Please find below a list of frequently asked questions about the DEBRA support grants:

Who can apply for a support grant?

Anyone living with EB or their family or carers.

How can I apply for a support grant?

Download and complete the grant form - either electronically or by hand - and email your application to [email protected] or send it to Team Support at DEBRA's Head Office:

DEBRA 
The Capitol Building
Oldbury
Bracknell
Berkshire
RG12 8FZ

Alternatively, you can talk to your Community Support Manager or EB nurse specialist who will talk to you about your request and fill in a support grant application form for you.

If you don’t have contact with either, you can contact the DEBRA Head Office (call on 01344 771961 or email [email protected]) to be put in touch with your Community Support Manager.

Note: Community Support Managers offer a holistic service helping with many different areas of your life as impacted by EB. A support grant request could be the start of (or usually part of) an on-going relationship with DEBRA and your Community Support Manager.

What can I apply for?

Support grants are available to fund many things that would not normally be covered by statutory services (see Appendix 3 in the DEBRA Community Support Grant Policy). As we offer a personal service where our community support managers get to know you and your needs, we try not to place rigid restrictions on what your funding is used for. 

We have limited funds and priorities are set in line with the DEBRA Community Support Grant Policy. Any support grant needs to meet the criteria laid out in the policy. Your application will be assessed and prioritised against these criteria by your Community Support Manager.

Given the wide range of products and services a support grant may cover, DEBRA Community Support Managers cannot give any endorsement of products or make specialist assessments for equipment. However, using their experience and knowledge your Community Support Manager will usually be able to give some guidance.

How quickly will I hear?

We try to respond to you within a week. However, occasionally this may be up to two weeks to respond. Urgent requests can be called through to the Community Support Manager for your area to be processed as soon as possible.

How is a decision reached?

Your community support manager will assess your application and make a decision based on:

  • checking that the item/services is not supplied through statutory services
  • that our DEBRA Community Support grants criteria is met (see the DEBRA Community Support Grants Policy for details)
  • Giving a priority level of low, medium or high (see the DEBRA Community Support Grants Policy for details)
  • Checking current availability of charitable funds in the DEBRA Community Support grants budget

Notes:

  • requests for larger sums are discussed and agreed with your community support area or regional manager and the Director of Healthcare, Membership and EB Community Support
  • only support grants that have been authorised are given
  • support grants cannot be given retrospectively

If my application is successful how is the money paid?

We will pay the supplier directly for an item/service wherever possible. We may give you a cheque, bank transfer or cash but will ask that you sign our terms and conditions stating that you will use the money for the purpose given and send all receipts for items/services received to DEBRA.

Note: If you have applied for a support grant you will receive a response from us stating whether you have been successful or not. Please do not assume funding will be paid unless you have received confirmation of the offer of a support grant.

Is there a limit to the amount I can ask for or the number of times I can ask?

There is no limit, however each grant will need to meet our criteria and is dependent on the budget available.

Any requests for large amounts of money (or if you have previously had several support grants adding up to a large amount of money) need to be agreed and authorised by your community support manager and the Director of Healthcare, Membership and EB Community Support.

As a charity we rely on donated funds. We will have a limited budget so not every grant application will be successful (see support grant flow chart).

If I have been given a support grant is it mine or DEBRA’s?

Your support grant will cover the cost (or part of the cost) of an item or service. Any items or equipment purchased with a support grant become your property. Similarly, any services purchased with a support grant are your responsibility. We do not offer insurance or on-going maintenance for items we have funded unless otherwise agreed.

If there are ongoing problems your Community Support Manager will offer support in the same way they would help anyone with equipment or services they had privately purchased themselves.

It is sometimes possible to return unwanted equipment but because of legal, safety and storage implications, please check with your Community Support Manager before doing so.

What happens if a support grant application is not successful?

If you are not given a support grant it will usually be because it does not meet our criteria or because our budget cannot currently support it. You will be told the reason why and if it may be possible to apply again in the future. Your Community Support Manager may suggest alternative forms of support, including signposting you to other agencies or charities that may be of help to you.

Who do I contact if I am not happy with the decision that’s been made?

Please talk to your Community Support Manager in the first instance. If you are still unhappy then contact the Regional Community Support Manager for your area. If you have spoken to them and want to speak to someone else then please contact the Director of Healthcare, Membership and EB Community Support. Contact details can either be found on our website (www.debra.org.uk) or you can call DEBRA Head Office on 01344 771961.

Is there anything else I need to do?

If your application is successful and you decide to accept the offer of a support grant, please read our terms and conditions (see Appendix 2) and acknowledge receipt of items, equipment or services funded by the support grant. This is an important part of the charitable expenditure audit process that we are legally required to undertake.

We would also love to hear feedback about how your support grant has made a difference. Please contact your Community Support Manager and let them know.