Connection and collaboration through the Pathways Fund

We recently brought together our Pathways Fund Partners for a day of connection and collaboration. The Pathways Fund offers core grants of £60K-£90K over three years (£20K-£30k pa) to emergent youth-led groups across England.   

We define: 

  • emergent groups as those who have some experience in doing work for social justice but may struggle to access financial and other forms of support to develop their work and ideas.  
  • established groups as those who have a track record of impact, strong networks, and are mostly looking for financial resource to ensure they can sustain work that is already happening. 

We see this fund as a ‘Pathway’ to support groups who are emergent to become more established. We had 22 people attend our Pathways Fund Meet up and the room was buzzing!  

A group of people sitting around a tableA group of women standing around a wall








The day started with a session reflecting on the group’s journeys, followed by a second session on shared problems and issues, and closing the day with a focus on looking ahead. 

Key themes  

The day was filled with rich insight and conversation, below are some of the key themes we heard coming out of the day. 

1. The need for backend support and expertise for emergent groups
Many groups shared problems around a lack of access to specific expertise and capacity for backend support (HR, legal, governance and finance). Organisations such as LaunchIt, RadHR, Do It Now Now, NCVO,  and Schools for Social Entrepreneurs help support this gap, however, there is a clear need for better signposting to these initiatives, as well as increased investment to ensure groups at this stage can better access the expertise they need to progress. 

“the amount of people that have back-office and capacity challenges was surprising to see. As much of that support for us all to develop will be essential in the coming months.” 

2. Wellbeing support and confidence building is important but undervalued 
Many groups in the room tended to focus on the negatives and not celebrate the many successes they had achieved. There is a need to create space to build confidence and celebrate wins to support the sustainability of this work. This was paired with a clear ask from groups on more access to skills building, leadership development, and wellbeing support. Many groups throughout the day also discussed burnout, staff turnover, and capacity issues. 

3. The lack of access to unrestricted multi-year funding available to emergent groups 

Many groups expressed limited access to long-term unrestricted funding, with many being reliant on project-based funding and corporate brand deals. Most of the room also discussed the barrier of being too small or not the right legal structure to reach the minimum threshold for unrestricted long-term funding pots. Funds like Pathways Fund and Ideas and Pioneers go some way to addressing this, as well as emerging hosting providers such as the Social Change Nest and the Advocacy Academy, however more flexible criteria and due diligence requirements would go a massive way in supporting these groups to continue to grow and thrive.

“Working with Blagrave feels like a genuine partnership… less rigid and you actually understand what we are going through and that things may change and that is okay” 

4. The important of having spaces for peer connection and reflective practice 

Throughout the day the importance of having a space to connect and learn from one another was evident. Groups expressed feeling less alone in the issues that they were facing and appreciated learning from one another. Our partners asked Blagrave to play a role in creating more space to connect and exchange knowledge in future. 

“I’ve learnt that other people are having the same issues as us and learnt how they are dealing with them. It has helped me to feel less alone in managing my campaign“ 

“I’ve learnt in NGO’s white supremacy hides under the guise of being ‘apolitical’ by Sara El-Solh 


Please find out more about all our incredible partners funded through the Pathways Fund. 


27th June 2024