The Opportunity Fund (working title!), jointly funded by the Blagrave Trust and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, working in partnership with Peer Power and Launch It, provides a part-time basic income, as well as support for project costs, directly to aspiring young activists, campaigners or social entrepreneurs.
The pilot will nurture and support young people’s passion, ideas and expertise for social change alongside their need to earn a living. It will open up and extend opportunities for young people with different experiences of disadvantage to engage in campaigning and influencing activities in areas around which they care or feel passionate about.
The London based pilot will run from March 2020 to September 2022, supporting 25 young people in total, aged between 18-25. The first cohort of 10 young people, pictured below, have been recruited and will be guided through the programme by Peer Power and Launch It. These ‘agent organisations’ will coordinate the support offer for participants, including partnerships with charities working on their area of interest. We intend that recruitment and development of the offer for the second cohort will be led by the first group of young people.
Through providing young people with a stable income, networks and support over a longer period of time, the pilot aims to test a practical way of achieving more equitable relationships between young people and those who support them.
The interest areas the first ten participants will be tackling include: support systems for care experienced young people transitioning to adulthood; mental health services, policies and funding in schools; access to the arts for care experienced young people; wellbeing and self-esteem; support for young parents experiencing health conditions and disabilities; and access to employment opportunities for young people facing disadvantage.
Watch this space for updates, reflections and learning, and to hear directly from those involved.