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Huge demand for new fund sees UK Youth call for greater investment in youth work sector

Melanie May | 27 May 2022 | News

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UK Youth is calling for greater investment in the youth work sector after receiving more than 1,000 applications for its new fund in three weeks.  

UK Youth, working in partnership with the Julia and Hans Rausing Trust, launched Thriving Minds earlier this year and it has since been boosted by an additional £1mn from the Westminster Foundation. It is a £10mn fund for projects that improve mental health support and provision for young people through youth work. This is enough to support 100 projects. Granting all 1,000 applications would require more than £30mn.

The fund is open to charities or not-for-profit organisations in the UK with an annual income of less than £500,000, whose primary purpose is supporting children and young people aged 8-25.


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Ndidi Okezie, Chief Executive of UK Youth said:

“The Julia and Hans Rausing Trust has made this possible, investing millions in a fund that will improve support for young people over the next three years. We are delighted to have already secured an additional £1m from Westminster Foundation. Together we will fund 100 projects, many of which will include full-time youth worker posts able to support thousands of young people.


“The demand has totally out stripped our funding, even with the generous support from Julia and Hans Rausing and the Westminster Foundation, nearly one thousand youth organisations and the thousands of young people they support will not get the help they need. With a youth support system already on its knees post pandemic we know these figures are only going to rise as we face the biggest cost of living crisis in a generation.”

Applicants were asked to outline the mental health challenges facing the young people they work with. Over two thirds of applicants cited poverty as a significant and detrimental contributor to the mental health of the young people they are working with. UK Youth also recognises the strain youth workers have been under, with the fund seeking to address this through providing support and training.

Through Thriving Minds, projects will be supported for three years, both with funds and a tailored package of extra support including workshops, training, and growing communities of best practice.

Successful applications will be announced in June, and UK Youth is seeking more partners to support and grow the fund.