The Gloucestershire Society

Caring for Gloucestershire since 1657

The Gloucestershire Society was founded in December 1657 by fifty Gloucestershire gentlemen (wealthy merchants), who lived in Bristol. Their aim was to distribute some of their wealth through the charitable foundation, which became known as The Gloucestershire Society, to those of Gloucestershire birth, who had fallen upon hard times.

To this very day, The Gloucestershire Society keeps to the original goals of those fifty Gloucestershire gentlemen and distributes small grants to those in need in Gloucestershire, South Gloucestershire and Bristol, north of the River Avon, providing them with immediate help. We accept grant applications from support and welfare agencies, but not from individuals directly.

Please support The Gloucestershire Society with donations. Our charity replies upon your generous support to be able to help those in need in the Ceremonial County of Gloucestershire. Due to our lean structure and volunteers, our administrative costs are very small, so that the vast majority of donations go directly to the people who need your help.

The President's Message 2024

The Gloucestershire Society is one of Britain’s oldest charities. In 1657, fifty Bristol 'Merchants' all born in Gloucestershire, decided they should help others born in the county who had fallen on hard times.

For the last 366 years, the Society has raised funds each year from generous donors to give to people in need who live within the boundaries of the old county of  Gloucestershire, including Bristol and South Gloucestershire. Almost all of the money we raise is distributed in charitable donations, because all work undertaken by the Society is through volunteers.

The Society makes small grants for specific purposes to people who are in significant, and often desperate need, such as victims of domestic abuse, vulnerable families, the old and lonely or the homeless. Grants are given only where no other charity or agency is able to help.

Requests for help come to us from many organisations including social services, citizens advice bureaux, Barnardo’s, local councils, housing associations and other local bodies. Our volunteers, most of whom have worked for the charity for many years, assess applications and approve a grant of funds, typically of £200 or less. Last year we made donations to more than 800 people and to meet the demand we need to raise significant funds each year.

Today, at this time of rapidly rising prices, the need is as great as it has ever been and we would be enormously grateful for whatever support you can give us.

A helping hand at the right time can be a lifeline.

Jonathan Seymour-Williams
President of The Gloucestershire Society 2024

Jonathan Seymour-Wiliams - President of The Gloucestershire Society 2024

Request for Grants

The Gloucestershire Society welcomes requests from professional staff, working at agencies or organisations recognised by The Gloucestershire Society, for grants to support clients in need, who are long-term residents of the Ceremonial County of Gloucestershire (Gloucestershire, South Gloucestershire and Bristol north of the River Avon) OR who were born in the Ceremonial County. All requests are considered by members of the Welfare Committee and funding is determined by the level of need and purpose for which the grant is requested.

If you wish to apply for a grant, please use the map on this page by clicking on the location of the address of the Client / Responsible Adult for whom you are making an application for a grant. A panel will open giving you the details of the Welfare Committee member who is responsible for your area.

Choosing the wrong area may delay the processing of the grant application.

Circumstances Ineligible for Grants

Applications for any of the below reasons are not eligible for a grant from The Gloucestershire Society and any applications will be automatically rejected:

  1. The Gloucestershire Society is unable to consider applications for individuals. Please discuss your needs with your Social/Health/Care support worker who may make a request on your behalf.
  2. The Gloucestershire Society is unable to award grants to fund therapeutic services.
  3. The Society is unable to award grants for the repayment of debt. Clients should be advised to seek help from their local Citizens Advice Bureau who can assist with debt management, budgetary management and if necessary, obtaining a Debt Relief Order.
  4. The Society is only able to provide one grant to any individual/family. However, in exceptional circumstances a request may be considered.

Gloucester, Cheltenham and North Gloucestershire

Mrs Dot Oakes


The Forest of Dean, Stroud Valleys and East Gloucestershire

Mrs Barbara Tregear


South Gloucestershire and Bristol (North of the River Avon)

Mrs Moira Garner

Apply For A Grant

To apply for a grant from The Gloucestershire Society, please click on the button below to open our online grant application form.
Apply For A Grant