The Vegetarian Charity is a registered charity that exists to help vegetarians and vegans up to, and including, 25 years of age.
Because we were originally set up as a charity to help vegetarian children, our charitable constitution limits us to giving grants to people who are under 26. By law, we can't make exceptions to this without changing our charitable constitution.
We use the Vegetarian Society's definition of 'vegetarian' – if you eat fish you are not a vegetarian. You need to supply contact details of two people (not family, house-mates or students) who are willing to vouch for your vegetarianism/veganism. We will write to them personally to request signed reference statements.
As long as you are a vegetarian or a vegan you can apply. Every application is considered on its own merits, but our trustees will be looking for evidence of commitment to your ethical diet – it might be best to wait until you have been vegetarian or vegan for at least a year or two.
Yes, we will consider applications from overseas.
Grants can be given for educational courses and for the relief of poverty. We help many people who are students, or who need help to become students. We also give grants to help with the purchase of items such as equipment for courses, equipment for applicants with special needs, computers, sewing machines, art materials, bedding, furniture, carpets, fridges etc.
We don't give funding for the purposes of starting up a business. We don't give funding which will directly go towards fund-raising for another charity. We don't give funding for the purposes of paying off debts. Our Trustees will turn down applications if they feel the purpose for which the grant is to be used is not in line with our vegetarian/vegan ethics.
Parents or guardians can apply on behalf of children. The grant must be used specifically to help the child, and not for the family as a unit. Requests for assistance with school clothing, school trips, shoes, coats and other essential items for children would receive careful consideration from the Trustees.
We will not offer a grant unless you have a firm acceptance of a university place – if you are waiting for exam results we will not begin the grant process until we know you are definitely going to university. If you think you will be stretched financially when you start your studies, it is best to wait until you need help as our Trustees may not give grants where the financial hardship is anticipated but not happening yet.
If you are within a month or two of your birthday, it's probably too late to apply. It can take a couple of months to process an application and you need to be under 26 on the day that we transfer funds to you. If you are applying for help with something that you will not be doing until you are 26, our trustees will generally consider that you are ineligible for assistance.
Each application is considered on its merits and it is not possible to say in advance whether or not it will be successful. Our trustees consider everything on your application form in detail, as well as looking at your income and expenditure, your CV and your references. We don't enter into correspondence about why applications are turned down.