Buttle UK

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Buttle UK
Buttle logo.png
Founded 1953
Founder Frank Buttle
Registration no. 313007 (England & Wales), SC037997 (Scotland)
Area served
England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland
Product Grant Giving, Research
Key people
Gerri McAndrew
(Chief Executive)
£3.33 million
Mission "To ensure that children and young people in desperate need are given a brighter future"
Website buttleuk.org
Formerly called
The Frank Buttle Trust
2011 Annual Report[1]

Buttle UK, formerly known as The Frank Buttle Trust, is the largest UK charity providing grant aid solely to individual children and young people in desperate need. Founded by Frank Buttle in 1937 but not operational until after his death in 1953, the charity has helped many thousands of vulnerable children, young people and families throughout the United Kingdom. In 2010–2011, it made 8,426 grants, totalling nearly £2.8 million.[2]

The people the charity helps are often in particularly difficult circumstances and may be experiencing significant deprivation. They may be estranged from their family, seriously ill, or experiencing a range of other social problems.

Grant Programmes[edit]

Buttle UK operates four grant giving programmes.[3]

Small Grants Programme[edit]

Provides essential items for children and young people whose development, health and well-being are at risk. It offers basic items, that we all take for granted but many families in poverty are living without, such as a bed, a cooker, a fridge-freezer or a washing machine. In 2009–2010 Buttle UK made 8,887 awards touching the lives of nearly 20,000 disadvantaged individual children and young people across the UK.[4]

The BBC Children in Need Small Grants Scheme[edit]

Buttle UK distributes grants on behalf of BBC Children in Need and welcomes applications from referring agencies throughout the United Kingdom on behalf of children and young people aged 18 or under who are in need. Grants are generally for such items as clothing, beds, bedding, washing machines, cookers and other basic essentials.

In 2007, online grant applications were launched on the charity’s website for Child Support and BBC Children in Need grants, streamlining the process and greatly reducing the response time.

School Fees Programme[edit]

Transforms the lives of vulnerable children (aged 11 and over) by funding places at schools that provide a safe and supportive environment, often for the first time in their lives. Some children, many because of problems at home, do not thrive in mainstream education, and so fail or drop out of school entirely. Buttle UK enables children with medical, emotional or social difficulties to gain a stable and more supportive secondary education. In 2009–2010 alone Buttle UK enabled 304 children to get a better education at over 150 different schools throughout the UK, many of whom completed their GCSEs and went onto further study or employment.[5]

Students and Trainees Programme[edit]

Awards financial support to young people (aged 16–20), with severe social problems, particularly those who are estranged from their parents, to attend further education and training. By funding course costs, equipment, field trips or basic day-to-day living costs, Buttle UK relieves the financial pressures and worries that often force these vulnerable young people to abandon their studies early. In 2009–2010 Buttle UK enabled 172 young people to access courses as varied as architecture, music technology, business and tree surgery.[6]

Access to the Future Programme[edit]

Offers bespoke packages of support for hard to reach young people (aged 18–25) to aid their return to education, employment or training. Working with local partner organisations, our grants are targeted at removing the barriers to learning and work for vulnerable young people as well as funding a range of courses, activities and learning that would otherwise be unavailable. The support may vary from something like the cost of security guard training and licence, to driving lessons, or buying suitable cloths for an interview. Buttle UK aims to provide a complete package designed specifically for each young person, that will help them access a better future.[7]

Quality Mark for Care Leavers[edit]

The Quality Mark for Care Leavers was launched in 2006 to address the specific challenges that this group of people face in higher education. The Quality Mark represents a statement of commitment for higher education (HE) institutions to sign up to which requires them to meet certain criteria demonstrating their commitment to support this group of students.

It stemmed from Buttle UK’s grant giving activities. In the process of its grants programme for students and trainees it recognised that Care Leavers have a unique set of difficulties in aspiring to and progressing well through higher education. Buttle UK therefore commissioned a five-year action research study "By Degrees: Going to University from Care", in which 129 Care Leavers participated.

The commitment seeks to facilitate an increase in the number of Care Leavers entering HE, help HE institutions to identify how best to support Care Leavers, raise awareness of the needs of this group of students, enable Care Leavers to make the most of their time in HE and to complete their courses successfully, as well as contribute to a national framework to assist local authorities to fulfil their obligations to Care Leavers.

The four broad Quality Mark for Care Leaver criteria are:

1. to raise aspirations and achievements, 2. to have appropriate admissions procedures, 3. to provide entry and ongoing support, and 4. to monitor the implementation of the Commitment.

If all HE institutions work towards implementing the scheme then large steps will be made towards making the aspirations of young people leaving care achievable.[8]

Research – a Strategic Approach to Children’s Problems[edit]

Buttle UK sees its role in providing grant aid to children and families at times of critical need as being the cornerstone of its activities. However, it also looks at more strategic ways to improve the life chances of future generations of children and young people, by influencing opinion formers, policy makers and practitioners.

Buttle UK commissions research projects. They have found this to be an effective way of obtaining knowledge to be able to target specific issues.

Your Family Your Voice : Growing up with relatives or friends[edit]

Buttle UK and Bristol University have received funding from the Big Lottery Fund to research kinship care. The first findings of the project were published in 2011 and were based on the 2001 census. The findings showed that more than 90% of kinship care arrangements in each region of the UK were informal agreements between parents and relatives.[citation needed] Therefore, carers were not entitled to financial support from social services. Poverty was a recurrent feature with 44% of kinship families were living in the poorest areas of the country.[citation needed] The second phase of the project involves interviewing children growing up in kinship care, and their carers and is expected to be disseminated at the end of 2012.

Dyslexia Action Research Project[edit]

This two-year action research project was funded jointly by The Frank Buttle Trust and the British Dyslexia Association (BDA). The project raised the level of awareness of the needs of children with dyslexia in the state education system and published a report "'I'm glad that I don't take No for an answer': Parent-Professional Relationships and Dyslexia Friendly Schools".[9]

Parenting on a Low Income: Stress, Support and Children’s Well-being[edit]

Buttle UK commissioned the NSPCC and the University of York to undertake this research project, which was funded by the Big Lottery Fund. The project explored the relationship between living on a low income and parenting. The final report was called "Living with hardship 24/7: the diverse experiences of families in poverty in England".[10]

Influencing Policy[edit]

Buttle UK is a founder member of the charity End Child Poverty. It seeks to influence government on public policy that affects children and young people, and works collaboratively with a number of other children’s charities to effect change for children.

Change of name[edit]

In March 2011, The Frank Buttle Trust changed its name to Buttle UK.[2]


Buttle UK's income for the year ending March 2011 was £3.33m compared with £3.53m in the previous year.[11]


  1. ^ "Report and Financial Statements, Year Ended 31 March 2011" (PDF). Buttle UK. Retrieved 8 November 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "Report and Financial Statements, Year Ended 31 March 2011" (PDF). Buttle UK. p. 1. Retrieved 8 November 2011. 
  3. ^ "Grant Programmes". Buttle UK. Retrieved 8 November 2011. 
  4. ^ "Small Grants Programme". Buttle UK. Retrieved 8 November 2011. 
  5. ^ "School Fees Programme". Buttle UK. Retrieved 8 November 2011. 
  6. ^ "Students and Trainees Programme". Buttle UK. Retrieved 8 November 2011. 
  7. ^ "Access to the Future Programme". Buttle UK. Retrieved 8 November 2011. 
  8. ^ "Quality Mark for Care Leavers". Buttle UK. Retrieved 8 November 2011. 
  9. ^ Griffiths, Carol; Norwich, Brahm; Burden, Bob (July 2004). "'I'm glad that I don't take No for an answer': Parent-Professional Relationships and Dyslexia Friendly Schools". British Dyslexia Association and Buttle Trust. Archived from the original on 5 January 2009. Retrieved 8 November 2011. 
  10. ^ "Living with hardship 24/7: the diverse experiences of families in poverty in England", Carol-Ann Hooper, Sarah Gorin, Christie Cabral, Claire Dyson, The Frank Buttle Trust 2007
  11. ^ "Report and Financial Statements, Year Ended 31 March 2011" (PDF). Buttle UK. p. 9. Retrieved 8 November 2011. 

External links[edit]