Staff Assistance Fund


The University recognises that the current cost of living crisis impacts us all, but that it affects some staff more than others. There will be times when individuals unexpectedly face severe financial difficulties as a result of a specific issue or incident and are unable to meet their living costs. We want to support staff in that situation.

The Staff Assistance Fund provides employees who find themselves facing financial challenges with the opportunity to apply for a grant from the University to help meet specific costs. The grants will not be repayable.

The Staff Assistance Fund will consider applications that are for specific purposes and not for general requests because of the increase in the cost of living. The grant will be for the amount necessary to meet the specific need (eg. the cost of boiler/car repair, overdue bill, necessary purchase). The Support Available section below provides examples of some of the reasons an application could be made.


To be able to apply for financial help through the Staff Assistance Fund you need to have been employed by the University for over six months and have passed your probation. Unfortunately, the Staff Assistance Fund is not available to casual workers or staff of contractors, or to those who are also students at the University. Students should look at the webpage that outlines the financial support available to students. 

The Fund is available to assist those employees who are facing unexpected pressures that have resulted, or will result in, severe financial difficulty and where support is not available elsewhere or where other sources of support have been exhausted.

Support available

Financial help will be in the form of a grant of up to £1,000. The Fund will not make loans.

The actual amount will be considered on a case-by-case basis and in response to the specific circumstances described in the application. Grants will be for a specific purpose e.g. the repair or purchase of something essential, or to address a specific cost or debt. Grants are not available to boost general income. 

Grants might be made to address such things as: 

  • One-off, unexpected, essential expenses (e.g. boiler/car breakdown, bereavement costs);
  • Unexpected reduction in household income that impacts on the ability to meet essential mortgage, rent, groceries or utility bills (e.g. sudden job loss of partner, illness of an earning household member);
  • Costs resulting from a change in personal circumstances (e.g. relationship breakdown, loss of accommodation, serious accident).

These are examples of the types of situation where an application might be made, but the list is not exhaustive. 

Application process

An application to the Staff Assistance Fund must be made on the Staff Assistance Fund application form, ensuring all sections are completed. Applications should clearly explain the reason a grant is being requested and what other avenues have been explored to address the issue. Where the application is to cover a specific expense, please provide a quote or other proof of the cost involved.

Please keep your application short and simple. We are not looking for a polished case and the quality of the English in the application will not have an impact on whether a grant is made.

If you wish to speak with your link People Manager about the process, you may do so in complete confidence. They will be able to help you with the form, if you wish. You can also ask your trade union representative for help, if you are a member. If you would like to be put in touch with someone who can help you to make an application, please email

There is no requirement for a line manager to sign off an application or for the application to go via your Faculty or Directorate. Completed applications should be sent direct to and will be considered as quickly as possible.

The panel will check that you are an employee with six months’ service and that you have passed your probation. If the panel want more information, they will contact you by your preferred contact method.


You should receive an answer to your application within 48 hours but if further information is required this timescale may be slightly longer. 

If your application is successful and the panel decides to award a grant (either the full amount requested or a part of it), this will be paid into the bank account that we pay your salary to, normally within 24 hours. 

There is no appeal process in the event your application is turned down or the full amount requested is not awarded. If that happens, we will work with you to help you find other sources of support.