Who we are

Enabling partners to build social justice through education in its broadest sense.

‘None of us can think we are exempt from concern for the poor and for social justice.’ Pope Francis

Founded in 2006
51 grants awarded since 2008
Over £2 million granted since 2008

Who we are

We are an independent Catholic grant-making charity that exists to enable those who are serving the common good to make an even greater difference. We do this because we want to use our resources to build social justice in the UK.

We achieve this by funding organisations that work with people to reduce poverty, exclusion and social and economic injustices and to empower people of faith to exercise leadership in their communities. We also fund research to improve public policy.

This work is deeply informed by Catholic Social Teaching, the Church’s teaching on how the way in which we all live and work can become more fully human in the light of the Gospel.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the leader of the Catholic Church in England & Wales, is the current Chair of The Charles Plater Trust.

Meet Charles Plater

The story of ‘a social prophet’ and his Jesuit bulldog, Jimmy

What we do

The grants that we offer support projects that are focused on our three funding priorities: leadership for laypeople, social action and applied research. Our grant recipients are at the core of our work as we can only be as effective as the organisations that we fund.

Our three funding priorities

1

Leadership for Lay People

Projects that deepen the awareness of Catholic Social Teaching and Catholic Social Thought to better equip people to take on leadership roles in tackling poverty, exclusion, economic inequality and environmental concerns.

2

Social Action

Projects that deliver tangible outcomes to tackle poverty, exclusion, economic inequality and environmental concerns for marginalised people and communities.

3

Applied Research

Projects that develop and apply Catholic Social Teaching and Catholic Social Thought, in partnership with those who are delivering social action work, to ultimately improve public policy and practice.

Making a difference together

Between 2008-2015, an estimated 2,000 individuals facing challenges in their lives have been supported through Plater Trust funded projects.

In addition, 788 lay people participated in programmes of training and development to support their understanding and application of Catholic Social Teaching in social action.

All funders, trusts and foundations, need evidence of the changes their money is making for those most in need and how this links to their own mission. 

For more information about our theory of change and our operating assumptions click here.
 

Examples of the types of outcomes delivered in some of the individual projects we have funded include:

90% of prisoners taking part in The Charles Plater Trust funded ‘Storybook Dads’ scheme said that they had improved their skills (such as in IT and creativity).

In the Baytree PEACH project that The Charles Plater Trust funded, 74% of economically disadvantaged girls improved in reading, 68% improved in writing and 78% improved in maths.

“Like many organisations working with vulnerable people, ‘Women at the Well’, found collecting feedback from the women that they work with challenging, as the women often have unstable lives and their progress is not always linear. 


Nonetheless, ‘Women at the Well’, was a brilliant partner for The Charles Plater Trust as they had a system of self-assessment by participants and project work assessments that monitored the women’s positive and negative journeys across a range of different areas, including accommodation, relationships, abuse, finance, prostitution and health. 


It was so encouraging being able to see what actual difference our grant made.” 

Philomena Cullen, Chair of the Grant Making Body

Our history

The Charles Plater Trust was established in 2006 to continue the work of Fr Charles Plater in developing social justice through education. The Trust is the successor to the former Plater College, Oxford (originally called the Catholic Workers College) and manages the endowment from the sale of the Plater College building through the awarding and administration of grants throughout England and Wales.