Giving back to the community

Hall & Woodhouse Community Chest

What is the Community Chest?

Hall & Woodhouse set up the Community Chest in 2002 to provide local help for its local community in and around Dorset.

Since then they have donated over £500,000 to 741 voluntary organisations.

The ethos of the Community Chest is:

  • Working together towards improving both facilities and the lives of residents in the community.
  • Promoting, encouraging and supporting community involvement.
  • Offering access funds to local voluntary groups with clearly identified needs.

The Community Chest for 2019 is a pool of £50,000 pledged by Hall and Woodhouse, along with supporting funds raised by Hall & Woodhouse pubs.

Hall & Woodhouse is supported by Blackmore Vale Media and the Dorset Community Foundation, who provide the scheme in the Western area with publicity, advice and local knowledge. Covering the Eastern area, our partners are The West Sussex County Times and the Sussex Community Foundation.

Who can apply?

Applications are welcome from any voluntary or community organisation or group with a local interest that is based or works in our trading area in the south of England, from Devon to Kent and north to Bath, Bristol and London.

Grants could be made in the following areas:

  • Youth work and activities
  • Pre-schools
  • Extracurricular school activities
  • Elderly or disabled
  • Health and social care
  • Local arts
  • Conservation and the environment
  • Animal care
  • Local community

Applications will not be considered from national organisations or those that are profit making or political.

What can you apply for?

Groups can apply for grants of amounts between £300 and £3,000 to help them achieve their aims. Grants could be awarded for:

  • Equipment, furniture
  • Training
  • Transport
  • Professional assistance
  • Specific project resources

When do you have to apply by?

The deadline for all 2019 applications is Friday 31st May 2019.

How can you apply?

To apply please download our application form by clicking here.

Please complete the form electronically and email to:


  • Make sure that there is a real NEED for what you are applying for.
  • Show the judges that your organisation has made its own effort to raise funds.
  • Ensure that a Community Chest award will make a difference to your project in the immediate future.
  • Be sure to check that the timing of your event/project fits with the Community Chest cycle.
  • Please don’t apply if you are a fundraising charity that donates to other charities.
  • The Community Chest is only open to local voluntary organisations, sadly we cannot help national charities.
  • Please give as detailed a breakdown of your project’s cost as possible.

What are the judges looking for?

The Community Chest judges are made up of representatives from the scheme's partners Hall & Woodhouse Ltd., Blackmore Vale Media, the Dorset Community Foundation, Sussex Newspapers and the Sussex Community Foundation.

Each judge has their own criteria but organisations should ask themselves the following questions:

Need - Is there a real need for this project? Does your project or organisation really improve the lives of local residents or is it nice to have?

Own Efforts - What efforts have you made to help your own organisation? How much money have you raised for your project or organisation?

Difference - How much more money is needed to make the project a reality? Will a grant of up to £3,000 enable the project to happen?

Each team of judges will have to look through around 200 applications so the organisations who have demonstrated that they have a real need, have helped themselves and that any money awarded will make a difference, are more likely to be successful.

The judges will split the applications into two groups: large awards of over £1,000 and small awards. The large awards will be short listed for a judges' visit and the small awards judged on the merit of their application form only.

When will grants be awarded?

All applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by the end of September 2019 and cheques will be presented to the successful organisations at awards evenings in Dorset and West Sussex in October 2019.