BBC Children in Need and Youth Futures Foundation have partnered to launch the new Inspiring Futures programme. This new partnership will see each funder commit £3m to the programme which will support organisations working to improve employment prospects for disadvantaged children and young people across the UK.
Evidence suggests that the economic impact of COVID-19 will affect children and young people who face disadvantage and discrimination the most, diminishing opportunities to develop skills, access training or work in the short term and blighting their long-term career progression. Inspiring Futures will award funding to organisations which support children and young people facing the greatest challenges, to support them as they move through adolescence to adulthood with the aim of guiding them towards successful employment.
Simon Antrobus, Chief Executive of BBC Children in Need said:
“We want to ensure that all children and young people are able to thrive at every stage of their lives and have the chance to achieve their full potential. This includes addressing the additional impact COVID-19 will have on their future prospects and employability. We are proud to partner with the Youth Futures Foundation on this programme which will help to transform young lives, unlock their potential and address the root causes of youth unemployment.”
Anna Smee, Chief Executive of Youth Futures Foundation added:
“This joint fund will provide £6 million to support children and young people across the UK who face disadvantage or discrimination, helping them to develop skills, enhance their networks, gain experience and transition into employment. With nearly one million young people facing unemployment, this is a crucial time to provide additional support to organisations delivering activities that enable young people to achieve their goals and overcome the barriers they face. We are proud to partner with BBC Children in Need to deliver this rapid response to COVID-19.”
The programme is open to all charities, social enterprises and voluntary organisations across the UK that are working with disadvantaged children and young people. We want to be assured that the needs of Black, Asian and minority ethnic children and young people are specifically addressed as we recognise racial injustice and the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on these communities. We encourage applications from organisations working within these communities.
The programme will fund a variety of projects that help children and young people to build the confidence and skills they need as they develop, supporting them to secure employment and fulfil their career aspirations. Organisations could deliver activities such as: youth support work and music, arts and sports activities that enable the development of work readiness skills such as teamwork, communication and problem-solving; support for further education, training or employment that they may not normally have accessed; support through the provisions of volunteering and work experience; support from a trusted, consistent adviser to help young people achieve goals and overcome barriers; and support with mental and physical health problems and housing issues, that may be barriers to employment.
The Inspiring Futures programme will support children and young people between the ages 10 – 24 and the grants will run for a duration of up to 18 months, with awards being made up to £80,000. For further information on the programme and how to apply, please visit the BBC Children in Need or Youth Futures Foundation website. The programme is open for applications from Friday 10th July until 11:30am on Friday 31st July 2020.