Anne Duchess of Westminster’s Fund Scroll down

After careful consideration, the Trustees responsible for the Anne Duchess of Westminster’s Fund have decided to permanently close its grant programme from 31st March 2025 and to spend out the entirety of the fund thereafter.

This decision is born out of a thorough evaluation of the Fund’s mission and the most impactful way to utilise its resources for greater good.

We will accept grant applications from charitable organisation we have previously funded until 28th February 2025.

For further information on the causes we support and the grant application process, please click here.

Our story

The Anne Duchess of Westminster’s Fund (ADWF) is a charitable fund which is administered and distributed by the Westminster Foundation.

It supports charitable projects in the areas in which Anne, Duchess of Westminster (its founder) lived and had an interest: supporting people’s mental and physical health and well-being; supporting those living in disadvantaged communities; and providing learning and training in either the Highlands of Scotland, Cheshire or through equine charities across the UK.

Anne Duchess of Westminster was the widow of Bend’Or, 2nd Duke of Westminster, who died in 1953. She had a lifelong interest in horses and was well known as the owner of the champion steeplechaser ‘Arkle’. In 1995 Anne Duchess set up the Anne Duchess of Westminster’s Charity which became the principal beneficiary of her will following her death in 2003. Between then and 2020 the Charity made grants totalling in excess of £3 million.

During this period the Charity and the Westminster Foundation worked closely together, sharing information, resources and collaborating with regards to grant-making. In 2020 they decided to a mutually beneficial transfer of the Charity’s assets to the Foundation. This natural evolution saw the creation the Anne Duchess of Westminster’s Fund, in 2021, which sits within the Westminster Foundation’s structure and is managed by its Trustees and team members.

We only support organisations that match the following criteria

Who we support

We support charities or volunteer organisations who work in these areas:

  • Mental health and wellbeing
  • Community projects in disadvantaged areas
  • Isolation and loneliness
  • Learning, training, and employment opportunities
  • Ill health and disability

Mental health and wellbeing

We support a range of charitable projects which improve people’s mental health and wellbeing, including counselling services, equine therapy, therapeutic activities and peer support groups.

Example organisations we have previously supported in this area are:

  • Horseback UK
  • Chester Samaritans
  • Chapter

Community projects in disadvantaged areas

We work closely with charity and volunteer services organisations and community foundations to efficiently direct our funding to community projects where it is most needed and where we believe it will have the greatest impact. These include community centres, food poverty relief, community transport schemes, volunteering costs, youth clubs and play projects and health roadshows.

Example organisations we have previously supported in this area are:

  • Scourie Sports Pavilion
  • Priority Youth Project
  • The Port Grocery

Isolation and loneliness

We support projects that connect and provide companionship, befriending, practical support, equipment and activities to the isolated and lonely living among our communities.

Example organisations we have previously supported in this area are:

  • Re-engage (formerly Contact the Elderly)
  • Befrienders Highland
  • Listening Books

Learning, training, and employment opportunities

We support organisations who work closely with disadvantaged or hard-to-reach groups to provide a variety of education and training opportunities. The target beneficiaries can include people struggling with socio-economic hardship, access to education, learning difficulties and those living in rural areas with poor transport and little access to general services and facilities.

Example organisations we have previously supported in this area are:

  • Greatwood Charity
  • Wirral Youth Zone
  • Bren Project

Ill health and disability

We work with charities who support those with poor health or a disability of any age, as well as the caregivers. These include the provision of therapy services, activity and support-based projects, outreach support, mobility and therapy equipment and cancer support services.

Example organisations we have previously supported in this area are:

  • Maggies Merseyside
  • Highland Hospice
  • Clwyd Special Riding Centre (RDA)

For further details of previous funding please visit the Charity Commission website.

For further information about funding for organisations that provide sustainable help and direction to children, young people and their families, please visit the Westminster Foundation.

We only support organisations that operate in the following areas

Where we support

Your charity must be...

  • Located in the Highlands of Scotland; or
  • Located within a 25-mile radius of Chester; and/or
  • Be an equine-related charity based anywhere in the UK


Are you eligible to apply?

What we fund

  • Charities registered with the Charity Commission or organisations with exclusively charitable objectives.
  • Charities based in or benefitting those living in the Highlands or within a 25 mile radius of Chester (CH4 9ET) or equine related.
  • Project costs, small capital programmes e.g. refurbishment/modification, equipment costs, core costs and salaries.
  • Local and regional charities based in those areas; or
  • National charities with a local connection such as a centre, branch, support group or officer in one of our core areas.

What we don’t fund

  • Requests for individuals or projects benefiting only one mainstream school, including fees and bursaries.
  • Holidays or trips including respite programmes.
  • Projects that are overtly political or religious.
  • Gifts and prizes for events and auctions.
  • General appeals or letters requesting donations.
  • Organisations who have applied to us in the last two years.
  • Projects benefiting less than five people.
  • Medical or veterinary research or equipment.
  • Specific medical conditions (excluding cancer, impaired vision or hearing, learning difficulties or ASD).
  • Projects focusing predominantly on under 25’s in Chester or Cheshire West or Sutherland as these are supported by the Westminster Foundation.
  • Charities providing equine assisted intervention who are not registered on the Human Equine Interaction Register (HEIR).

If so, apply here.

If you meet the criteria to apply for funding, please open and complete this form.




+44 (0) 1244 684433


Anne Duchess of Westminster’s Fund
Eaton Estate Office, Eccleston, Chester CH4 9ET

Or complete the form