We fund educational opportunities for young people in London.
We've been providing financial support to individuals and organisations for over 270 years.
Through our grant-making, we contribute to educational policy, practice, and research, in order to shape and meet the evolving needs of London’s most disadvantaged young people.
Under our current Grants Strategy we have six funding priorities which inform all aspects of our grant-giving. These strategic priorities enable us to support young Londoners across every stage of their education and in a variety of settings. They also afford us the flexibility to respond to emerging needs or challenges faced by particular groups.
When we talk about education, we talk about it in the broadest sense. We know that learning takes place in a range of settings, not just in formal education environments. That's why we continue to support a variety of organisations, from schools, colleges and universities to theatres, museums, prisons, sports charities, arts organisations and more.
Who we've funded View all stories
After sadly losing her mum in 2019, then being displaced and having to live in hostels during sixth form, Lexi is currently in her second year of studying English at the University of Oxford.
We caught up with Lexi to ask about her personal situation when she applied for funding, how her course is going so far and how our funding is supporting her in achieving her ambitions.
Sarah’s Story: London Music Fund
Since 2013, The Portal Trust has helped to support the London Music Fund by sponsoring twelve four-year music Scholarships for children whose families are struggling to pay for music lessons.
Sarah Akunjee, an 11-year-old saxophonist from Wandsworth, received one of these Scholarships in 2018. We caught up with Sarah to find out how her Scholarship has been going, the difference it has made to her and what her ambitions are for the future.
Oxford Gardens Primary School: GRT Learning Mentor
Over the past year, The Portal Trust has helped to support the GRT (Gypsy, Roma and Traveller) Learning Mentor role at Oxford Gardens Primary School in North Kensington.
Terry King has carried out the role since 2018 and has built a strong relationship with the children, parents and school over the years. We met with Terry to discuss his role and the difference it has made for the children.
Megan’s Story: The Hand Engravers Association
The Portal Trust helps the Hand Engravers Association to support apprenticeships in the heritage craft skill of hand engraving. Megan is the current apprentice receiving funding from the Trust and has been training since 2019.
We caught up with Megan to find out how she got into hand engraving, how her apprenticeship has been going so far and what her ambitions are for the future.
Stepladder Plus: Financial Awareness Programme for Young People in Care
In 2020, The Portal Trust awarded £54,000 to The Share Foundation to fund 18 places for looked-after children on their Stepladder Plus programme - an online financial awareness training programme.
Continue reading to learn more about the programme, The Share Foundation and the experiences of previous participants.
Scarabeus Aerial Theatre: Flying Into Physics
In 2021, The Portal Trust awarded £30,000 over three years to Scarabeus Aerial Theatre for their ‘Flying Into Physics’ programme – an exciting science project helping disadvantaged 9-10 year olds learn about physics through aerial theatre.
We visited a session at a primary school in North London to see students flying through the air and learning about gravity, air resistance and friction.
Future Frontiers: Career Coaching
Since 2019, The Portal Trust has helped support Future Frontiers to deliver career coaching programmes to over 300 disadvantaged young people from inner London boroughs.
We attended a coaching session in-person and spoke to one of the students, Simi, about her experience on the programme.
Debate Mate: The Debate Mate Cup
In March 2022, The Portal Trust awarded £31,000 to Debate Mate – a charity helping tackle educational disadvantage by running debate workshops for students in state schools with free school meal profiles higher than the national average.
We recently attended the third London round of the 2022 Secondary School’s Debate Mate Cup and spoke to Bukola about their experience as a previous participant and current mentor.
In January 2020 we published an impact report entitled "A Decade of Achievement" looking at the projects and organisations we had supported over the period 2009/10 - 2018/19.
awarded in grants
in-kind support to our partner organisations
In that decade, the largest area of our grant-making (27%) was our Widening Participation priority area, with £4.8million awarded to organisations helping young people into further and higher education. £4million was awarded under our New Initiatives priority (23%), and £2.6million (15%) each under our Prisoner Education, Portal Trust Partners, and Bursaries and Scholarships priority areas. Our smallest area of giving was Truancy, Exclusion and Behavior Management (£900,000: 5%), though we have seen a rise in applications under this priority area in recent years.
Organisations we've funded
We provide grants to charities and educational establishments working to enhance the education of children and young people in London. Explore some of the fantastic projects and organisations we currently support below.