179 1791

Elizabeth Finn Care

(mainly) help people whose former careers have been interrupted or ended through circumstances beyond their control:
physical or mental illness, redundancy, family breakdown, or those struggling on low income in retirement.

Elizabeth Finn Care
Hythe House
200 Shepherds Bush Road
London W6 7NL
Phone: 0208 834 9200 (during office hours)

The City of Oxford Charity

For Oxford residents only who must have been resident in the City of Oxford for a minimum of three years. Applications are considered at meetings of the Trustees which are held every six weeks.
Applicants will be required to complete an application form which can be obtained using this link.
The Administrator,
City of Oxford Charity,
The Office,
Stones Court,
St Clements,
Oxford, OX4 1AP

Phone 01865 247161 (between 9.00AM - 1.00 PM for more info)


BMA Charities

For unemployed doctors (+ dependents) with debt problems - help with outstanding Council Tax or bankruptcy fees
Clerk to the Trustees,
Marian Flint
BMA head office
BMA House,
Tavistock Square,
London WC1H 9JP
Telephone: 0207 387 4499
0207 383 6142



Trade Union to represent artists from across the entire spectrum of arts and entertainment. There are various branches across the UK the details of which can be had from the head office.
Again, this union will only assist its own members. If you are not involved in the arts and/or entertainment.

Head Office
Guild House
Upper St Martins Lane
Phone: 0207 379 6000
Fax: 0207 379 7001

Norwich Consolidated Charities

This is one of a group of charities for people living anywhere within Norfolk
10 Golden Dog Lane
Norfolk NR3 1BP
Phone: 01603 621023
Fax: 01603 767025

Matthew Trust

The Matthew Trust is a last-stop agency providing grants to people with mental health problems. Grants are given only when all other avenues of funding are exhausted.
Applicants for grants must demonstrate either that no other avenue of funding is open to them, or that they have succeeded in getting their need part-funded.
Grants are rarely made directly to the applicant; but through their representative. E.g. social worker, probation officer, community care worker, GP, advice agency worker.

Do they have an Application Form? - No.

How do you apply? Write a brief letter and include the following information :--

  1. Name, Address & Age of the person requiring help.
  2. Health & Age of other close family members.
  3. Outline background of the mental health problem.
  4. Type of support required (bankrupty or DRO (or both for couples where each is applying for a different fee)
  5. Include details of cost
  6. Details of other organisations to whom you have applied for support.

If you have a mental health problem, can you apply directly to the Trust Fund? - No. Please discuss your application with an agencyworker (Social Worker, GP, Citizen's Advice Bureau, Teacher) and ask them to write the initial letter on your behalf.

DRO fees cheques will be sent to the organisation applying on your behalf and made out to the Insolvency Service which needs to be sent to the Birmingham office of the Insolvency Service (speak to the Plymouth DRO office for details). Bankruptcy fe cheques will be made out to The Courts Service.

The Matthew Trust
P O Box 604,
London SW6 3AG
Tel: 0207 736 5976
Fax: 0207 731 6961


St Martin-In-The-Fields Vicar's Relief Fund

Craig Norman
6 St Martin's Place
Tel: 020 7766 1125 (Charities Manager direct line)
Fax: 020 7389 0773

Only priority requests due to VERY limited resources. Grants up to £250 to anyone threatened with homelessness, currently homeless, destitute and/or vulnerable and have been homeless and are attempting to establish a tenancy.
VRF is very heavily over-subscribed. Individuals cannot apply on their own behalf, or request application forms for their support workers or advisors to fill out for them. ONLY CASEWORKERS FROM AN ORGANISATION APPLYING ON YOUR BEHALF CAN APPLY FOR APPLICATION FORM AND APPLY ON YOUR BEHALF (such as a CAB or other advice organisation caseworker / adviser, social worker, etc)

St John's Hospital Almoner

Geographical Area
Funding is only available for people who reside within the boundaries of the City of Bath, with one exception, Magdalen Educational Foundation. Applications for grants from this fund can be considered within a thirty-mile radius of Bath.

eligibility Criteria
In awarding grants to individuals, the Trustees will apply the following criteria:
• The family or individual MUST live within the boundaries of the City of Bath.
• One grant per family unit (which term also includes individuals) is considered in any twelve-month period.

The Application and Payment Process
The Almoner will only accept applications for individuals and families through a recognised local agency (such as Citizens Advice or a similar advice organisation, probation officer, social services, Community Psychiatric nurse or similar, etc), not from the person themselves.
• The agency will complete the application form and send it to the Almoner.
• The application is assessed by the Almoner against the above criteria.
• The Almoner will inform the agency if the application has been successful.

General Enquiries
Main Office
4/5 Chapel Court
Main Reception: 01225 486400

Turn2Us - a searchable site that helps people find the money available to them through welfare benefits, grants and other help.

This free website has been designed to help find appropriate sources of financial support based on your particular needs and circumstances but does not list all charities that will assist you.

Don't take this list as complete, as there are many trust funds that have not (yet) been asked. Your best source for this is usually your local library, specifically a book called "A Guide to Grants for Individuals in Need" published by the Directory for Social Change (web: ). It lists just about every charity in the UK that gives money to individuals (rather than just to other charities).

IF you find any other charities that will give grants for bankruptcy or DRO fees, I'd appreciate an email so that I can add it to the listing here.

Updated as of - 09/June/2015 ( a new database of Charity / Trust Funds is currently being processed and compiled)

These below are charities / trust funds that have previously been successfully applied to by advisers to obtain DRO or bankruptcy fees :--

Bank Workers Charity -
British Boxing Board of Control charitable Trust –
Ben -
Boots Benevolent Fund -
Bordan Charity -
Charity for Civil Servants -
Chesham Sick Poor Fund -
Dibs charitable trust - Fax: 0148 471 8647.
Eaton fund -
East Surrey Domestic Abuse Services -
Electrical Industries Charity -
Griffin Club -
Grocery Aid -
Hair and Beauty Benevolent Fund -
Hospitality Action -
Iver Heath Sick Poor Fund -
Joseph Rowntree Foundation -
Lions Clubs -
Lighthouse Benevolent Fund (construction industry and related trades) –
Miners Benevolent Fund -
Perennial (Horticulture) –
Railway Benefit fund -
Rainy Day Trust -
Retail Trust -
Roland Hill Fund -
Rope Trust -
Sail -
Society for the assistance of Ladies in Reduced circumstances -
Southern Water -
Thames Water -
Unison -
United Utilities -
Watford Health Trust (residents of Borough of Watford only) -
Hospitality Action -


© Researched, designed and built by Stuart Blackstock 2002 - 2016