The WPA Charitable Foundation

The WPA Charitable Foundation´s roots go back to 1940 when the Western Provident Association was known as the Bristol Hospital Fund. The Charity is registered with the Charity Commission:

The role of the WPA Charitable Foundation is to support and assist families in financial distress with profoundly ill children and other related projects promoting the good health of children. These children, more often than not, require intensive specialised treatment far from home, often for days or weeks at a time. The Charity provides essential help with travelling and accommodation costs - that makes so much difference in these deeply distressing circumstances. More recently, the Charity has funded the purchase of state-of-the-art surgical equipment for Musgrove Park Hospital, part of the Somerset NHS Foundation Trust. 

Sadly, it is not possible to apply directly for assistance - the Charity relies upon a network, established over many years, of Social Services Officers and healthcare professionals to bring essential, documented cases to the attention of our grants team.

If you would like to make a donation or need further information please contact us at

In addition to our direct charitable endeavours, WPA has a formal policy that grants two fully paid days of Charity-Work leave to all members of staff, to be spent on any local charitable causes of their choice.

Here are some real examples from the last twelve months that demonstrate the help and support that we provide (names have been changed to preserve anonymity):

Peter - (1 year old) (2017)

Peter was diagnosed with a brain stem tumour in October 2016 and has since had major surgery and intensive rehabilitation with profound side effects. He continues to be fed by nasal gastric tube and has to have oxygen overnight. Whilst most of the tumour has been removed, the doctors were not able to resect all of the tumour and therefore close monitoring will continue. Peter´s parents have had to travel between their home and the hospital on a regular basis and the Foundation has been able to help with their travel costs.
Nicole - (4 years old) (2017)

Nicole has been diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia and the treatments involve regular chemotherapy and steroids which are expected to last until the summer of 2018. Hospital visits have taken place approximately 8 times a month since the diagnoses in May 2016 and Nicole´s mother is supporting Nicole on her own. The Foundation is pleased to help the family with their travel costs to and from hospital.
Connor - (6 years old) (2016)

Connor was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer in his upper right arm last year. Intensive chemotherapy, numerous complications and side effects have meant more trips to hospital than expected and possible amputation. Connor´s father is disabled, his mother has given up work to care for the family so the Charity was pleased to help.
James - (8 months old) (2016)

James was born with Pierre Robin Sequence, a cleft palette, feeding and breathing difficulties. He also suffered a diaphragmatic hernia and misplaced intestines and has intensive care needs to help with breathing and feeding. James´ mother is a single parent, has given up work and has now been trained in tracheostomy care. The Foundation has been able to help with travel costs to hospital.
Alice - (10 years old) (2016)

Alice was born prematurely at 27 weeks and was diagnosed with four limb cerebral palsy with some visual impairment. She has difficulty communicating verbally, has restricted movements and is cared for by her mother while her father is on a low income. A recent infection has manifested itself in painful mouth ulcers which are proving a challenge to cure so the Charity was pleased to alleviate their financial stress.
Becky - 6 years old (2015)

Becky had completed two years of treatment for her cancer but relapsed and had to spend 14 weeks in the Bristol Children´s Hospital. The family lives 150 miles away and visiting Becky as often as possible impacted the family, both emotionally and financially. The Charity was pleased to be able to help with their travel costs.
Lucy - 18 months old (2015)

Lucy, from Cornwall, was admitted to hospital after being diagnosed with a tumour and later transferred to the Bristol Children´s Hospital for surgery, which had to be delayed for 26 weeks of chemotherapy. Her mother is a single parent with three other children so the Charity was pleased to go some way to reducing the family´s burden.
Jamie - 6 months old (2015)

Jamie was diagnosed with a heart condition at birth. Having spent his first few weeks in hospital, there were complications after his operation at two months, which resulted in an extended stay. While the hospital was able to help him during the first admission, the Charity was pleased to be able to support the family during the extended stay.