From education to employment

Impetus-PEF announce £3.65 million backing to support disadvantaged young people


Tackling the barriers that disadvantaged young people face in getting qualifications, accessing university and securing long term employment are the drivers behind a £3.65 million grant funding, announced by Impetus-PEF.

The funding aims to spearhead the growth and continued impact of four charities –  Action Tutoring, IntoUniversity, The Access Project and Resurgo who, with Impetus-PEF’s support, have achieved impressive results for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. The four, dubbed “ones to watch,” are taking their high-quality programmes to more young people that need them.

The three-year funding package, that comes with hands on support from expert Impetus-PEF staff along with skilled volunteers drawn from a network made up of over 350 UK corporates, will support:

  • Action Tutoring to prepare for scale up. The investment, in partnership with the Centerbridge Foundation and Bain & Company, will support Action Tutoring to increase the number of students receiving free tuition from 2,100 to 3,600 a year; to strengthen volunteer recruitment and retention; and add to its evidence base to ensure it sustains its impact and growth
  • IntoUniversity to expand to education ‘cold spots.’ The investment will see the charity grow from 22 centres to 31 in 6 new areas including Clacton, Anfield and Weston-Super-Mare. In three years’ time IntoUniversity will be helping 41,000 young people to get into university who might otherwise not have had that opportunity
  • The Access Project to double the number of students it helps to get into top tier universities like Oxford and Cambridge from 1,200 to 2,500 a year over the next three years, while moving to a fourth region and 50 new schools
  • Support Resurgo to help more young people who are out of work, education and training to get the skills, confidence, education and work opportunities they need. With its first centre outside London opening in Brighton, the charity wants to open additional centres in Reading and Leeds and increase its support to 1,000 young people a year

Impetus-PEF has worked shoulder-to-shoulder with three of the four charities for over four years, and, in the case of IntoUniversity, for over ten years. In four Impact Stories published today, Impetus-PEF provides a unique perspective of the journey the four charities have taken with them towards becoming such high performing organisations. 

Commenting on the announcement today Andy Ratcliffe, Impetus-PEF CEO, said;

“At Impetus-PEF we back the best for disadvantaged young people. We’re convinced that with the right support all young people can succeed in school, work and life whatever their background.”

Mr Ratcliffe continued:

“The four charities we are proud to support are proving every day that for a young person from a poorer background you can succeed at school, that getting into university can be a reality and that falling out of the education system or job market shouldn’t be a barrier to getting in and getting on at work.”

The publication of the Impact Stories is expected to reignite the debate of how funders can help charities to become high performing organisations. Mr Ratcliffe has argued that long term core funding and support aimed at improving charities’ capacity to improve allied to a rigorous focus on impact is the route for them to escape the low impact trap.

Establishing deep and trusting relationships between charity and funder are important ingredients for impact, encouraging a willingness from leaders to understand their impact and not to shy away from the changes needed to improve it.

Mr Ratcliffe concluded;

 “Charity leaders and their funders need to establish deep and trusting relationships, it’s the start to breaking out of the low impact trap. I am so proud of the difference we’ve made with the four charities we are profiling today and prouder still that we will continue to support them to get bigger, better and stronger.”

About Impetus – The Private Equity Foundation (Impetus-PEF): Transforming the lives of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds by ensuring they get the right support to succeed in school, in work and in life, we find, fund and build the most promising charities working with these young people, providing core funding and working shoulder-to-shoulder with their leaders to help them become stronger organisations. In partnership with other funders we help our charities expand and we work to influence policy and decision makers so that young people get the support they need. For more information, please visit or call 020 3474 1017.

The three-year investment from Impetus-PEF amounts to £3.65 million worth of core funding.  Previous investment in the four charities including investment team and pro bono network support comes to a total value of £10 million   

About The Access Project.  Disadvantaged young people are significantly under-represented at top tier universities, making up only four per cent of the intake. The Access Project works with high-potential students from disadvantaged backgrounds, providing tutoring and intensive support including mentoring, practice interviews and networking, to help them get into top universities.

About IntoUniversity. Only 24 per cent of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds go to university, compared to 41 per cent of their better-off peers. This means that 14,000 young people miss out on the opportunity each year. IntoUniversity runs centres where disadvantaged young people receive support to raise their attainment and aspiration, and get the necessary information, advice and guidance to get in to university.

About Resurgo. Over 800,000 young people spend a year out of work, education or training with long term consequences for their employability, confidence and earnings. Resurgo’s award-winning Spear programme helps to get the most disengaged young people ready for work and into a job.

About Action Tutoring. Good GCSE grades are gateway qualifications for further study and fulfilling work. But only 33 per cent of young people on free school meals achieve five good GCSEs, compared with 61 per cent of all other pupils. Action Tutoring works in seven cities providing trained volunteer tutors to support pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds to pass their GCSEs. 

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