The Returners Fund

Friday, 8 March 2019 - 12:00pm

 Round 3 of the returners grant programme will distribute up to £500,000 to support organisations to run projects for returners who have taken time out of employment for caring responsibilities and want to return to paid work. 

The Government Equalities Office defines a ‘returner’ as people who have taken time out of employment for caring responsibilities and want to return to paid work. They have previously had a job and have been economically inactive for at least one year.  Please be aware this is a distinct group and not simply individuals not in education, employment or training. Eligible projects must demonstrate that they will be focussed solely on returners.


As such, projects are expected to:

  • Create new job opportunities within the private sector that could not otherwise be established by the market;
  • Address specific barriers for returners that can be replicated at scale;
  • Demonstrate self-sustainability beyond the initial funding period of the grant; and
  • Develop an understanding of how best to support a) returners to gain paid employment and b) employers to recruit and support returners.

The Government Equalities Office is looking to support potential returners who face persistent barriers to returning to work, such as:

  • People who speak little to no English
  • People who are homeless or at risk of homelessness
  • People with no recourse to public funds due to their immigration status, but who have the right to work
  • People with substance abuse support needs
  • People with mental or physical health issues
  • Victims of domestic abuse
  • Ex-offenders
  • People in challenging economic circumstances
  • People who experience multiple barriers due to their gender and their faith, sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

Grants will be paid monthly in arrears. Therefore, all applicants must have a secure cash flow – a minimum of 3 months’ operating costs held in reserve or equivalent – to ensure the lead organisation’s financial security. • The upper limit for grants is £100,000. It is anticipated the majority of awards to be between £50,000 and £100,000.

Read more here

Government Equalities Office
020 3291 3021