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Relief Grant Guidelines

The Prisoners of Conscience Appeal Fund makes grants for the relief or rehabilitation of anyone who falls inside its remit (see below for eligibility). The purpose of the grants can include:

Basic essentials such as food, clothing, toiletries and travel costs.
Basic furniture.
Counselling/Therapy sessions.
Medical needs.
Some vocational conversion courses such as PLAB and IELTS.
We do not help with under-graduate university fees (for post-graduate study please see our bursary grants), but can help with travel fares, books etc.

As a rule, we do not fund retrospectively. Anything which is believed to be truly important in the rehabilitation of the applicant will be considered.

Funds are not unlimited. For UK applicants for general hardship relief only (not bursary grants) we need to prioritise those with immediate and urgent needs.  The additional guidelines for this category of application are as follows::

A. All applicants must satisfy our remit as a prisoner of conscience (see below).

B. If the applicant has refugee status and has been in the UK for more than three years, they are not eligible to apply unless the referral agency can show that they are a particularly exceptional case with immediate and urgent needs.

C. Those without refugee status can apply regardless of how long they have been in the UK, but also must demonstrate a genuine need for funds.

As a small charitable organisation with limited funds, it should also be noted that eligibility does not necessarily guarantee a successful outcome.  The final decision on any grant application will be made by the Trustees of the Fund and will be dependent on sufficient funds being available.

Who can apply for a relief grant?

The Fund makes grants to individuals (and/or their families) who are prisoners of conscience.  The definition of this is those who have suffered persecution for their conscientiously-held beliefs, provided they have not used or advocated violence or supported a violent organisation or have willingly served in the armed forces.  The fact that the applicant is seeking asylum or has been a victim of a civil war is not in itself sufficient.  A degree of personal persecution has to be established.

A recognised/approved agency should make the application on behalf of the individual or family. Details on how to apply can be found here.

Guideline amounts

The standard guidelines are:

Up to two people:


Three people:


Family of four or more:



In very exceptional circumstances, the Trustees will consider larger amounts. Applications must be filled in as fully as possible. If not, they will be returned.

These guidelines are intended to help you. The final decision will be made by the Trustees and obviously depends on sufficient funds being available from the Prisoners of Conscience Appeal Fund