Challenge and Change

“I raise up my voice-not so I can shout but so that those without a voice can be heard...we cannot succeed when half of us are held back.” ― Malala Yousafzai

Challenge and Change is a fund dedicated to supporting the limitless energy of young people affected by injustices who are working tirelessly across England to create positive change. We see you. We know that you are creators of change and active citizens for the public good. We also recognise that you need investment and support to take forward your ambitions for a positive future.

If you’re 18-25 years old, working at the hard edge of injustice and have radical ideas, dreams, visions, and imaginations for a just and fair world for all, we want to invest in you and your work and offer a package of mentoring and network support to help take your work to the next level.

Applications open now until 11.59pm on 27th July 2020

Young changemakers

Why this fund, and why now?

History illuminates the capacity and courage of young people to drive change, but for far too long their ideas have been restricted or constrained. Power is often held by adult-led initiatives that end up speaking on their behalf or controlling or leading their ideas. This fund wants to change that and move power and resources to young people.

This moment in time, which will go down in history, once again shows young people bringing social, economic, and climate injustices to the consciousness of adults who have been too slow to act.

Amazing young minds and hearts have made the vision of this fund possible, and the future of this fund will also be guided by the knowledge, wisdom, and insights of young people.

The Challenge and Change fund is guided by the knowledge, wisdom, and insights of young people and we intend this fund of £80,000 to be the first round of funding. Watch this space for future funding!

This fund was co-created by a group of partners: Young Advisers – Daze Aghaji, Chloe Deakin, Jovan Nepaul – the Blagrave Trust and the Centre for Knowledge Equity.


Scroll down to find out more and apply
– Applications close 11.59pm on 27th July 2020
– Decisions shared 20-27 August 2020


If you need support to complete the online form below, for example, due to a disability or language needs, please get in touch with us at   and we will be happy to help and/or make reasonable adjustments if you need them.

Who, what, and how much will Challenge and Change fund?

The Challenge and Change fund has £80,000 to invest in young people aged 18-25 working across England.

Young people can apply for grants between £1,000 to £10,000 to take their work to the next level.

This fund embraces and acknowledges that there are young people across England directly affected by injustices who are tirelessly working to speak out against those injustices. e.g. young people experiencing poverty, young people with disabilities, single teenage mothers, young care leavers and carers, young people of colour, young migrants and refugees, young people who’ve had contact with the criminal justice system – all young people who want to challenge and change laws, policies, practices, and cultures that have directly affected their lives and the communities they share those experiences with.


We fund
– Individuals (directly) aged 18-25.
– Constituted or unconstituted groups led by young people aged 18-25 (e.g community and/or grassroots groups, networks, movements or projects etc).
– Organisations founded by and/or led by young people aged 18-25 (e.g. charities, social enterprises).


Boundaries of the fund
– You must be aged between 18-25 years old on the 31st August 2020.
– You must be based in England.
– We do not fund projects that provide services to young people (which we know is important and valuable work) but rather the ideas, project, campaign and/or movement that you have been creating to amplify, elevate and challenge injustices to create positive change.
– We cannot fund projects that breach Charity Commission laws e.g. if the work is party political. However, we do fund work that wants to challenge laws, policies, practices, and cultures regardless of what government is in power. All the young people we invest in will have access to free (online) training on charity law and campaigning.

How much can you apply for?
You can apply for grants between £1,000 to £10,000 to take your work to the next level.

The money can be used to fund things like:

– Your time (we value the time you put into your work!) and the time of your team.
Materials and equipment e.g. stationary; IT/camera equipment; software etc.
– Work you feel you need to commission out to someone with the relevant expertise e.g. graphic design; website development; advice and support where technical expertise is needed.
– Anything else you feel you need. You’ll have a better idea of what will help elevate your idea, campaign, movement or project.

But there is no limitation – YOU tell us what you need and why you need it!


We’ve designed a simple application process
To submit your application, please complete the short form below, which asks you questions on four key areas:

So you’ll see a really short form below asking for 4 things:

– Tell us a little about who you are, your age, and where are you based.
– Tell us what positive change you want to bring into this world.
Help us see and feel the passion you have for your work and the injustice(s) you are trying to address – attach your challenge and change story as a file to the form below – using any medium you want e.g. words, video, photography, poetry, art – anything that you feel expresses your passion and work.
– Tell us a little about how much money you need and how you will be spending it. We don’t need budgets and spreadsheets! But we will need a description of how you are going to spend the money.

Tip: Feel free to type your answers in another document and then paste and copy over into the answer boxes below.


Attaching your Challenge and Change story (word or visual)

Tell us about what you are doing, why, with who, and how you think your work will create the future you want to see (and that we all need). 

We do not expect you to tell your personal stories of pain and suffering. You shouldn’t have to talk about it if you don’t want to. Instead, this fund wants to support young people who have activated those experiences as knowledge to inform their ideas and work. 

Words / art: Please upload a word document/pdf/jpeg to the form below (where it says ‘choose a file’) 

Videos (optional): If you want to send us a video, please upload the video to a platform such as Vimeo or Youtube, and add the link to a Word document or PDF and upload it as a file in the form below. If you have a password, please make sure that you include that in the form below so that we can access your video.


If you need support to complete the online form below, for example, due to a disability or language needs, please get in touch with us at  and we will be happy to help and/or make reasonable adjustments if you need them.

Want to ask some questions?
If you have any questions, please get in touch with Philippa at

If you’re good to go, apply below now (The deadline for applications is 11.59pm on 27th July 2020).

We held a live Q and A session on the 9th July, covering all these topics and more. You can find a summary of the questions asked and answers we provided here.


Will you get other support aside from funding?
Absolutely. Once your funding is confirmed, we will invite you to meet with the fund partners and all the young people who have secured funding to create a peer network of support, allyship, and connection.

You will also be offered a mentorship, coaching, and systems-change support package from our partner the Centre for Knowledge Equity to meet your needs. However, this offer of support is open for you to explore, accept, or refuse. 

If you are a young person who feels a little isolated or anxious about managing the funds alone the Centre for Knowledge Equity will also provide you with the support you feel you might need to make that easier for you. 

We will talk through all these options when we first reach out to you and explore what you feel you need to take your work to the next level.

What about young people under 18 and those between 25-30?
We know that there are amazing young people under the age of 18 doing incredible work. We also appreciate that there are incredible young people between the ages of 25-30, which can be a challenging transitional time, who often find it difficult to access the support and resource to take their work forward (their age often used against them because of the perceived notion that they lack ‘experience’).

We see you and we value all the work that you do. For that very reason, we are working hard to see if we can redesign and improve the fund going forward. But for now, this first pilot needs to get off the ground and we’ll be working with our Young Advisers to help open up the next round of funding to more young people (fingers crossed!)

Can you use the funding to contribute to your salary or pay for your personal living expenses e.g. food, rent etc.
Yes. We value the time that you put into your work! If you are applying as an individual you can use the funding to pay for your personal living expenses e.g. food/rent etc. If you are applying for funding as an organisation/group you can use the funding to pay for salaries or cover the costs of your organisation.

If you are currently unable to receive funds into your allocated bank account (e.g personal, organisation or group account) due to bank closures during covid-19 or facing other barriers to receiving and accessing funds, our team will work with you to talk through how we can support you.

What if you are not allowed to work? What if you are in receipt of welfare benefits?
Sadly, there are many young people in the UK who have been placed in situations where government laws and policies mean that they may not be able to work or access funding without negative consequences to themselves or their family e.g. young migrants with no recourse to public funds; young teenage mothers on social welfare benefits with caps to income that can be earned.

It is important that you protect yourself and access the right advice to understand your rights and entitlements before you apply. If you feel that funding might create problems for you please don’t hesitate to contact us to talk this through with us confidentially. Please feel free to drop us a line at 

You can also reach out to your local Citizens Advice to check your rights and entitlements before you apply (it has a location locator), or the free advice service offered by the Coram Children’s Legal Centre:

What if you need the support of a trusted organisation to help you take your work forward?
We do not fund adult-led organisations (led by those over 25) unless you can clearly show that you hold the power to take forward your work and ideas (all the decisions are left to you, including how the funding is spent) and the organisation is simply there to support you. We will also need the organisation to confirm that they will be handing over all the decision-making power to you.

Please feel free to drop us a line at the Blagrave Trust to talk this through before you apply. You can reach out to us at

Do you need to provide a budget of all your costs?
You can if you want to, but we don’t need you to. What we need from you is a description of the work you want to do and how you think the funding will help you take your work to the next level. We also appreciate that you might not have all the exact details of how/what funding will be used for until you secure the funding and are free to work on your activities. If funding is secured, we will help you organise and plan your budget, if needed.


What happens after you submit your application?

– The deadline for applications is 27th July 2020. Our team will then go on to organise all the applications received.
– If we think your application has potential but we need to clarify something, we’ll call you to go through it so that you have an opportunity to clarify or revise anything before it goes to the decision-making panel.
– Your application will then go to the decision-making panel that will be made up of our partners: Young Advisers – Daze Aghaji, Chloe Deakin, Jovan Nepaul and teams from the Blagrave Trust and the Centre for Knowledge Equity.
– We will be in touch with you by 14 August 2020 to let you know if you have secured funding, provide feedback on your application and/or offer you other support and benefits.
– If you have secured funding, you will receive a call to invite you to a meeting (virtual or in-person, if we get there!)
– You will then meet with the partners and the other young people to find out about the fund, and explore other support opportunities you feel you may need to take your work to the next level (e.g. mentorship, coaching, systems-change support package;  and anything else that you feel will help).
– The Blagrave team will also support you to complete any paperwork necessary to access your funding. Funds may be paid either through an organisation’s bank account or through a personal bank account in your name.
– After these steps are completed, you are free to spend the funds to take forward your work.

How will we decide who gets the funding?
Our decision-making team is made up of experienced young activists, campaigners and movement builders who understand that young people may work on new ideas in new ways to challenge injustices. Therefore, we do not want to put a limitation on the types of projects you are working on or the social, economic and/or climate injustice areas/issues young people wish to address.

However, we do want to invest in young people working in different areas of England and who are working on a diverse range of injustices/inequalities. This may therefore be represented in the final decisions that are made.


What happens if you don’t receive funding?
We believe that all the applications we receive have the potential for success. We wish we had infinite funding so that we could fund you all, but sadly, we only have a small pot of funding (£80,000) to distribute in this first round.

However, we are committed to supporting everyone that applies, so if you apply we will provide you with:

– Feedback on your application
– Connections to other resources and initiatives that may help take your work forward
– Connect you into a peer network of support

When the next round of funding opens, we will let you know and if you want to reapply you don’t have to resubmit your application – you just need to reach out and tell us if you would like your application to be reconsidered in the next round of funding (fingers and toes crossed again!)


Staying in touch to share your work and impact
When funding is awarded, funders often have reporting conditions where they want you to report back what you have done with your funding. Our priority is to create an open space for you to share your learning with us. We believe in openness and shared learning and support rather accountability.

We have made our shared learning process simple:

– Instead of spending time filling out endless forms, we will have chats with you to understand your progress and invite you to meet with our partners (Young Advisers; Blagrave Trust and the Centre for Knowledge Equity) and the network of other young people to share your work in person/virtually.
– We will also encourage you to send us regular updates e.g. photos, videos, blogs etc. as you carry out your work and/or any other ways you want to share the impact of your work.
– Once all of your funding has been spent we will ask you to send us your reflections explaining how the funding has helped you to achieve what you set out to do, and the future journey of your vision and mission. You can share this in any way that you wish (the second chapter of your challenge and change story!) including, videos, photos, poems – be as creative as you like.