We fund
Youth organisations.
Young people directly.
Youth organising.
Better youth policy.

We fund regional organisations that enable young people from Berkshire, Hampshire, Sussex and Wiltshire​ to have their rights and needs met. We prioritise the poorest parts of these counties. Through The Listening Fund, we support listening and accountability practices within the youth sector at a national level.

Current programmes

Regional Funding

Our funding invests in youth organisations that make lasting impact in the lives of young people aged 16 and over, in Berkshire, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Sussex and Wiltshire. Organisations we fund are driving towards greater accountability to young people in the services they provide. 

Start Quiz

Results

Thank you. You meet our basic eligibility criteria. Please read more about our priorities for funding below.

I’m sorry, you’re not eligible for Blagrave regional funding.

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#1. Do you work with young people aged 16-25?

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#2. Does your work support young people in Berkshire, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Sussex and/or Wiltshire?

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#3. Are you a registered charity, CIO or CIC?

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#4. Is your turnover last year £50,000 - £5m?

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We provide unrestricted, long term funding and look for a close mission match with our partners. We do not fund national organisations who want to expand their work locally.

Our priorities are that:

  • Funding will benefit young people young people who are the most disadvantaged as a result of poverty, social exclusion, discrimination or any other contributing factors, especially those from the poorest areas
  • There is clear evidence of impact for young people
  • The approach takes account of multiple layers of oppression on young people
  • Young people are demonstrably in support of, or driving, the work

We have two funding routes:

Smaller grants for organisations working in the frontline providing vital support for the young people we seek to serve. We offer unrestricted funding for three years. We make decisions on these grants monthly.

Strategic partnerships with youth organisations where there is close alignment with our mission, they create outstanding impact for young people, they are creating systemic change, and there is existing sector influence. These grants are larger. We make decisions on these grants four times a year, in April, June, September and November. Both offer unrestricted funding for three years.

Exclusions: For our regional funding, we only fund charities or registered CIC’s and do not fund unconstituted groups or individuals. We fund work with young people in England only, and prioritise the areas we seek to benefit: Berkshire, Hampshire, Sussex and Wiltshire. We do not fund organisations with a turnover of more than £10m per annum. We do not fund the promotion of religion or major capital appeals.

 

Our regional funding is available on an ongoing basis and you can apply here.

 

Here is a flavour of some of the work we fund…

Readipop

Readipop works with young people to unlock their creativity and self-expression through music making and performance, offering mentoring and inspiration to hundreds of young people each year in Reading.

Check them out

Team Domenica

Team Domenica is a unique social enterprise charity offering young people with learning disabilities in Brighton the chance to develop their employability through real time work.

Check them out

Regional Advisers' Fund

The regional advisers fund is now closed. Our aim is to allow organisations to share knowledge and support each other on developing the reach of their work with those who are facing the greatest social barriers.  This funding programme was designed by six young people from across the South East of England who have experience of services: they are Blagrave’s regional advisers. They believe that young people should have an equal say in decision making that affects them and see this as a priority in funding too. The funded partners in this programme are working  collaboratively with the other funded organisations and the advisers, sharing ideas and approaches. A list of the partners funded through the regional advisers fund will be available from January 2023.

 

 

The Listening Fund

The Listening Fund is a joint funding initiative which wants to encourage and help organisations to be more accountable to young people. It does this by supporting improvements in listening skills and practice; and by exploring how organisations – including funders – can develop better listening cultures. The second phase of the Fund launched in 2021 and has three parts: Partners Nine of the 22 partners from the Fund’s first phase have been funded for another three years. We hope that the additional time and resource will help them to further develop their listening expertise. Each partner has also received funding to share their knowledge and experience with the wider sector. Advisers The second phase of The Listening Fund has a panel of 10 young advisers recruited from across England, increasing the Fund’s direct accountability to young people and benefitting from their insight into how listening needs to improve. The advisers are involved in all aspects of the Fund’s work, including designing and delivering a grant-making programme. Learning and Resources We want the ideas and values behind the Listening Fund to reach far beyond the contributing funders and our partners. Our second phase learning partner – Collective Discovery – is helping to coordinate this work across partners, advisers and funders. What they are learning is posted regularly on The Listening Fund website and discussed at seminars and webinars to which the whole sector is invited.

All resources and further information can be found on The Listening Fund website.

Previous programmes

Restart Youth

In 2021, we funded 26 youth organisations across the SE of England to carry out projects that gave decision-making power to young people, particularly young people whose needs had newly emerged due to covid, or were facing social injustice. You can view where, who, and what projects were funded on this map. Restart Youth was shaped by six advisers made up of young people from the region who brought their lived experience of services. They set the priorities and designed the funding strategy. All grant-making decisions were made together.  The fund was made possible due to funding awarded to us by the National Lottery Community Fund in response to the Covid-19 crisis. The funded activity has now come to an end, but you can read the summary of our key learning from 2021 here or the more detailed learning reports here.  

The Restart Youth fund has now come to an end.

Please click here to be notified about future regional funding programmes. 

We fund young people directly, supporting them to create the change they want to see. We fund individuals and youth-led groups across two programmes: Challenge and Change and the Pathways Fund. 

We prioritise young people who are emergent and have lived and direct experience of the injustice and oppression they are fighting to change. 

We define: 

  • young people as those who are 18-30 years old.  
  • emergent groups/individuals 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. 
  • lived and direct experience as having first-hand experience, past or present, of the oppression they are fighting to change. 

Current programmes

Challenge and Change Fund

Welcome to the Challenge and Change Cohort of 2022/2023 Showcase!

 

Over the past 12 months, our incredible cohort of partners have been hard at work, tackling some of the most pressing issues of our time and making a real difference. As this transformative year comes to a close, we are excited to shine a spotlight on their remarkable stories and accomplishments, straight from the source – themselves! Over the upcoming weeks and months, we’ll be sharing the journeys, projects, and achievements from each of this year’s partners. Their dedication, innovation, and passion for change have left a profound impact on their communities and us!

If you’d like to learn more about these change-makers, their initiatives, and the positive influence they’ve had on their communities then click here to explore their inspiring stories.

Stay tuned as we unveil the stories of these partners who are shaping the future and making the world a better place, one Challenge (& Change) at a time.

 

The Challenge and Change Fund has historically offered grants of between £1K-£10K to emergent individuals and youth-led groups with a vision for change across England. We have funded 55 grant partners through this programme since 2020. 

The original pilot fund was co-created by three Challenge and Change Advisers, Blagrave, and the Centre for Knowledge Equity, with funding from the Ellis Campbell Foundation and ZING. To learn more about the pilot, our key lessons, and a deeper dive into the design and delivery of the Fund, please read our report: Building a Youth-Led Fund: Learning and insights from the Challenge and Change Fund and/or watch our learning event. 

In 2022, the fund was designed by seven advisers: two from the initial team and a further five who were partners in the first round of the Challenge and Change fund. Together with Blagrave staff, they  shared insights from their own experiences. We awarded a further 26 grants of up to £10,000 to individuals and collectives tackling a wide range of social issues to challenge social injustice. 

 

Applications for Challenge and Change are currently closed.

Please click here to be notified about potential funding opportunities in the future.

Pathways Fund

The Pathways Fund offers grants totalling £60K-90K over three years (£20K-£30K per year) to emergent youth-led groups across England. We currently fund four partners under this fund and anticipate making 5-7 new grants in 2023. 

This fund is for youth-led groups that are working to change unjust laws, policies, practices, and cultures that have directly affected their lives and the communities of those they share these experiences. 

Groups must meet all the following criteria:

  • Be youth-led: Founded by young people with over 70% of the leadership being 18-30 years old at the point of application.
  • Be lived experience led: Over 70% of the leadership have direct, first-hand experience, past or present, of the oppression they are fighting to change.
  • Be social justice focused: Working to change unjust laws, policies, practices, and cultures.
  • Be based in and delivering work in England.
  • Have an annual income this year of between £10K-£250K.
  • Have a group agreement or constitution in place setting out how the group intends to work together. Please note: For non-constituted groups, we can support you with this if you are successful.
  • Have a bank account in the name of the organisation, or if not be willing to be fiscally hosted by an organisation that does. Please note: We will support you in finding an appropriate fiscal host if your application is successful, and you request support with this.

This funding is not for individuals or groups with an early-stage idea that would fall under our Challenge and Change Fund. Nor is it for established charities that were not set up by young people or have an income that exceeds £250K. Instead, it looks to fund emergent youth-led groups who have been working together for some time and are ready to take the next step in their changemaking journey.

Applications for Pathways Fund are currently closed.

Please click here to be notified about potential funding opportunities in the future.

 

 

Here is a flavour of some of the work we fund…

Radical Body Arts

Radical Body are a disability arts organisation producing radical new performances by and for disabled people, with a particular focus on improving access to careers in the arts for people who have difficulty leaving their homes.  

Check them out

Young Justice Advisors

Young Justice Advisors are a group of young people with lived experience of the Criminal Justice System, creating a platform for other young adults in and with experience of, the justice system and working with a range of agencies to influence policy and practice. 

Check them out

Partner Development Fund

The Partner Development Fund is a pilot fund for our pre-existing youth-led grant partners, offering payments of up to £1,000 for their development.  

Costs could include developmental opportunities, collaboration and travel costs, or funding to support wellbeing and rest. 

We have designed the fund in direct response to feedback and learning from our youth-led partners. They expressed the need for quick-release micro-funding to support unexpected needs as they emerge. In response, we have designed a brand new funding mechanism to allow us to get grant payments out in 2-3 weeks that meets this need.  

 

Applications for Partner Development Fund are currently closed.

Please click here to be notified about potential funding opportunities in the future.

Previous programmes

The Opportunity Fund

The Opportunity Fund – giving young people resources to explore and experiment!

The Opportunity Fund sought to support young people (18-25) who were passionately campaigning for social change or had ideas for a social purpose enterprise, but did not have the resource or capacity to fully explore their potential – they couldn’t live rent free, take a gap year or rely on connections.

But it took more than money – it needed time, connections, permission, and encouragement as well.

The Fund provided the equivalent of a part-time basic income and additional support for 25 aspiring social entrepreneurs, campaigners and activists (although, they wouldn’t necessarily use these labels) – to nurture and explore their passion, ideas and expertise whilst recognising their need to earn a living. It focused on young people with experiences of structural and systemic injustice and inequality – those most often furthest from the capital and resources needed for them to drive social change.

We hope our learning will support other funders to step into directly funding young people – to recognise the value in this approach and to embrace the opportunity.

We learnt that as well as money, these young people needed:

  • Time
    18 months felt short for some young people, although it is still longer than most programmes
  • Connections
    Funders need to open up their networks to young people
  • Permission
    We all feel the need to succeed or win – young people needed reassurance that this was a genuine  opportunity to explore and develop, with no pressure  or expectation to deliver anything more
  • Encouragement
    After all, everyone benefits from reassurance and praise, especially when for some this was their first experience of leadership

We learnt that working alongside trusted partners to support young people was critical – and resourcing those partners appropriately was essential.

 

We learnt that no matter what the outcome of the campaign or business, the experience for each young person of having someone believe in you, and providing funding and support for a sustained period led to 100% increasing their aspirations for their life and work. Young people improved their quality of life, gained employability skills and 82% felt more able to influence and impact on others. The Opportunity Fund recognised that the personal journey has more value than simply the end destination for each young person.

The offer needed to be carefully made, to young people who were ready – in terms of their skills, wellbeing, clarity of goals, and experience. The majority of young people achieved social impact on injustices they directly experienced in their lives, including homelessness, exclusion, mental health and wellbeing. Whilst powerful it must be acknowledged that this work takes its toll – purpose work is often deeply rooted in people’s lived experience and pursuing it requires appropriate support and self-care. We needed to find the right balance to give young people greater autonomy over their decisions and actions, to share power whilst providing appropriate support and guidance.

We learnt that whilst there are parallels, supporting entrepreneurs is distinct in many ways to supporting campaigners.

Ensuring young people have the time, financial resource and quality support to grow from feels like a reasonable ask of funders. In our experience this allowed young people to step into their passions, dreams and lives, to experiment and to explore, to learn and to develop as individuals with a social purpose.

There’s much more in the report – or contact info@phf.org.uk or grants@blagravetrust.org with any questions or for further information.

 

 

Please click here to be notified about potential funding opportunities in the future.

We fund youth organising and are committed to building and strengthening the UK field of practice. We intend to do this through strategic investment in existing and emerging infrastructure, coordinating our efforts with other funders to leverage further capital into this space, as well as directly investing in young people mobilising to create change.

Grounded in racial, gender, disability, and economic justice, youth organising is the process of engaging young people in building power for systemic change while supporting their individual and collective development. Proximity to the issues is key, so lived experience is essential. It is youth-led, but elders can play a role through sharing their knowledge, expertise and networks. Youth organising infrastructure is the structures, spaces, networks and organisations needed for youth organising as a practice to thrive. Infrastructure can be formal, but it can also be ‘emergent, shifting and in the making’.

Current programmes

Alliance for Youth Organising

We are delighted to announce the launch of a new Alliance for Youth Organising: an intergenerational collective that will work together to invest in the structures, spaces, networks and organisations needed for youth organising to thrive.

This Alliance is supported by Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, and The Blagrave Trust and hosted by the Civic Power Fund. We share a vision of a world in which young people are aware of their power and can build and wield it to achieve change.

Why an Alliance for Youth Organising?

Young people are at the forefront of some of our most urgent struggles. They are demanding racial, economic and climate justice and they are standing in solidarity with trans and migrant communities.

Meanwhile, rising housing, education and living costs threaten their futures. And scarce and short-term funding is hampering our youth sector, with brilliant organisations left firefighting.

By building power, agency and intergenerational solidarity, community organising offers a  powerful route for young people to transform this present and reclaim their futures.

Yet youth organising is under-resourced, meaning the full potential of the field is not yet realised.

Following extensive engagement with young campaigners, activists and community organisers, we have identified an Alliance for Youth Organising as a way to change this.

What is the Alliance for Youth Organising?

The Alliance will act as an intergenerational collective, working together to strengthen youth organising infrastructure. They will:
 
  • use their knowledge and networks to resource youth organising for the long-term
  • manage an annual budget to support the needs of the field
  • shape their own vision and the core priorities they want to invest in.
The Alliance for Youth Organising will shift money and decision-making power to the people who know what youth organising needs to thrive. By pooling and targeting resources, it is key to attracting new money and having impact at scale. And it is an opportunity to nurture the networks that youth organisers and activists have told us they need to do their best work.
 
We are starting up with an initial two year investment of £600,000. This is to both resource the Alliance and for the Alliance to start investing in the work. We will then work with the Alliance to map out and fundraise for a longer-term vision.
 
In the meantime, the funders involved in this start up phase will continue to fund youth organising through their existing programmes.
They are also establishing a new Funder Collaborative for Youth Organising inviting other funders dedicated to advancing youth organising as a strategy for youth development and social justice to share learning and help bring new money into this space.
 
 
Funder Collaborative for Youth Organising

The Funder Collaborative for Youth Organising consists of funders dedicated to advancing youth organising as a strategy for youth development and social justice. It was founded by Paul Hamlyn FoundationEsmée Fairbairn Foundation and the Blagrave Trust.

Building on recommendations from commissioned research by the Act for Change Fund and the Blagrave Trust, and following extensive engagement over two years with young changemakers and practitioners, the collaborative aims to:

  • strategically invest in existing and emerging infrastructure to advance youth organising and activism in the UK
  • create a community of practice around funding youth organising and activism, sharing learning, and supporting other funders to shift focus
  • coordinate funder efforts to leverage further capital into this space and avoid duplication.

Above all we aim to be guided by young people, practitioners, and leaders in this field, continually interrogating how we can shift more decision-making power and resource to the field.

Alongside launching the Funder Collaborative for Youth Organising, the founding funders have supported the creation of the UK’s first Alliance for Youth Organising in partnership with the Civic Power Fund. The Alliance will act as an intergenerational collective of practitioners, working together to strengthen youth organising infrastructure, starting up with an initial two-year investment of £600,000. They will:

  • use their knowledge and networks to resource youth organising for the long-term
  • manage an annual budget to support the needs of the field
  • shape their own vision and the core priorities they want to invest in.

If you are interested to join us or learn more, please register your interest via the Funder Collaborative Hub website.

Funding youth organising

Funding youth-led groups 

We are continuing to scale our funding to young lived experience leaders and youth-led groups through the Challenge and Change Fund and Pathways Fund. We acknowledge that this is still a much under-funded part of the youth organising ecology. 

Funding anchor organisations 

We fund a number of anchor organisation through our wider funding programmes that are seen as ‘key actors’ who are driving practice and advocating on behalf of the field of youth organising including: The Advocacy Academy, We Belong, MAP, POMOC, 4Front, and RECLAIM. 

 

Please click here to be notified about potential funding opportunities in the future.

Previous programmes

Youth Organising Movement Builders

We partnered with NEON to deliver a Youth Organising Movement Builders programme this July. Movement Builders is a four-day residential training programme with between 25 – 30 participants.  

Key Details

  • Details: Movement Builders, Youth Organising Special
  • Dates: Friday 28th July to Monday  31st July 2023
  • Location: Leicester

 

The programme took participants through a range of models and theories which they explored as a whole group and in smaller groups through interactive activities, workshops and discussions. To support organisations and youth organisers to access the training, we offered grants of £1000 per attendee recognising that especially for unpaid organisers or groups with little to no income, attending a 4 day residential training is a big commitment. These grants covered transport, childcare, time away from delivery etc.

 

We will be sharing learning with the wider field following the event.

We have also funded work that aims for better youth policy outcomes and is directly informed by young people’s experiences of systemic disadvantage.
We defined ‘policy’ broadly: impact in this work is influencing government funding decisions, guidance, consultation outcomes, position papers or statements of intent; party manifestoes; or any legislative process. Policy work could be national or local in remit: we are particularly interested in work to influence decision-making in local authorities and policy-focused organisations that are experimenting with radical ways of working alongside young people. Whilst we  continue to work with our current partners, we have paused our funding for new work in this space.

Current programmes

Youth Policy and Advocacy Funding

Given our overriding aim of policy better serving young people we funded work that supports policy professionals to monitor the legislative landscape and mobilise the sector around imminent changes that would be detrimental to young people.

We continue to work with and learn from our existing partnerships with policy and advocacy organisations, however, we do not have funding available for new partnerships at present.

 

Applications are currently closed for our policy funding.

Here is a document we have put together, containing alternative funding opportunities

Please click here to be notified about future policy funding programmes. 

 

Here is a flavour of some of the work we fund…

Children England

Children England works with over 20 young people on a long-term basis to reimagine the welfare state with children at the heart and campaigning to make that a reality.

Check them out

Just for Kids Law

Just for Kids Law supports children and young people with a unique holistic casework model that helps them to overcome the problems they face and use evidence from their practice to campaign for wider reform.

Check them out

 

Young People in Policy-Making Fund

In spring 2022, we agreed nine new partnerships with organisations leading the way in supporting young people to be a part of the policy making process on issues that have affected their lives.

These organisations are:

  • 4Front (campaigning locally, regionally and nationally; local work delivered in Barnet):a member-led youth organisation that supports young people who have experienced trauma, violence and racial injusticeto create change in their own lives, whilst their voices are uplifted to create change in the system in order to achieve transformative precedents for all young people.
  • Become (London based, campaigning nationally): one of two projects aiming to influence the implementation of the Care Review findings; working with young people to drive and inform Become’s own advocacy work.
  • Challenging Behaviour Foundation (Kent based, campaigning nationally): CBF’s objective is that national and institutional policy on the restraint and accommodation of severely disabled young people in in-patient units be directly informed by those young people’s experiences and views, using a range of innovative communication and interpretation methodologies.
  • Leicestershire Cares, partnered with Learning and Work Institute (Leicester-based, campaigning regionally and nationally): one of two projects aiming to influence the implementation of the Care Review findings. Supporting young care experienced researchers to develop and pursue policy asks, starting with access to Universal Credit.
  • MAP (Norwich-based, campaigning regionally and nationally): supporting the Young Activist Network to mobilise, work alongside local authorities and participate in national campaigns on youth homelessness, cost of living and poverty solutions ‘post’-Covid.
  • Polish Migrants Organise for Change (working alongside local authorities in Liverpool, Cambridgeshire and Birmingham) network of young first-generation migrants (with a focus on Central and Eastern Europeans) campaigning for policy and systemic change around how migrant communities are understood, legislated for, supported and represented. Supporting groups of young people with lived experience of immigration to work alongside local authorities to understand and implement national policy in ways that best serves local communities.”
  • Reclaim (Manchester-based, working in Bolton and Leigh): Working-class, youth-led campaigns on: improving high streets/local economies; levelling up; net zero commitments; and links between the three. Targeting election manifestoes in these previous ‘red wall’, now swing seats.
  • Warren: Large service delivery charity with history of campaigning and policy influencing. Grant to support posts to working with groups of young people on the specific issues they and their peers have identified as priorities, including diversifying school governance and the development of a suicide prevention policy by Highways England.
  • We Belong (campaigning nationally; local work delivered in London and Manchester): also led by young people with lived experience of immigration to the UK, in this case a cohort who arrived from commonwealth countries as children. Working to implement a reduction in the pathway to citizenship from 10 to 5 years as achieved as a policy change in 2021, through a hyperlocal community organising model.

These organisations will be working with each other, with ourselves and with a learning partner, Common Vision, to strengthen their work and share knowledge across the youth sector and policy-making spheres about how to most effectively and impactfully work with young people as part of the policy making process. We will be linking to Common Vision’s findings and learning resources from this page throughout 2022 and 2023.

 

Please click here to be notified about future policy funding programmes. 

Previous programmes

UK Democracy Fund

We contributed £150K between July 2021 – June 2024 to the UK Democracy Fund. This is a pooled fund aiming to increase democratic participation and engagement of under-represented groups, particularly young people.

 

See the UK Democracy Fund website  for more details and how to apply.