Giving the North East a helping hand

Every day, we’re inspired by the creativity and perseverance of the people in our region.

So much so, our parent company, Bernicia, who provide and maintain quality and affordable homes, and a range of exceptional services for people in the North East, set up The Bernicia Foundation.

As one of the largest businesses in the region, and with a total focus on the North East, Bernicia has committed to invest its skills, insight and financial capacity to leverage greater equality of opportunity for the proud and passionate people of our region.

The Bernicia Foundation is a charity that builds further on this great work, supporting projects and initiatives that deliver real and lasting community benefit, alongside helping inspirational young people to fulfil their potential.

Optimising inclusion, maximising inspiration. 

‘Inclusion’ and ‘inspiration’ is at the heart of everything we do, so we’ve created two Grant Programmes that support these visions in the North East.


Passing on the skills.

We believe the North East is a great place to live, work and visit, but unfortunately, there are some people who struggle to find opportunities. No matter what age, ability or background, we want to help people find the right path.

Our Inclusion Grant Programme supports initiatives that encourage:

Social inclusion:

  • Reducing isolation and loneliness
  • Promoting independence
  • Building citizenship, confidence and aspiration

Economic inclusion:

  • Removing barriers to employment, training and volunteering
  • Reducing child poverty
  • Tackling Fuel Poverty
  • Improving financial wellbeing

Want to apply for an Inclusion Grant?

The funding programme is closed.  We expect to offer a new round of funding in July 2022.  Follow us on social media for updates and announcements.

Successful applicants will be notified within 10 weeks of the closing date.

Please check our eligibility guide before applying.   In particular can you answer yes to the following:

  • We have no more than 6 months’ running costs in reserve and our latest financial information will confirm this
  • We are not a social enterprise or CIC applying for core costs (see eligibility for who can apply for core costs)
  • We have a governing body of at least three unrelated individuals
  • We are based or working in Tyne and Wear, Northumberland, County Durham and Teesside
  • We have an annual income under £750,000
  • We have a governing document, our own bank account and a safeguarding policy if working with vulnerable people

Applications Closed until July 2022



Support for the inspired.

The North East is full of young talent. From sporting skills to academia, performing arts to creative flair – we want to help them thrive. But because of things like finances, personal circumstances, health problems and physical and learning difficulties, they sometimes need a helping hand.

That’s why we created our Inspiration Grant Programme to help young people realise their full potential.

Want to apply for an Inspiration Grant?

The funding programme is closed.  We expect to offer a new round of funding in July 2022.  Follow us on social media for updates and announcements.

Successful applicants will be notified within 10 weeks of the closing date.

Please check whether you are eligible before applying

Find out if you or your organisation is eligible

Applications Closed until July 2022


What makes Bernicia different from other housing providers is that we don’t stop at finding homes for people. Our support extends to strengthen the wider community and to help equip people for life.

The Bernicia Foundation is governed by a board of Trustees and supported by officers, to direct and oversee the Foundation.

Our Trustees and Officers:

Avril Gibson

Avril joined the Board in 2018 having recently retired as Chief Executive of The Northern Learning Trust and has considerable knowledge of the voluntary sector and community development. Avril is also a Board member of Northumberland Federation of YMCA’s and has served as both Chair and Vice-Chair. Directorates: Board member of Northumberland Federation of YMCAs

Claire Jane Rewcastle

Claire-Jane joined the Board in 2018 and is also a member of the Remuneration, Resources and Appointments Committee.
Claire-Jane was formerly a partner with Bond Dickinson, specialising in Employment Law and working predominantly with clients in the charitable, education and social housing sectors.
Claire-Jane has previous Board experience and, in addition to being a Board Member at Bernicia, serves as a Governor as Gateshead College.

Beth Hazon Bernicia Foundation
Beth Hazon

Carol Meredith

Jenny Allinson
Foundation Director and Company Secretary

We’re also supported by The Community Foundation, Tyne and Wear and Northumberland – a trusted advisor on giving, philanthropy and funding.

Community Foundation (Tyne & Wear and Northumberland)

The Bernicia Foundation has asked the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland (Community Foundation) to provide due diligence on applicant organisations and assess applications.

Grant applications will be received via the Bernicia Foundation website, and forwarded on to the Community Foundation to check eligibility, relevant documentation, and accounts & finances.

Assessment information will then be returned to the Bernicia Foundation who will act as the decision making panel and pay grants directly.