The Waterloo Foundation


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Please note that due to experiencing an unprecedented increase in the number of applications being received and, together with our existing grant commitments for 2020, the Wales Fund is now only accepting funding applications up to £10,000 until further notice.



Although the funding priorities for TWF are the Environment and World Development, the original founders of the Foundation live and work in Wales. To support our local community, we have allocated funding to three important issues: 





Why we want to help:

The 2011 Census showed that the number of people providing unpaid care for disabled, sick or elderly relatives and loved ones has risen substantially in the last decade. It reveals Wales still has the highest percentage of residents who are providing care compared with any region in England1.

Census data released in early December 2012 reveals that the number of carers increased from 5.2 million to 5.8 million in England and Wales between 2001 and 2011. The greatest rise has been among those providing over 20 hours care – the point at which caring starts to significantly impact on the health and wellbeing of the carer, and their ability to hold down paid employment alongside their caring responsibilities.


What we will support: 

The Caring Wales funding programme is open to applications from organisations working to support unpaid carers, especially young carers and carers of people with the conditions prioritised in our Child Development research fund. The strongest applications to this fund have been from organisations that:

  • provide a range of carer-centred support services,
  • demonstrate strong links with other projects, interventions, organisations and services to ensure a holistic family support approach,
  • are outcomes-focused, and can measure and evaluate changes to their beneficiaries’ circumstances using meaningful monitoring methods
  • ensure participation of service users in shaping their services,
  • reach a substantial number of individuals, whilst:
    • proactively identifying and working with the most isolated and vulnerable carers, and
    • offering sufficient and meaningful levels of support.

Click here for projects supported under Caring Wales.





2008 marked the beginning of the deepest and longest recession of modern times. While its causes are said to be found in centres of economic and political gravity beyond Wales, its effects on the Welsh economy and on the lives of the people of Wales have been both profound and far reaching. Any cushioning effect from the high level of public sector employment in Wales is rapidly diminishing in this time of austerity when there is so much pressure to cut the public sector back. To help address this, the Waterloo Foundation provide funding to a small number of targeted initiatives that help people set up businesses or, in some cases, help people gain permanent paid employment.

Click here for projects supported under Working Wales.


educating wales



The Waterloo Foundation emphatically believes that “our education today is our economy tomorrow” and children must be afforded every opportunity to fulfil their potential during their school years. Therefore applications will be considered under the Educating Wales Fund if they address one (or both) of the following priorities:

  • The attainment gap in Wales

Studies have found that under-achievement of children in Wales receiving free school meals, may be a significant problem from nursery class onwards. Using the percentage of children receiving school meals as an indicator, children from the poorest families are only half as likely to get five A* - C grades at GCSE as other children and nearly 50% of these children achieve no GCSE passes above a D grade.

Young people are more at risk of spending time ‘not in education, employment or training’ if they have no qualifications. And, statistics show that spending time NEET is a major predictor of later unemployment, low income, depression and poor mental health. Therefore, in order to help reduce the impact that poverty has on the educational attainment of young people, The Waterloo Foundation welcomes applications from organisations who aim to address this attainment gap through student, family and community based interventions.


  • Increasing the STEM skills of young people in Wales

The importance of STEM skills to the future prosperity of Wales is well established with 42% of employers reporting difficulties recruiting sufficient numbers of STEM staff3 yet there continues to be a decline in the take up of many STEM subjects at school. The number of students taking “traditional” subjects, particularly in physical sciences and maths, has become worryingly low. Evidence suggests that students are avoiding A level subjects that are perceived to be “harder”, including STEM, and it is overwhelmingly state school students who are dropping STEM subjects while independent school students are far more likely to take STEM, and gain top grades in these subjects.

The challenge of this is to help young people in state education recognise how the STEM subjects that they study can lead to rich and varied career pathways. As such, The Waterloo Foundation supports programmes that aim to inspire young people from diverse backgrounds to pursue further qualifications or careers in STEM subjects.



Although there is no upper or lower limit to our support, awards made under the Caring Wales programme typically range from £5,000 - £25,000.

Applications from organisations whose primary activity is in the following areas are not eligible:

  • the arts
  • animal welfare
  • heritage
  • general health
  • groups with specific agendas (political, religious)

Note: The Waterloo Foundation no longer has a specific fund for community energy projects in Wales. While we are still committed to engaging with the sector, we feel there are other avenues open to community renewable energy projects that are perhaps better suited to their needs. Therefore, if you are a community investigating renewable energy projects, the following organisations may be able to help you in the first instance.

Community Energy Wales:

RENEW Wales:



1 - Source: reveals major rise in numbers of unpaid family carers’

2 -Achievement of 15yr olds in Wales: PISA 2012 National Report; OECD Programme for International Student Assessment; National Foundation for Educational Research, 2012.

3 - CBI, Education and Skills Survey, 2012




Last updated Monday 16 March, 2020