Strategic programme

Young people

Young people

We want to see young people thrive with the skills and confidence that will enable them to take positive steps toward adulthood. We are focused on the needs of our younger generation from primary school up to 25 years old, particularly those on the margins who have faced hard times or are likely to have limited access to opportunity. We are focusing on young people because of the disproportionate impact of the coronavirus pandemic and cost of living crisis on this age group.

We have worked with the Centre for Education and Youth to explore the challenges young people in Buckinghamshire face, the support available to them and where there are gaps in provision. Drawing on local evidence and conversations with young people themselves we have set out priorities for our grant-making over the next three years.

We are focused on the needs of young people on the margins who have faced hard times or are likely to have limited access to opportunity.

Our Priorities

Funding will focus on supporting activity which contributes to the following:

  • A resilient youth sector that provides high quality support

Our funding for a resilient youth sector focuses on youth clubs, youth organisations and services where young people are central to the mission and purpose of that organisation. Young people would be the primary beneficiary of all applications, and ideally informing or driving the work delivered. Organisations applying to this priority might offer young people supervised recreation, social activities, mental health support, life-skills and other training.

We want to facilitate organisations to offer a range of solutions which will directly contribute to the quantity and quality of support available to young people in Buckinghamshire. We are interested in supporting organisations which can demonstrate they have a great approach to working with young people and can help to shape their aspirations and chosen pathways.

  • Supporting young people transition towards employment or continued education

Transition funding is available to organisations enabling young people aged between 16-25 to move into a positive opportunity for training, learning or work. Though we won’t fund activity which is the responsibility of statutory educators and would not expect schools and colleges to be primary applicants, we can fund partnerships involving these settings.

Our funding will be focused on groups of young people such as those at risk of being not in education, employment or training (NEET) and those with an identified learning or physical disability. We’re keen to support young refugees and those with experience of homelessness or the care system.

Types of activity that may be considered for funding could include programmes which deliver information, advice and guidance to young people on the opportunities available to them, providing access to mentoring, work experience, and practical advice for budgeting and other financial matters.

We are interested in supporting organisations which can demonstrate they have a great approach to working with young people.

What we look for in applications

We’d expect applicants to demonstrate understanding of the Bucks context and the particular issues facing 16- to 25-year-olds in the county. We are keen to identify local provision for young people that could be supported or scaled up where there is evident need.

There is some geographical variation in terms of the opportunities available to young people in Bucks.  We’re particularly interested to work with organisations focused on the west of Aylesbury and east of High Wycombe or able to meet the needs of young people in rural communities. We’ll ask you to justify the geographical targeting of your work, based on external evidence or information you have gathered through your own experience.  Applicants should also consider how they would address travel-related barriers to support and include this in their budget when needed.

We encourage applicants to give a clear rationale for when their programme is taking place during the year and how it has been designed to be appropriate for a particular age group. We would like to understand how organisations signpost their provision to improve access, particularly in relation to groups that may be hard to reach.

As part of our commitment to better understanding of the needs of young people, we encourage applicants to consider costs for evaluation in their funding request. Higher value applications should include a fully costed and comprehensive approach to evaluation and how you will use it to inform your learning.

We ask applicants to demonstrate understanding of the Bucks context and the particular issues facing 16- to 25-year-olds in the county.

Our approach: Principles for youth funding

Inspired by the National Youth Agency’s principles of high-quality youth work, we’re interested to support activity in both priorities which demonstrates:

  • A trusting relationship with young people.
  • The welfare of young people is prioritised and underpinned by a robust safeguarding policy. (We may ask you to provide your safeguarding policy and will discuss with you how your organisation adheres to the policy)
  • An approach which compliments formal education and provides young people with opportunity to fulfil their full potential.
  • A positive view of young people, valuing them and all they contribute to their community, rather than treating them as a problem to be solved.
  • A constructive approach to listening to and acting on the interests and views of young people. For example, activity may be led or informed by consultation with a youth council or young advisors.

We don’t expect your organisation or activity to demonstrate all these principles at application stage. However for higher value requests of £50K or over we expect you’ll be able to demonstrate some already as well as those that you will be working towards.

For funding requests under £50K, if you’re not able to demonstrate some principles already we want to see how you will be working towards those that are most relevant to your plans.

Additional information