Emergency funding supports 15,000 disadvantaged young people on their journey into employment during the pandemic

Nov 16, 2023

Supporting over 15,000 children and young people, the Inspiring Futures programme launched by Youth Futures Foundation and BBC Children in Need has now concluded. This vital grants programme delivered £7m to organisations across England to help young people who faced the greatest disadvantage during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Helping young people when they needed it the most, the programme enabled organisations in the voluntary and community sector to provide positive activities for young people on their journey towards employment. Inspiring Futures was designed to focus on responding to the challenges created by the pandemic, providing support for frontline organisations in need.

As part of the grant programme, Youth Futures commissioned Cordis Bright to carry out an evaluation, which helped them to identify good practice in the delivery of support for children and young people. The evaluation identified a range of promising or effective practices relating to getting and keeping children and young people engaged and achieving personal and social development outcomes.

Barry Fletcher, CEO at Youth Futures Foundation, comments:

“We are so pleased to share the results of a successful grants programme, launched when many of the organisations needed it the most. It’s been great to work alongside BBC Children in Need and Cordis Bright, and we hope the findings can inspire other funders and frontline organisations going forward. Inspiring Futures has helped many young people across the country and we hope that with the findings delivered through our evaluation programme, we’re able to help even more young people in the future.”

The Inspiring Futures evaluation also highlights the need for tailored support for each young person’s circumstances and needs, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. Findings discovered through the programme have helped create evidence of best practice for funders and practitioners working to narrow youth employment gaps. These learnings will help to influence policy recommendations and shape ongoing and new programmes delivered by Youth Futures, including Building Futures, a brand-new £15M programme, working with 14-16 year olds at risk of dropping out of education.

Rachel Carter, Head of UK Grants, Partnerships and Programmes at BBC Children in Need, comments:

“BBC Children in Need are delighted to have partnered with the Youth Futures Foundation on the Inspiring Futures programme.  This vital programme invested in over 15,000 children, supporting them to overcome the multiple challenges they face in their journey towards employment and ultimately towards achieving their full potential.”

The final evaluation outputs produced by the evaluation can be found here and include two final reports, deep dive case studies, summaries for policymakers, practitioners, and young people, and a technical appendix to the final report.

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