Launch of the GEO Returners Fund Round 3

The Government Equalities Office is launching Round 3 of the Returners Fund. Building on Rounds 1 and 2, Round 3 will distribute up to £500,000 via grants to support organisations to run projects aimed at Returners from marginalised groups who face the greatest disadvantages in returning to the work place.

As with the previous rounds, this Fund will only support projects that will focus solely on Returners as per the definition below:

‘A Returner’ is a person who left paid employment for at least a year to take on a caring responsibility and would like to return to paid work at a level commensurate with their skills and experience.

This is therefore a much more specific group than those who are out of work. Please see the Fund prospectus for the full funding criteria.

The Government Equalities Office is looking to support potential returners who face persistent barriers to returning to work, such as:

  • People who speak little to no English
  • People who are homeless or at risk of homelessness
  • People with no recourse to public funds due to their immigration status, but who have the right to work
  • People with substance abuse support needs
  • People with mental or physical health issues
  • Victims of domestic abuse
  • Ex-offenders
  • People in challenging economic circumstances
  • People who experience multiple barriers due to their gender and their faith, sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

The Government Equalities Office will be holding a Returners Fund market warming event in Central London on Friday 21st February (13.30 to 16.00) and would like to extend an invitation for you to attend if you have an idea for a project that would fit the funding criteria.

This event will be held at Citadines, 94-99 High Holborn, London WC1V 6LF.

They plan to record the event and making it available as a webinar (via the online portal) with the slides from the events for those unable to attend. 

To assist applicants they will update the FAQs during the application period, responding to questions received at the event and via e-mail and phone. The regularly updated FAQs will be available on the application portal.

To attend the event, please register via Eventbrite: here 

The Fund Prospectus and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are available on the bottom right of the grants portal landing page:  If you decide to proceed with an application you will need to register on this grants portal to apply.

If you have any queries after you have reviewed the application guidelines then, please contact the Returners Fund team on 020 3291 3021 or email