Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Who was Peter Sowerby?

Dr Peter Sowerby was a former GP who worked in a rural Surgery in Egton near Whitby, North Yorkshire. Peter wrote the software for an electronic medical record system for use by GPs, and in 1987 co-founded Egton Medical Information Systems Limited (EMIS).  The resulting company has grown over more than 30 years to be the largest supplier of clinical information systems to General Practitioners in the UK. 

In 2011, Peter established the Peter Sowerby Foundation as a charity to direct his personal wealth to meet his philanthropic objectives and those of his late wife, Ann.

Further information on Peter can be found here.

Who are the trustees?

There are currently four trustees. The Chairman of the Foundation is Mr David Aspinall. The three other trustees are: Professor Carole Longson, Mrs Sara Siegel Poulios and Dr David Stables. Their biographies are here.

How do I get in touch?

We periodically issue an Open Call for applications in areas of interest particularly in the area of health and innovation.

However, for other areas of grant-making we do not seek unsolicited applications, instead preferring to actively solicit proposals directly from relevant organisations. However, if you believe that you have an idea for a project that is closely aligned withour aims and recent grants, please submit a brief synopsis, including a summary budget and proposed timeline, using our online proposal form

We'll read each message submitted but we won't acknowledge messages unless a proposal is of interest to us. Correspondents give their consent for the Foundation to retain the information submitted for the purposes of current or future grant solicitation.

Where are your annual accounts?

Our audited accounts are filed with Companies House and the Charity Commission. The most recent accounts are available to view here.

Where does the Foundation’s funding come from?

Our funds come from an endowment gifted to the Foundation by the founder, Dr Peter Sowerby. The endowment is invested by the trustees in order to provide an income, which is spent solely on our charitable activities and administration. 

We do not seek funds from the public or to raise funds itself from private sector sources. Occasionally, we may decide to match fund grants in a particular area of work in partnership with other grant makers.

Are you registered with the Charity Commission?

Yes, the Foundation is registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales, registration number 1151978.

Which causes do you support?

In line with the interests and philanthropic aims of the founder, Dr Peter Sowerby, we look to support charities, CICs and registered social and healthcare providers with grants towards projects in the following areas:

  • Healthcare
  • Education
  • Community
  • Environment & Conservation
  • The Arts

In terms of geographic interest, the we support grant-making UK-wide with occasional international interests. Trustees are particularly interested in supporting projects in Dr Sowerby’s much loved home of North Yorkshire.

Information about our previous grants can be seen here.

What are your criteria for giving grants?

We don't publish criteria for projects that we'll support within the areas of Healthcare and other Good Causes. This is to avoid formulaic grant making and allows us to support a wide range of innovative and impactful projects.

However, the trustees decided in 2019 to launch an Open Call for a new Health Breakthrough Fund. In a departure from its regular grant-making, the we publish criteria for this fund. The criteria for the most recent Open Call are published here.

We'll continue to run Open Calls for our Health Breakthrough Fund from time to time. If you would like to be notified when the next Open Call is announced, please register your interest here.

Who do I speak to about applying for a grant?

We won't seek unsolicited applications as we actively solicit proposals directly from relevant organisations. Our grant advisors will be in touch directly with relevant organisations in the Foundation’s areas of interest and will actively support these organisations to make applications.

How much will you give us?

We'll judge each proposal it invites on its individual merits. We have three giving levels for grants – small grants under £25,000, mid-scale grants under £100,000 and large-scale grants which are £100,000 + and can be very substantial.

How often do you give grants?

The Foundation solicits proposals directly from relevant organisations on an on-going basis, and grants are awarded throughout the year.

Do you give grants to individuals?

No, grants are given to charities, CICs or registered social and healthcare providers only.

When is the next Open Call?

We'll hold Open Calls for our Health Breakthrough Fund from time to time. At present there is no fixed timing for Open Calls. If you would like to be notified when the next Open Call is announced, please register your interest here.

What is the Health Breakthrough Fund?

The Health Breakthrough Fund was launched in 2019 to provide larger scale grants to projects providing innovation and transformation in Health and Social Care. 

Further information on our Health Breakthrough Fund can be found here.

What are the criteria for the Health Breakthrough Fund?

Trustees will keep the criteria for the Health Breakthrough Fund under review and therefore it may change from time to time. The criteria for the last Open Call are published here.

Who have you supported in the past?

Details of many of the grants made by the Foundation are available here.

I have a concern about a project that the Foundation is funding, who do I talk to?

If you are aware of any concerns, particularly Safeguarding concerns, about a project that the Foundation is funding, please contact our grant manager, Michelle Wright, at 

How do you manage my data?

The Foundation’s privacy notice sets out how we manage personal data.