Northamptonshire High Sheriff Bursary Fund

What is the Northamptonshire High Sheriff Bursary Fund?

The Northamptonshire High Sheriff Bursary Fund is a bursary scheme to make individual awards for the purpose of increasing employability for Care Leavers and Estranged Students graduating from the University of Northampton, to have a meaningful impact on an individual’s future education, employment, aspirations and quality of life.

Northamptonshire Community Foundation is an independent grant giving organisation that aims to improve the quality of life for people in our County by awarding grants to grassroots groups. All our grants are funded by direct donations to Northamptonshire Community Foundation or by the interest generated and any capital growth from our endowment funds. Individuals, families, companies, statutory agencies and other trusts set up these funds, which support a wide variety of causes and we match applications to grant programmes.

The grant can include the following:

  • Essential equipment – please note that if applying for a bursary to purchase a laptop, consider why the laptop is needed and how it will be used. Then pick an appropriate laptop for that purpose.
  • Travel costs
  • Graduation Ceremony costs
  • Clothes – for attending interviews or for work purposes
  • Other essential costs

Size of Grant: Applications can be for up to £500.

High Sheriff Bursary Fund Eligibility

Please read the following criteria to see if you’re eligible to apply.

  • You must be able to provide evidence to show you have been in care, or under a care order for a period of at least thirteen weeks since the age of 14 or you are estranged from your parents. This evidence can be provided by University of Northampton, a supporting letter from your Northamptonshire Local Authority or support worker.
  • You must be a Care Leaver living in Northamptonshire.
  • You must be a student enrolled on a full-time or part-time undergraduate or postgraduate course at the University of Northampton and in your final year of study.
  • You must be under the age of 25.
  • The University of Northampton referee cannot be a personal friend or family member but must be a professional who is aware of your circumstances e.g. a lecturer, tutor, a member of the support staff.
  • You must not be living with parents or receiving any financial support from parents.

How to apply for the High Sheriff Bursary Fund

Please complete and submit your bursary application form along with any supporting evidence.

We can only accept one application per student. You may receive a phone call from a member of our staff requesting further information. You will normally receive a decision within six weeks.

Applications are now closed and will open again in spring 2024.

  • We welcome you to our guidance on applying for a High Sheriff Bursary. The following information is intended to give you a step-by-step approach to help you make the best of your application.

    Please let us know if you need assistance in completing an application, for example if English is not your first language.

    We strongly recommend the Foundation’s grants team looks at your application form before you submit the final version.

    Please also let us know if you have problems accessing a computer or using one and we will direct you to a support agency to help you do this.

    It is important that you read all the guidance especially in regard to the amount you are applying for. Applications will be assessed annually and amounts will be awarded up to £500.

    Advice on filling in the application form:

    • Ensure each question is answered fully.
    • If you are assisting someone to complete this application, please ensure that the applicant has attempted sections of the application themselves as this allows their voice to be heard.
    • Remember to let us know how this bursary will help you achieve your aspirations and dreams for the future.
    • Ensure the budget section is completed and that for equipment over £100 you have attached two quotes.
    • If you are wishing to use the bursary to purchase a laptop, consider what you will be using the laptop for and selected a sensibly priced laptop for that purpose.
    • Ensure that Section Six: Referee has been completed fully and with as much detail as possible.

    Guide to applying

    Step 1

    Contact Northamptonshire Community Foundation to discuss your application if you are in need of assistance on 01604 230033. To request an application form by email, contact our Programmes Officer via email:

    Step 2

    You will need to send an application by email to or by post to our address. The application will be assessed by the Grants officer who may contact you to ask for further information and request any missing information.

    Step 3

    Application is submitted to the fund-holders of the Northamptonshire High Sheriff Bursary Fund for a decision.

    Step 4

    Letter is sent to you to inform you of the funding decision.

    Step 5

    If successful, applicant will be sent a funding contract to sign and send back.

    Step 6

    A payment into the individual’s Bank Account is made.

  • Can I apply more than once?

    At the current time the Northamptonshire High Sheriff Bursary Fund will fund an individual as a ‘one off’.

    How long is Funding for?

    Grant monies should be spent within twelve months of receipt.

Our Commitment

We are committed to making our criteria understandable and accessible whilst supporting applicants to make the best application possible. We will ensure we are being transparent about our processes and, where possible, engaging local people and the fund holders in making the final decision. We will strive to make grants and bursary awards that are relevant to local need and have a direct impact on the community and supporting projects that help people to help themselves. We will ensure that all applications are treated fairly and undergo an assessment process. We will make sure that all grants and bursary awards given are measurable and that successful applicants are aware of our expectations and also supporting applicants in line with the donor’s expectations and criteria. We aim to assess all completed applications quickly and make them available for the next panel date.

Contact Northampton Community Foundation

If you need any help completing the form, please contact Alex Rex at the following:

18 Albion Place,

Telephone: 01604 230033

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