History illuminates the capacity and courage of young people to drive positive change in the world, but for far too long their ideas have been restricted or constrained within the structures of the broader social sector. Power is often held by adult-led social purpose organisations – be they funders, charities, enterprises, or public bodies – that end up speaking on behalf of young people and controlling or containing their ideas about what change is needed and how to make it.
Challenge and Change set out to address this by moving decision-making power and resources to young people. It was intended as a youth-led fund dedicated to supporting the limitless energy of young campaigners who are affected by injustices and working tirelessly across England to create positive change. The fund’s charitable purpose is ‘advancement of citizenship’ .
Since the launch of Challenge and Change in 2020, many funders and social sector leads have reached out to Blagrave keen to understand the journey of the fund in its pilot year. This report has been produced by Blagrave and CfKE to share our learning with those working on, or interested in, supporting the development of youth-led funds.
This report seeks to capture both the deeper reflections that this fund has generated as well as some of the finer details of design, launch, implementation, and review. This includes honesty about what went well, what didn’t, and where there are further questions to reflect on.