Covid-19 Response

The Trustees of the Ernest Kleinwort Charitable Trust recognise the exceptional circumstances brought about by Covid-19 and are particularly concerned about the impact on those in need in the county of Sussex where the Trust is able to operate.  

For organisations currently in receipt of funding and affected by the outbreak, please get in touch if, as a result of the outbreak you need to:

  1. Adapt activities –  we acknowledge that agreed outcomes may not be achieved in the timeframes originally set.
  2. Discuss dates for reporting  – we do not wish to add pressure on organisations to meet tight reporting deadlines.
  3. Financial flexibility – we are able to consider requests allowing organisations to use granted money differently if needed to respond to immediate needs e.g. buying equipment and covering staff sickness.
  4. Discuss – additional needs, concerns and challenges.

For organisations in need of immediate funds to respond to increased needs of beneficiaries in Sussex as a result of the outbreak, please use the following grant application process:

  1. Use the Small Grant application form. This is available regardless of the date of any previous application or current funding.
  2. In the field “What is funding required for” please use the words “Covid 19 Response” so we are able to identify urgent applications.
  3. In the field “Brief Description of Project” please provide details of the following:
    1. Your beneficiary group, who they are, where they are, how many there are.
    2. What they are in need of at this particular time, and why.
    3. How you propose to safely meet this need
  4. Please ensure you attach a clear budget showing the financial costs of providing this service, including the total cost, any funding already available, and the shortfall.
  5. There is no fixed minimum or maximum for the sum sought in these urgent and exceptional applications, but please bear in mind the likely need will be far in excess of the sums available for support, and Trustees are keen to support as many people as possible during this crisis period which is of uncertain duration. All budgets will be scrutinised carefully to ensure value for money, proportionate reach and impact.
  6. Applications will be considered in batches by groups of trustees, depending on the amount sought and the urgency of the situation.
  7. All applicants will be notified whether the application has been successful or not.

Charities are also encouraged to visit the Sussex Community Foundation where there is a SCF local appeal and information on the distribution of the National Emergencies Trust funding.


EKCT was founded on the 12th March 1963, to provide a formal structure for Ernest and his family to devote time and resources to charitable activities.

Ernest had two great passions in life: conservation of wildlife and the natural environment and the encouragement of youth enterprise and outdoor activity. These ideals along with the founding guidelines to support the family’s home county of Sussex, remain core areas of activity.

The board of trustees is made up of members of the Kleinwort family, independent trustees and a corporate trustee who oversees administration and governance. The trustees have wide discretionary power to promote and support charitable purposes and activities, and choose to be exclusively grant-making, with no fundraising or operating activities. The current guideline is to make grants towards a broad range of purposes, funded from returns on investments and cash deposits.

Header images credit to Jamie’s Farm © Bubble&BeanPhotography, © Blue Ventures / Leah Glass, © St. Catherine’s Hospice, © AfriCat Foundation, © Harriet Gendall/Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, © Kangaroos Mid Sussex, South Downs National Park © Susan Worsfold