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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: 


Unpaid Carers


Carers provide a significant contribution to society, the economy and the health and social care sector. However, caring responsibilities can have an adverse impact on the physical and mental health, education and employment potential of those who care, which can result in significantly poorer health and quality of life outcomes. Continuing to struggle without adequate support can have a lasting impact on physical and mental health and the financial well-being of carers.

Based on the 2021 census data1, 310,751 individuals in Wales identified as unpaid carers. This accounts for approximately 10.5% of the total population. Out of these carers, 181,330 were female, while 129,420 were male. Notably, the level of caregiving intensity in Wales has significantly risen, with nearly 45% of carers dedicating more than the average work week to caregiving and 34% providing care for more than 50 hours per week.

In terms of socio-economic impact, unpaid carers face a higher risk of poverty compared to the average Welsh population. According to the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation, around 20% of carers fall within the most deprived quintile. Women are particularly affected, as 58% of unpaid carers in the lowest poverty quintile are female, highlighting a gender disparity in the poverty rates among carers.

The data in the census also revealed that 8,230 children aged 5 to 17 identified as unpaid carers, an increase from 2011.  Additionally, another 14,325 young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 were also highlighted as carers. Carers Wales1 suggests that considering the comparative population sizes of these two groups (462,525 individuals under 18 compared to 259,545 individuals between 18 and 24), it is probable that a portion of children who act as unpaid carers are not being recognised.

The Unpaid Carers funding programme is open to applications from organisations supporting 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;
  • proactively identify and work with the most isolated and vulnerable carers, offering sufficient and meaningful support.





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 Education Fund if they address one (or both) of the following priorities:

1 - The attainment gap in Wales

The attainment gap between pupils from less well-off homes and their classmates continues to remain a major challenge here in Wales and a key component in the poverty cycle, because of the strong links between poor educational attainment, low pay, unemployment, economic inactivity and social exclusion.

Therefore, in order to help reduce the impact that poverty has on the educational attainment of children, The Waterloo Foundation welcomes applications from organisations who aim to address this attainment gap through student, family and community-based interventions

2 - Increasing the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) skills of young people in Wales

The importance of STEM skills to the future prosperity of Wales is well established yet 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.



Enterprise & Employment

 - applications by invitation only.

Austerity in the public sector, implications of leaving the European Union and now Covid-19 has widely affected the Welsh economy and the lives of people living and working in Wales. To help address this, the Waterloo Foundation remains committed to supporting organisations that aim to move people closer to permanent, paid employment or self-employment, helping to deliver sustainable and inclusive growth in Wales. However, in order to take a more targeted approach, we will be accepting applications by invitation only and are unable to respond to unsolicited applications.




Although there is no upper or lower limit to our support, awards made under the Unpaid Carers 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)


1 - Carers Wales Policy Briefing, March 2023




Last updated Wednesday 22 November, 2023