In 1887, a charitable foundation was started in Probus under the name of Probus Exhibition Fund. Its purpose was to assist young people in need of financial assistance with the costs associated with secondary school education and with moving on from school to apprenticeships or other employment. In 1966, the constitution of the scheme was updated and trustees were appointed to represent the county council, the parish council, the parochial church council, the school and the Methodist church. It continued to distribute grants to young people in the parish for many years. Unfortunately, as trustees retired and were not replaced, the charity became dormant and funds were not distributed.
The charity has been resurrected and relaunched and it distributes grants to qualifying applicants. Any young person aged 11 years to 25 years who lives in the parish and who is in need of financial assistance can apply for grants to help with costs such as books, training, tools of a trade, clothing, work related travel etc. The minimum amount is £50. The maximum amount is £500 although we would typically expect amounts awarded to be lower than this in the range of £150-300.
The trustees first met in July 2014 to consider applications for grants from the first round of funding. It was agreed to allocate monies to a number of applicants. Because of the confidential nature of the information that the trustees have to consider when making their decisions, it is not possible to publish names of applicants or details of the awards given. The trustees have subsequently met twice a year in January and July to consider further grant applcations. Minutes of the meetings containing information that is in the public domain are on the Meetings page of the website.
Annual general meetings (AGMs) of the charity have been held in September 2014, September 2015 and September 2016. Agendas and minutes for these are also on the Meetings page. The most recent AGM was held on 7 December 2017.
The Fund is now OPEN for applications. Closing date for the current round of applications is 30 June 2018. The trustees will meet in July and notify successful applicants before the end of July. For an application form, see Grants.