From education to employment

Thousands to benefit from multi-million pound boost to youth organisations

More than 6,000 new uniformed group places are being created for young people and those from disadvantaged backgrounds across England, Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright announced today (7 Jan).

Nine organisations are benefitting from a multi-million pound fund so that more children and young people can access local clubs and benefit from weekly activities, camps and volunteering programmes to boost their wellbeing, mental health and life skills.

Further to new places, more than 1,000 adult volunteers will now also have the opportunity to join local groups, enabling them to expand their services.

The money will go to organisations such as the Volunteer Police Cadets and the Boys’ Brigade, to provide opportunities for clubs to open up new units in disadvantaged areas or increase their recruitment drive for volunteers.

Jeremy Wright, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said:

Youth groups teach important life skills, build friendships and help expand young people’s horizons. Every child should have the chance to join one of these groups, no matter what background they are from or what area of the country. This funding is creating thousands of new places so that even more children can enjoy these valuable experiences.

Samantha Hyde, Director at Youth United Foundation, said:

We are delighted to be able to work with our Network to offer more young people a greater chance to thrive in society. The power of uniformed youth lies in the diversity and depth of the skills and experiences it has to offer, and we are committed to ensuring that every child and young person has a genuine opportunity to succeed that they rightly deserve.

The nine projects awarded funding from the Uniformed Youth Fund are:

Boys Brigade £228,993 – which will expand existing brigades in deprived areas, as well as improve access for young people with special educational needs and those receiving mental health support.

Fire Cadets £141,199 – which will create a new unit in North East England with a focus on young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEET), young carers and looked after children or care leavers, as well as developing new systems, learning resources and completing a strategic review process.

Girls Brigade £216,040 – which will develop a strategy for engaging disadvantaged young people, which will open four new units.

Girlguiding £718,458 – which will expand its volunteer recruitment service in the top 35% most deprived areas, as well as conducting research into social/emotional development, expanding volunteer training and improving the accessibility of its website.

Jewish Lads and Girls Brigade £292,500 – to resource a dedicated recruitment team to create a targeted campaign in synagogues, community centres and schools and develop its programme materials, systems and communications.

Scouts £781,750 – which will provide start-up grants for 60 new units, develop an impact measurement tool for use with under-13’s and deliver enhanced programme materials, to be made accessible online.

Sea Cadets £420,937 – which will open 25 new Junior Cadets units in the top 35% most deprived areas and pilot extending the age range from 10-12 to 9-12, helping with the transition from primary to secondary school.

St John Ambulance £561,250 – to recruit adult volunteers in targeted areas of England, and provide a new mentoring programme and induction for Youth Leaders.

Volunteer Police Cadets £860,500 – which will offer start-up grants to 75 new units in top 35% most deprived areas, as well as delivering a national safeguarding framework and developing a youth forum initiative.

The fund will be administered by the Youth United Foundation.

There are 11 uniformed youth organisations who were eligible to apply to this fund, as they are part of the Youth United network. However, as they receive funding from the Ministry of Defence, Air Cadets and Army Force Cadets have voluntarily opted out of this fund to increase opportunity for Network members.

The fund will be channelled through two key strands; Stronger Foundations, ensuring investment in creating further sustainability and Reach, which aims to reduce national waiting lists of 180,000 and create new places for young people

The announcement follows the recent Civil Society Strategy where the government promised to work alongside uniformed youth groups to consider how they can expand in disadvantaged areas.

YUF will also be committing funding to undertake research into loneliness, well-being and mental health.

Related Articles