The government has pledged £28m in funding for projects supporting disadvantaged children and young people as part of the second round of its £80 million Life Chances Fund.
Ten projects are in line for the funding, all with a focus on helping young people into employment by providing education and training, reducing the number of days young people spend in care, and helping vulnerable children prepare for school.
The projects are Social Impact Bonds, meaning social investors are providing them with up front funding, and will be reimbursed by the government only when projects meet agreed results.
Local authorities have already agreed to provide a combined £83 million to the successful projects, and this funding will be additional.
Minister for Sport and Civil Society, Tracey Crouch, said:
“The Life Chances Fund is helping transform lives across the country and I am looking forward to seeing how these fantastic projects use this funding to benefit children and young people, teaching them valuable life skills.”
Three of the beneficiaries are Sheffield City Council, Harrow Council, and Think Forward.
Sheffield City Council will receive £19,294,766, the largest amount of money from the Life Chances fund. It will set up local projects to help tackle a range of issues from mental health and wellbeing to homelessness and youth unemployment.
Harrow Council will be given £1,895,000 for a programme that offers 24/7 accessibility to support for young people to help them plan, coordinate and accelerate progress towards their goals. It will target vulnerable young people aged between 10 and 18, in care and outside.
Think Forward will be granted £683,620 to implement its Move Forward programme which supports young people aged 14-25 with mild to moderate learning disabilities to develop the aspirations, qualifications and skills they need to realise their potential and gain paid employment.
The Life Chances Fund is being delivered on behalf of DCMS by the Big Lottery Fund. The Fund launched in July 2016 with the objective of tackling entrenched social issues and helping those people in society who face the most significant barriers to leading happy and productive lives.
It is structured around six key themes: drug and alcohol dependency, children’s services, early years, young people, older people’s services, and healthy lives. To date, a total of £45,152,177 of Life Chances Fund money has been committed across 20 projects, with more funding to be announced in the summer.
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