Hardship Funds

Our Rural Hardship Funds are currently closed due to the end of funding period. Please keep an eye on our website for any updates.
  • For the Rural Hardship Fund, Rural Action Derbyshire may be able to provide a grant that enables the beneficiary to pay for a product or service. The total cost of a product or service including installation and set-up cannot exceed £100.
  • For the Oil Bank, Rural Action Derbyshire may be able to provide ONE delivery of heating oil, if the application is approved (subject to funds and eligibility).
  • For the Coal Bank, Rural Action Derbyshire may be able to arrange for delivery of smokeless coal, if the application is approved (subject to availability - VERY limited supplies of coal as of February 2024).


Individuals cannot self refer to the Rural Hardship Fund, they must be referred by a trusted organisation.

We may consider a direct application for energy funds, although we may direct back to a partner agency to ensure the applicant has access to a financial check that we are not able to do. 

Applicants must be over 18 years and living or working in a rural area within the county of Derbyshire (excluding Derby City and Chesterfield).

  1. Applicants must be in severe financial hardship - unable to pay for necessities such as food, energy bills, utilities, rent etc.
  2. Applicants should first have applied to the Derbyshire Discretionary Fund (DDF) before making an application to the Rural Hardship Fund. You can apply to the DDF by phone, call: 01629 533399
  3. If applying to the Oil Bank we will require details of when the last delivery of oil was and photo evidence of the oil level in their tank.

And/or applicants may be:

  • In severe emotional distress or poor mental health (anxious, lonely, depressed) and not currently receiving treatment or mental health support
  • In financial difficulties despite having already accessed government support
  • Ineligible for government support, including benefits and credits
  • Waiting for benefit checks and payments to be processed and paid

Applications should clearly outline the applicant’s current situation and particular needs, and how the grant will help to improve well-being & mental health.

  1. The referrer to provide information of any applications their client has made to the Derbyshire Discretionary Fund (DDF), or other funds, and include references to DDF decision (accepted or rejected) with reference number and the name of the DDF decision maker.
  2. In cases where farmers are facing significant financial hardship, a referral can only be considered alongside applications to other national charities such as RABI, the Addington Fund and other local statutory or charitable support.
  3. All grants must be used for the purpose agreed in the application.
  4. The referrer must confirm they have seen proof of address and identification.
  5. The referrer must confirm they have seen evidence of need such as a bank statement or similar.
  6. Each application is assessed on its own merit. Application does not guarantee success.
  7. If the application is approved, the beneficiary and referrer must provide a follow-up ‘impact statement’ to Rural Action Derbyshire that clearly explains the benefit the support has provided.
  8. All applications need to be approved by two senior managers at Rural Action Derbyshire.
  9. RAD reserve the right to withhold payment if circumstances change.

By submitting the application form you, as the referrer, confirm that you have seen the following:

  • evidence of financial difficulty ie. copy of up to date bank statement or screen shot of online banking screen clearly showing current balance 
  • proof of ID
  • evidence of applications to other funders ie. awards from the Derbyshire County Council Discretionary Fund/Household Support Fund (or ineligibility for these funds).

In order to comply with GDPR regulations, Rural Action Derbyshire does not need to see the evidence itself.

Individuals cannot self refer, they must be referred by one of our partners.

Referral Partners - this list is not exhaustive (if you are receiving help from an organisation that is not listed below, or the adviser you are dealing with is not aware of our funds, please ask them to contact Emma Simpson using the details below).

Partners can access the application form by clicking the link below.

Application Form

If you have any queries regarding the application, please contact us via email at [email protected] or call 01629 592970.

Data protection

Please click on the link to for further information: Data