Plater Trust gives almost £200,000 to organisations promoting social justice

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The Charles Plater Trust has awarded grants totaling £183,280 to support four projects working in the fields of education and Catholic social action.

The funding was presented to the successful applicants at an awards ceremony hosted by the Most Rev Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, on Tuesday 5 March at Archbishop’s House.

The Trust continues the work of the founders of Plater College Oxford, which closed in 2006, and grants are awarded against a specific theme each year.

This year’s theme was ‘Leadership development for the laity, particularly in the area of social justice and social action, to equip individual Catholics to apply Catholic social teaching and play an active part in the Church’s mission.’

The Trust received 29 applications for funding – mostly of the highest quality – totaling £1.25m. Only the limit on the amount available prevented more proposals from being supported and the grant-making body expressed regret at not being able to fund other strong, worthy projects.

The Charles Plater Trust provides grants from the proceeds of its investments from the sale of the original Plater College.

Archbishop Vincent Nichols said:

“This is a very special moment – as we celebrate the vitality, vibrancy and creativity of the Catholic Church community in translating our beliefs into positive social action. We celebrate the achievements of the ten projects that the Charles Plater Trust supported and funded in its first three years. And we celebrate the award of four further grant awards today.”

Participants at the award ceremony were able to meet winners of previous grants awarded in 2009, 2010 and 2011 and were treated to a presentation by 2010 winner, the Ten-Ten Theatre Group, of their work in young offender institutions.

Since the Trust was established in 2008, it has awarded grants of around £800,000 to support ten projects in the fields of social action and education for the disadvantaged.

This Year’s Successful Applications

The four successful award winners in 2013 were:

Anchor House
Diocese of Brentwood’s Caritas initiative

This award will enable Anchor House to recruit a Caritas Development Manager for 12 months to:

  • Build a network of Catholic laity, parishes, religious orders and national organisations working for the benefit of our communities

  • Launch a programme of education on Catholic Social Teaching (CST)

  • Generate greater involvement by the Catholic laity in social action initiatives

The Ambassadors project
Salford Diocese Caritas

This award is to fund Salford Caritas Ambassadors, a pilot project to inspire, train and support 360 young leaders through the appreciation and practical application of Catholic Social Teaching (CST). It will be targeted at six schools & colleges in the poorest areas in the Diocese of Salford.

It will comprise:

  • The drafting of educational materials directly based on the principles of Catholic Social Teaching (Human Dignity, the Common Good, Solidarity and Subsidiarity)

  • The employment of a coordinator to lead social justice and action training for the 360 young people in participating schools and colleges

  • Outreach projects that target local community needs, led by senior managers and key staff in the six participating schools in the more deprived parts of the diocese

Prison Advice and Care Trust (PACT)

The Plater Trust grant will support the expansion of “Basic Caring Communities”, a faith-inspired ex-prisoner resettlement project.

PACT will recruit, train and support a team of 15-20 lay leaders to support ex-offenders in the critical early months following release when they are at most risk of re-offending (two thirds of offenders re-offend within 2 years of release). The project is aimed, in particular, at former offenders who are at a high risk of re-offending, but who represent a low risk to others in terms of harm. Funding will support the development of a Lay Leadership Team including Lay Training Workers (one in London, one in the North West) and three ‘Faith in Action’ interns. 

Saint Vincent de Paul Society (SVP)

This grant is for the training in Catholic Social Teaching of volunteer SVP camp leaders to develop their understanding of social justice and how this applies to their work on camp with disadvantaged young people. The project consists of funding for training days and resource materials for camp leaders.


You can listen to audio from the Plater Trust’s 2013 grant awards event by using the media players and links to the right of this page.


The Charles Plater Trust is a charitable organisation dedicated to advancing the work of Father Charles Plater by developing social justice through education. Established as the successor to the former Plater College, Oxford, the Trust makes grants to organisations throughout England and Wales in pursuit of the Plater vision in its modern context. Each year a theme is used to highlight a particular side of this vision, whether emphasising the development of lay leadership, bringing education and opportunity to the most marginalised, or developing innovative new applications of Catholic social thought.
Visit the trust’s official website for further information on the projects it has supported through its grants


Kevin Ambrose