Opportunities for Young People – Research from the Centre for Education and Youth

15 March 2022

Over the past year we have worked closely with the Centre for Education and Youth (CfEY) to understand barriers impeding young people’s access to opportunity in Buckinghamshire. We are delighted to share the final findings from their research and consultation here. Though many of CfEY’s recommendations speak directly to the Rothschild Foundation, we hope that our colleagues in the voluntary and community sectors, commercial enterprises, statutory and private funders will also benefit from hearing them. Ideally the research will stimulate conversation and collaboration as we work together to address some of the complex challenges young people in our community face.

CfEY outline 11 key recommendations for our grant-making based around central themes of enhanced support for transitions, accessibility, disability and diversity. We have begun taking early steps to act on these recommendations, such as guiding applicants to fully budget for transport costs and travel support for young people with complex needs, to overcome simple barriers to participation. We now ask applicants to provide evidence which demonstrates understanding of local issues and the need for investment to address them. We regularly signpost to data and mapping on needs, demand and provision in Bucks through Local Insight and CfEY’s initial report with the aim of improving geographical targeting of support.

Requests for support where young people are consulted, involved in the design of services and activities, and have a welcome voice in making decisions are proactively encouraged. We take time to speak to most of our applicants about their project before a proposal is submitted. These conversations have become even more important as we act on CfEY’s recommendation to confirm services are age-appropriate or adapted to provide specialist support for young people on the margins. If your organisation is planning to submit an application for over £50,000 this dialogue and joint planning is an essential part of our grant-making process.

For young people, change and transition is an unavoidable part of their development and today they take these uncertain steps in a world impacted by the rising cost of living, Covid and conflict. Our focus on supporting young people in their transition to higher education and transition into stable and fulfilling employment will be a growing part of our strategy and we hope to share more plans in this area soon. For now we hope you value reading CfEY’s recommendations and are interested in working with us to deliver long-term positive change for young people.