ECT Apprenticeships and Scholarships

Helping our nation to better understand the environment and our place in it

Thank you for your interest in The Ernest Cook Trust. In response to Covid-19 we have diverted funding to support priority organisations within our current grantee database. We are therefore not opening up to new applications for any grant programme until further notice. We hope that you will understand our decision to refocus our educational grant giving activity during these unprecedented times.

Further information on the reopening of applications for the previously advertised environmental engagement grant streams including; ECT Outdoor Essentials, ECT Apprenticeships and Scholarships and ECT Outdoor Learning Officers grant streams will be available from April 2021.

As an educational charity, striving for environmental engagement in our society remains our aim, and outdoor learning, connecting with nature and learning from the land remain our focus. We therefore continue to forge connections and closer collaborations with other organisations who are also working to achieve this in their communities and helping to reconnect people throughout the UK with our natural world. We thank you for the valuable part you play in achieving this shared ambition.

We wish you all the very best through these challenging times.

The Grants Team at The Ernest Cook Trust

Our Priorities

The Ernest Cook Trust believes that all people have a responsibility to address the global environmental challenges facing our planet.

As an educational charity, The Ernest Cook Trust wants to support organisations that offer work-based training and education to young people enabling them to learn skills and fulfil their potential.

Apprenticeship and Scholarship programmes should have an emphasis on environmental engagement eg. education about the land, food production, climate change, engineering technology, renewable energy, understanding nature and biodiversity and developing skills to ensure meaningful connections with the natural environment.

We can fund

  • Apprenticeships and Scholarships. Grants to support work-based training programmes, placements and academic studies.
  • Learning costs. Salaries, training costs, materials, tools and equipment – from £500 and up to £10,000 per student, per year.
  • Multi-year awards. The Ernest Cook Trust will consider funding for the full period of the scheme, pending annual reviews and submission of the annual monitoring report.
  • Non Profit Organisations. We will fund UK-based Registered Charities, Community Interest Groups, Not-for-Profit organisations and State Schools.
  • Any UK Location. The work must have a direct benefit in the UK. Priority will be given to organisations working within areas of deprivation.
  • Organisations with good governance. As part of the application process, we will require financial information, a copy of your latest annual reports and accounts plus evidence of your Safeguarding Policy.
  • A range of participants. Whilst we anticipate that the majority of applications will be for young people, The Ernest Cook Trust appreciates that learning is for life, so has an open and inclusive policy. Priority will be given to organisations that include disadvantaged applicants.

We cannot fund

  • Individuals – but we can grant to an organisation/charity that only funds an individual
  • Agricultural Colleges
  • Retrospectively
  • Local Authorities
  • Political Campaigns
  • The Promotion of Religion. Faith organisations may apply, as long as there is a clear benefit to the local community and not just to those of a particular faith.

How we make decisions

Trustees will make decisions on awards to organisations for ECT Apprenticeships and Scholarship grants three times a year at Grants Committee Meetings. Applications for the first round of awards are now closed. Applicants will know the final outcome of applications by the end of October.

The application process

The Ernest Cook Trust aims to let all grant applicants know whether their request can be taken forward or not within a few weeks of receipt of an application.

Successful applicants will be asked to complete an Agreement which includes confirming the ability of the organisation to receive the grant by BACS.

The Agreement also requires the applicant to submit an annual report on the funded project; failure to do so will ensure the rejection of any further grant application and may result in a request to repay the award.

All applications from schools must be submitted by the headteacher.