The 2015 Josephine Butler Scholarship

Josephine Butler was one of the most revolutionary and energetic social reformers of the nineteenth century.

She challenged the inconsistent and hypocritical standards prevalent at that time especially where they unjustly disadvantaged women. She campaigned vigorously against the sexual exploitation of vulnerable women and children striving for legislative reform to provide some degree of protection, equality and justice. She was heavily involved in advocating for improved education for women notably access to Universities and for women’s suffrage.

Josephine Butler worked tirelessly for the disadvantaged in Liverpool, opening her own home to women in need and single mothers with children. She became internationally known and respected for her work and achievements.

Josephine Butler was inspired in this work by a deep Christian faith. She is remembered in the Church of England Lectionary – her feast day is 30th May.

After her death a college was founded in her memory in Alexandra Drive, Liverpool. For over 50 years students trained there as social workers and acquired specialist skills focussing particularly in helping single parent families and relating their Christian faith to their work.

As a result of changing educational provision and funding, the College was closed in 1972 and the proceeds invested to form the Josephine Butler Memorial Trust. The Trust has a very limited income of about £14,000 a year.

The modest income from the Trust is used to award grants in accordance with the aims and ideals of Josephine Butler it is now limited to the Greater Merseyside area. The Trustees no longer accept unsolicited applications from the public except for this newly established scholarship. The Trustees also have the Josephine Butler Award (for an outstanding project), the Josephine Butler School Award & the Josephine Butler Summits (major conferences on key issues like domestic abuse, women in the church or Women & the UN).

The Scholarship

The Trustees award an Annual Scholarship of £1,000 (applicants must indicate that efforts have been made to raise funds from other sources). They must be:
  • Active members of a Christian Church in membership of either Churches Together in the Merseyside Region or Together for the Harvest.
  • Resident in one of the nine Boroughs in and around Merseyside namely Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, St Helens, Sefton, Warrington, West Lancashire, Wigan or Wirral.
  • Able to submit an outline for a scholarship involving international travel which clearly relates to the life and work of Josephine Butler in areas like women’s empowerment (notably in church settings), criminal justice, social exclusion, domestic abuse, or the role of women.
  • Undertaking an activity unrelated to any academic or professional training.
  • Available to attend the whole of the Annual Awards event of the Trust at lunchtime on 29th May 2015 at Liverpool Cathedral to receive the Award.
  • Willing, if requested to produce a short report or to give a presentation on their work at the Awards Event or a meeting of Trustees.
How to Apply for the Scholarship

Applicants must submit by email the following information by 10.00 a.m. on Friday 1st May 2015:
  • Their full name, postal address email address and telephone number.
  • State which local church they attend regularly.
  • A statement of no more than 500 words outlining the Activity they wish to undertake and how it relates to the life and work of Josephine Butler.
  • A brief financial statement outlining costings and from which sources they might get other funding (trusts, employer, personal resources, &c).
  • Names, addresses and telephone numbers of two referees who they have worked closely with for at least two years: one should be a minister of religion or equivalent who can confirm their active engagement in a Christian Church and the second must be an individual who is able to support the value of the activity for their personal development.
  • Confirmation that the information submitted is true & that they will attend the whole of the Annual Awards Event on Friday, May 29th 2015 (noon - 3.00 p.m). The successful candidate will be informed by 15th May.