The James Fund: a funding opportunity for blind and VI sport and recreation

Notes for Applicants


The Primary Club (the Club), now in its 68th year, provides financial support for a wide range of recreational and sporting facilities for the blind and visually impaired (VI). It is the major supporter of the thriving network of VI cricket clubs in the UK. But, while its origins and heart are in cricket, the Club also supports VI futsal, goalball, golf, skiing, swimming, tandem cycling and Braille chess.  

The Club is both a registered charity and a membership organisation – open to anyone who has ever been out first ball, in any form of cricket (from a game in the back garden to an Ashes Test Match). It is run entirely by volunteers and its income is derived from donations, legacies and occasional events.  

In 2022/23, the Club made grants to 43 clubs and organisations. The average grant was just under £4,000. However, following a significant legacy in 2023 from the late Kenneth G James, the Trustees are keen to encourage applications for more substantial funding for relevant new projects. 

These notes provide guidance for potential applicants.

How much funding is available?

The Trustees have earmarked a total of £75,000 for this initiative. The maximum amount  available for any individual applicant or project is £25,000. There is no lower limit,  although applicants for less than £10,000 may be better advised to apply under the normal  process.  

Which projects are eligible?

The following criteria apply to all funding provided by the Club 

  • All projects must relate clearly to the sporting and/or recreational needs of the blind  and partially sighted.  
  • The Trustees generally prefer to support ‘grass roots’ and ‘start up’ activities rather than, for example, international teams of visually impaired sportsmen and women. 
  • The Trustees generally prefer to fund the whole of the cost of a project, even where this is spread across two or more years, rather than to be one of a number of  contributors.  
  • The Trustees generally prefer to support running costs or the purchase of equipment, as distinct from items which will significantly increase the recipient’s long-term asset  base.  

Other than the above, the Trustees do not want to put any constraints on the types of projects which can attract funding under this initiative. However, they do want the finance to be used to support activities which could not otherwise take place. In  particular, they are keen to support projects that are either innovative (in the sense of  enabling support to be provided in new ways, or to a wider community) and/or collaborative (for example enabling schools and other organisations to deliver support together which they could not achieve alone). 

Successful recipients will be expected to participate in the Club’s promotional activity relating to the project. 

The Trustees have full discretion over which projects to support under this initiative and reserve the right not to distribute all, or any, of the funds available. 

How to apply

Applications for funding should be made using the application form. They should include: 

  • a detailed statement of how the project will meet the Trustees’ criteria above
  • the number of blind and VI people expected to benefit from the project
  • a detailed budget and cash flow forecast showing what additional finance, if any, will  be required; how it will be obtained; and how the project will be sustainable in  future years
  • in the case of collaborative applications, the names of the lead partner and any additional participants 
  • proposed project ‘milestones’, with dates, in order to enable the Trustees to monitor progress

The last date for applications is 31 October 2023 and applicants will be informed of the  Trustees’ decision by 31 December 2023

Download the James Fund Application Form, 2023

Download these notes in PDF format