UK Youth and Julia and Hans Rausing to provide £10 million boost to youth sector

The UK Youth Fund – Thriving Minds is a direct response to the mounting evidence UK Youth, a leading charity in the sector, received when it joined forces with Julia and Hans Rausing during the pandemic to distribute £1.3 million in small, flexible grants.

Over 750 youth workers highlighted their concerns regarding significant deterioration in the mental health of the young people with whom they work.

Youth workers across the UK Youth Movement, which includes over 8,000 youth organisations, have also reported seeing significant rises in young people seeking help with their mental health but wait times (as well as fear of talking to professionals about their mental health) mean young people are not getting the support they need.

With youth groups increasingly having to support young people with complex mental health issues, often without sufficient resource and capacity, this £10 million investment over the next three years by Julia and Hans Rausing signals continued support for the role youth services play in supporting young people’s mental health.

Youth work as part of a cross-sector approach

Recognising this as a vital opportunity to establish a connected approach around the crucial services that can support young people’s mental health, UK Youth is calling for others to join them at the table in helping to achieve lasting impact.

The UK Youth Fund – Thriving Minds forms part of the charity’s commitment to channel at least £30 million into youth work by 2025; leveraging its unique network, experience and expertise to deliver a package of ‘wrap-around support’, beyond funding, to deliver sustained impact for young people. 

An innovative funding model, which responds directly to need, will see the charity working closely with grantees throughout the three-year period to develop both partnership and capacity building capabilities alongside vital grants. This will ensure they have access to professional development and youth development content, enabling them to provide access to high-quality youth work in their communities and improve young people’s mental health and wellbeing.

We are incredibly grateful to Julia and Hans Rausing for their partnership and unfailing belief in the power of youth work as the catalyst for change that young people need now more than ever. That is the central goal of our Unlocking Youth Work strategy, and these kinds of partnerships go to the heart of our vision for sustained change,” said Ndidi Okezie, CEO of UK Youth.

Not only have they recognised the urgency to respond with revenue funding now, but they have also shone a much-needed light on the pivotal role that youth workers play in supporting young people at all stages of life, including at times of crisis.   

There is an opportunity here to innovate what collaboration looks like across multiple sectors and deliver a model that pushes the boundaries of what traditional funding distribution looks like.”

Julia and Hans Rausing said, “This funding is a continuation of our work with UK Youth and follows the successful Youth Centre Recovery Fund we launched during the height of the pandemic. During our work with UK Youth, we established there is real need for youth workers to support young people at such important stages of their lives.

We hope that The UK Youth Fund – Thriving Minds and the £10m funding will be another example of how good quality, targeted youth work can make a real difference to young people across the UK, and we can’t wait so see the results.”

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