Who can apply for help?

We deal with applications from people whose needs are within the aims of the charity. We prioritise those individuals who sustain a catastrophic spinal cord or traumatic brain injury playing rugby. Families and dependents of such people can also apply for help.

In addition we offer help to individuals who, while playing rugby, sustain injuries that are not classed as a catastrophic spinal cord injury or a traumatic brain injury, by providing information and, where possible, by relieving financial hardship.

How can I apply for help?

The application process is explained in the "Grant Applications" section of this site. If you are not sure if you would be eligible for help or not, you can phone, e-mail or write to us for advice.

Are some projects more likely to be funded than others?

All applications will be considered. You can see in the "Grant Applications" section some of the projects we have supported. Common requests that are funded include:

  • Home improvements for disability access
  • Purchase of specialist equipment – wheelchairs, hoists, stair lifts, etc.
  • Exercise and therapy equipment
  • Communication aids – computers, laptops, aids to speech, voice or other specialist activation devices for computers.
  • Respite care and holiday carer support
  • Travelling expenses for families and dependents during hospitalisation periods
  • Mobility aids including vehicles and adaptations to vehicles for disability use

The charity does not fund general household expenses such as food, clothing, utility bills or vehicle fuel costs.

Will my application be subject of a means test?

An applicant's financial resources are considered as part of the assessment process as the charity has limits on its funds. Projects may be partly funded or an agreed percentage of a project cost agreed with the applicant. The majority of smaller projects (£2,000 - £5,000) are supported in full.

We may also need to consider the financial status of a partner and your outgoings for dependents.

How old must you be to apply?

There is no age limit applied as long as you meet the criteria in our charity's aims. If the applicant is a minor, the grant would be made to an agreed parent, guardian, carer or supporting agency.

Must the application form be completed by the applicant?

This is not essential. We understand that catastrophic injuries may mean that the applicant's family, dependents or legal representative may have to apply on their behalf.

How often can someone apply?

Once it is established that a person is suitable for funding within the aims of the charity, a person is eligible for the small grant programme which is a single annual payment up to a maximum of £2,000 currently. Each client is allowed only one small grant application each year. Each large grant application is considered on its own merits taking into consideration individual's circumstances. It is understood that, particularly in the early stages after a catastrophic injury, a person has many needs that are not always immediately apparent.

What is the amount of grant an applicant might receive?

There is no specified maximum grant though it is rare for sums in excess of £10,000 to be funded for budget reasons. Most grants paid out are for £2,000 or less. Because of the availability of other grants such as Motability, motor vehicles are normally only funded up to 50% of the vehicle cost.

Do applicants have to have a medical or other assessment?

Generally not. The Grant Making committee does reserve the right to seek medical advice and applicants must consent to this if they are to receive funding support. The charity has two senior consultants as Trustees and they can manage medical matters in consultation with the applicant's GP or specialist. If detailed medical information is required, the applicant will be sent a request including a formal consent form.

Are applications treated confidentially?

All applications are treated in strict confidence. No information regarding an application is divulged by the charity to any other party without the express permission of the applicant. In such a rare case, the charity would agree with the applicant the information to be disclosed and the reason for its disclosure.

Can applications be discussed in advance for advice?

The charity's staff will be happy to discuss any aspect of an application and will treat such discussions with the same confidentiality as the application itself. The charity aims to minimise the bureaucracy around applications because we are sensitive to the fact that catastrophically injured people have to endure many such processes for benefit funding and other matters. If you are not sure that your project or request is suitable for funding, we can give an indication of the likelihood of success. If the matter is complex, we can do also visit an applicant at home to discuss their application.

How is the charity managed and administrated?

The charity has a small office staff for day-to-day management of the charity. There are 12 Trustees who are responsible for the charity policy and budgets. The Trustees have a range of experience in medical, financial, business, caring and rugby matters. The Trustees must ensure the charity is managed in an efficient and effective way and in accordance with the Articles and Memorandum of the charity. The charity operates in compliance with Charity Commission guidance and charity law. Annual Reports and Accounts are lodged with the Charity Commission and may be viewed on their web site: www.charitycommission.gov.uk.

If someone from my club was injured, would they be guaranteed to be helped?

The IPF has to prioritise its support to those who suffer a catastrophic spinal cord or traumatic brain injury, but anyone who is injured playing rugby and is in financial hardship as a result can apply for financial support. Each application is considered on a case-by-case basis.

Pastoral welfare support can also be provided when appropriate as well as signposting to other sources of help and support.

Would an overseas player be entitled to help?

The IPF helps anybody who is catastrophically injured whilst playing rugby union in England, regardless of their nationality. Everyone is treated in exactly the same manner. The IPF also works with an overseas player’s club or team to contact family and help them during the injured player’s time in England.

In what way is a player supported after an injury?

Whatever support is needed the IPF would endeavour to help. The IPF's Injured Player Welfare Officer will often be at the hospital in the early days to help a player and family. They will ensure the appropriate financial support is available and help with social services provision. They will liaise with a player’s club on all manner of things, including trust funds and how to deal with local media requests for information. Once players are home the IPF funds home improvements, relocation where appropriate, and communication aids. Players are also eligible for VIP tickets for Twickenham international matches. Help is always tailored to a player’s individual requirements.

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