The Blagrave Trust has partnered with the Foyer Federation to offer local Foyers the opportunity to access pots of funding to support innovation and creativity around youth leadership and empowerment. We want to champion new thinking, long-term change and youth-led approaches that challenge existing power structures and provide a catalyst for young people to lead in their local community and beyond.
We are inviting services within our network to apply for up to £15,000 of funding per year for up to three years to invest, explore and deliver youth leadership and power-sharing initiatives.
In the first year, we expect to fund four projects for the full amount (this is called the Accelerator stream) and three projects for £5,000 for 12 months (called the Spark stream). In year two, we expect to select one of these Spark projects to fund for a further two years at £15,000 per year.
For both Spark and Accelerator projects, at least 30% of each Foyer’s budget must be directly invested in young people.
The inspiration behind the fund
Youth-led movements have a unique energy and power that can create lasting positive change. But young people living in supported accommodation face a number of additional, unique barriers that can hinder their involvement in leading change and being heard, including:
- The transitory nature of young people's lives during their time in the Foyer
- The hierarchies and power frameworks that exist in supported housing, which are often not conducive to youth leadership and sharing power with young people
- A lack of confidence and self belief that can come from having experienced disempowerment through statutory provision, deficit-based systems and traumatic home lives.
As a result of these barriers, and despite best intentions, youth leadership and involvement in supported housing projects can often fall into becoming tokenistic, inconsistent and short term.
By providing this funding, we aim to create space and time for services to innovate, try new approaches, and implement sustainable youth leadership systems, programmes and initiatives – both within the Foyer and reaching out into the wider community.
Collaborating with young people
Close collaboration with young people is central to the work of the Youth Power Fund – both in the expectations on funded projects, and in the delivery of the fund itself. We are committed to sharing power with young people and being guided by their views and experiences.
To launch the fund, we worked with a group of young people to define the difference in experience of real power vs tokenistic power, to create the guidelines services apply to, and to write the questions in the application form. These co-created expectations will be the ones applications are assessed against by our decision-making panel.
This panel will include a mixture of young people and experienced professionals, making decisions together about which applications to approve for funding.
Young people will be involved in co-design and co-delivery of the learning cohort for funded services, and will partner with us to visit the services we fund to innovate, review progress and make recommendations.
To be eligible to apply, your service must meet the following criteria:
- Based in England.
- A current member of the Foyer Federation, and have been a member for the most recent 12 months.
- Main beneficiaries are young people aged 16-25 living within your Foyer service.
Additional criteria and more information about the fund can be found by downloading our Application Guidelines below.
How to apply
If your service meets the eligibility criteria and is applying for £15,000 per year over three years or less, we welcome you to apply to the Youth Power Fund.
- Download and read our Application Guidelines.
- Download and read the sample Terms and Conditions.
- Download the application form. We accept applications in both written and video format, responding to the same questions.
- Return your completed application form, video (if applicable) and attachments to [email protected] by 9am Monday 31 January.
To have a conversation about your application or for support, please contact Kate Russell at [email protected].