The Margaret Dobson Further Education Trust was founded from an investment by the late Mrs Margaret Dobson.  It was intended as an attempt by her to help young people and others with learning disabilities and other special needs to fulfil their potential, both in educational and practical skills. 

The Trust seeks to achieve this by making grants to other charities which are providing services with similar aims.  Decisions are made by the Trustees after consideration of written applications.  Applications are accepted from UK registered charities.  The Trustees have a set of guidelines to assist charities who are seeking grants..


There are currently eight Trustees who form the governing body that usually meet at least once a year.  The day to day management is vested in the Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer. 

All major decisions relating to the grants to be made and the management of the Trust’s investment are the responsibility of all the  trustees.

Trustees are selected for their interest in the welfare of young people with special needs and the contributions that they are able to make to the efficient administration of the Trust. 

Trustees are elected or re-elected at the Annual General Meeting of the Trustees.

What we support

The focus for the Trust is support of organisations’ for young adults with a learning disability, with the aim of giving them practical skills to better prepare them to be able to lead independent lives.

 About Us

  • Projects that benefit young adults with a learning disability to give them skills to live more independent and fulfilled lives
  • Salaries
  • Equipment
  • Printing and marketing where part of a specific project     
  • Running costs where it can be shown that the charity may close if not supported at this time.

With limited resources at our disposal, the Trustees will prioritise applications from projects which meet at least two of the following criteria:    

  • Designed for, and aimed, at people with learning disabilities aged 16 to 25  
  • Offer the opportunity for people to gain transferable life skills, which may include how to access
  • Offer employment experience     
  • Build in accredited training   
  • Enable social interaction with other people and allow self-expression and confidence-building.     
  • Applications from smaller organisations which are demonstrating an entrepreneurial approach to a locally identified issue.

What we do not support

  • Individuals
  • Organisations that are not registered charities
  • Schools
  • Overtly religious organisations
  • General appeals
  • General running costs       
  • Organisations that were supported in the previous year, unless for multi-year grants agreed in advance.