Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts

The Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts is the operating office of 17 different independent grant-making trusts established by members of three generations of the Sainsbury family.

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Trustees are prepared to consider proposals so long as they closely match one of the following areas of interest:

Arts & Heritage UK

  • Regional museums and galleries, with special consideration for curatorial support and acquisitions;
  • The display, study and acquisition of British ceramics;
  • Conservation of industrial, maritime and built heritage;
  • Archaeology;
  • Arts education/outreach and access to the arts for disabled and disadvantaged people;
  • Headley Museums Archaeological Acquisition Fund

Cathedrals & Major Churches

  • Restoration or repair work to the fabric of ancient cathedrals, parish church cathedrals and large churches of exceptional architectural merit that were built before 1850
  • Conservation of monuments
  • Applications for energy efficient measures if they are part of a wider appeal for fabric conservation
  • Applications for fire and burglar alarms
  • Applications for solar panels and photovoltaic cells

The Trustees do not wish to fund:

  • Education centres, conferences, exhibition or heritage spaces
  • Organs, clocks, bells, plumbing, kitchens or heating

Parish Churches

Please do not apply for funding for parish churches via the SFCT online application portal. If your diocese is being considered for the next round of grant funding, we will contact your Diocesan Advisory Committee Secretary who will then provide us a list of eligible churches in the diocese. We will contact those churches directly with a specific Headley Trust application form.

The Headley Trust funds fabric repairs to listed medieval parish churches in sparsely populated and less prosperous rural areas in England & Wales. It also funds the provision of toilet facilities and disabled access within these churches and applications may also be made for fire alarms, roof alarms, and electrical work if part of an overall scheme of work.

The churches are considered by diocese on a rotational basis, twice a year in July and October.

The next three dioceses to be considered in July 2021 will be Winchester, Canterbury and Guildford. Then the diocese of Sheffield, Lincoln and York will be considered in October 2021.

Arts & Heritage Overseas

  • Conservation and recording of heritage (including ecclesiastical & vernacular architecture, archaeology and cultural artefacts), primarily in South Eastern Europe (Slovenia, Croatia, Albania, Greece, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina), as well as Ethiopia.
  • Raising awareness of heritage issues in these countries; supporting the capacity of new heritage NGOs; training the next generation of conservation and heritage professionals; engaging young people in their heritage.
  • Priority will be given to locally led organisations employing local experts.

Developing Countries

Trustees will consider proposals that focus on education and employment interventions for women and girls; water, sanitation and hygiene and community health programmes in the poorest anglophone countries in Africa. Priority will be given to locally led organisations employing local experts.


Bursaries for:

  • UK graduate students in dance and postgraduate students in classical music.
  • Vocational training in conservation and heritage skills;

Health & Social Welfare

  • support for older people to live independently for as long as possible;
  • to improve older people’s quality of life in residential care homes, including supporting people with dementia;
  • support for carers of older people, both locally and nationally;
  • support for disadvantaged families and young people.
  • small grants providing practical aids to disabled people (download the application form here). This programme is only eligible for applicants who live in the UK. (Coronavirus - Please note, as staff are currently working from home, we are only able to accept applications by email. We will not be able to respond to any applications submitted by post.)

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