The Youth Endowment Fund has announced that it will commit up to £6.5m in new grants to find the best ways to reach “increasingly invisible” vulnerable young people during the current COVID-19 restrictions.
With access to schools restricted and the provision of youth services severely reduced, young people at risk of youth violence have become increasingly ‘invisible’. At the same time, they have lost much of the help and guidance they rely on.
The Youth Endowment Fund was set up to find the best ways to protect young people from being drawn into violent crime. The new money has two aims. It will fund activities that support vulnerable children at risk of youth violence. It will also find the very best ways to reach and support these vulnerable children under the current social distancing and stay-at-home guidelines.
Organisations working with young people (aged 10-14) at risk of youth violence in England and Wales will be able to apply for funding of £25,000 and over. Activities that will be funded include the delivery of digital and virtual programmes; face-to-face work in schools, including activities to help vulnerable young people return to school; and detached youth work.
The Youth Endowment Fund was established last year with a ten-year, £200m endowment from the Home Office, in partnership with Impetus, Early Intervention Foundation and Social Investment Business. To date, the independent charitable trust has awarded a total of £17.1m to 23 projects, working with 36,000 children across England and Wales.
Half of the total funding available will be reserved for charities and social enterprises to help bolster the voluntary sector as it deals with the financial strains of the pandemic.
Hazel Blears, Chair of Social Investment Business, said:
“For many vulnerable young people in England and Wales, COVID-19 has meant the closure of valuable front-line services including schools, colleges and youth centres. Young people and their families rely on these services for help and support. The Youth Endowment Fund will help these essential youth sector organisations adapt the way they deliver their services and to continue their vital work in these challenging and uncertain times.”
Nick Temple, Chief Executive of Social Investment Business, said:
“The team at Social Investment Business has worked responsively and with great collaboration with our partners on this COVID-19 grants round of the Youth Endowment Fund. We will ensure that we work on getting grants assessed and disbursed as quickly as we can, to allow the crucial services that youth sector organisations provide to continue their important work in communities across England and Wales.”
Jon Yates, Executive Director of the Youth Endowment Fund, said:
“Large numbers of young people in England and Wales are vulnerable and need regular support and protection. These children have not gone away while we fight COVID-19, but they have become increasingly invisible. This money will help find the very best ways to reach and protect these children, be that online, in their community or back in the classroom.”
Applications for the Youth Endowment Fund’s COVID-19 grant round will be open for four weeks from today and will close at 12pm Wednesday 3 June 2020. For more information and to apply, please click HERE.