Digital Breakthrough Fund - Stage 2

At the start of 2021, The Trustees of the Peter Sowerby Foundation were delighted to announce 13 grants to organisations across the country to pilot innovations in health and social care through digital service delivery.

Recognising that Covid-19 has changed the landscape for charities seeking to develop and deliver impactful projects within this area, these grants focused on providing initial funding to support organisations to develop digital solutions to tackle a wide range of causes. These ranged from improving the mental well-being of children and young people to the provision of innovative digital solutions supporting those with significant life-limiting or life-changing conditions.

All applicants used these initial grants to develop wider projects to be launched following the completion of initial pilot activity and (alongside two additional organisations) were invited in March 2021 to submit a further proposal to the Foundation to continue and expand these projects.

The Trustees were delighted to understand how all applicants had used their initial grants to design and develop impactful projects to transform health and social care through digital service delivery. 

Following a highly competitive process with a significant number of high-quality applications, the Foundation is delighted to announce that seven organisations have been chosen to receive grants of up to £100,000 to further develop and run their projects – transforming health and social care in a post Covid-19 era. The organisations chosen are as follows:

  • Winston’s Wish – To build an online support hub for young people contending with bereavement
  • Thrive – To enable people to use gardening for health and wellbeing management
  • Spinal Injuries Association – To launch a digital platform to transform the provision of specialist clinical expertise, guidance and advocacy for the spinal cord injury community.
  • Dame Kelly Holmes Trust – To empower 150 young people through a 1:1 personal digital mentoring programme to improve confidence, resilience, self-esteem and physical activity levels.
  • British Tinnitus Association – To use artificial intelligence technology for developing a bespoke conversational Chatbot providing personalised out-of-hours tinnitus support.
  • TLC: Talk, Listen, Change – To use digital innovation to prevent decline in mental wellbeing for potential victims of abuse.
  • Deaf Action Limited – To create a transformative ‘care management hub’ supporting deaf BSL users in need of care and support to live well with increased independence.



We recognise that the Covid-19 pandemic has been one of the most challenging times for charities, especially those in the health and social care sector. At the heart of the Fund’s aim was to ensure organisations had sufficient resources to adapt to the changing post-Covid landscape, placing digital transformation at the heart of new and innovative services. We have been delighted to see the creativity and innovation of organisations through their responses to the Fund and it was a real challenge for the Trustees to select just seven projects out of those we initially supported. We believe that the seven chosen projects provide real and significant potential, not only to transform the lives of individuals supported by these organisations, but also to achieve a wider transformational effect on health and social care post-Covid. We look forward to seeing how each of the projects continues to develop and to follow these charities on their respective journeys.
David Aspinall, Chair of Trustees