About our funding

We were established in 1981 and over much of our history, we were a relatively conventional and unobtrusive regional grant maker. We operated along traditional lines with modest annual grants and the occasional larger grant. However, over the last six years (since 2012), we have undergone something of a transformation! This report from IVAR tells more of the Trust’s story. It focuses in particular on the last six years to share lessons learned, insights gained and the challenges that remain.

You can read about all our current funding in our latest annual report: Blagrave annual report and financial statements 2018 


Current campaigns

The Young Trustee movement

  • Fewer than 3% of charity trustees are under 30. We’re changing that. We are a founding member of the young trustees movement which aims to double the number of trustees aged 30 and under on charity boards by 2024. (While the spotlight is on the age factor, our movement is part of a wider call for diversity on boards). For support and resources, and to join the movement, see the website.


Here are some of the major research projects and reports we have been involved with:

Youth led change – landscape and possibilities

  • We commissioned a report from researchers Natasha Evans and Jim Coe to look at where and how young people are leading change on issues that affect them, and how we as funders might better support them to do so.

Left-behind areas – Blagrave Trust analysis

  • We funded analysis by OCSI of the impact on young people of living in six ‘left behind’ areas of the South. 5 out of 6 are in Hampshire. Results are startling.

Fixing Social Mobility policy report

  • Between 2017-2019, the charity Fixers brought together 200 young people from across the South East to discuss the issues they felt were barriers to their progression. They discussed their experiences of social mobility, and identify potential problems and solutions in order to increase opportunities for others. They made four calls to policy makers and others to respond: introduce a curriculum for life; landlords should be given incentives to offer rent relief to young people; there should be more places for young people to spend time; and there should be better advertising for jobs and opportunities. Read more.

Policy solutions to problems facing young people in Hampshire

  • ‘Help us to move on’ addresses the problems facing young people in Hampshire and makes recommendations for practical policy solutions.  It was commissioned by the Blagrave Trust and carried out by the Southern Policy Centre team, working with a group of local young people as peer researchers with direct and recent experience of the issues their contemporaries face. Read the report into what they felt needed to change and a more detailed advocacy strategy.

Young people’s transition to adult services:


  • We funded a literature review in 2018 to inform our thinking around our emerging policy work and as an information resource.

Listening for Change

  • We collaborated with the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation to research the relationships between funders and social purpose organisations.   The report asks fundamental questions about how funders and the voluntary sector needs to build relationships of trust and evolve the funding system for the benefit of all.

Principles for working with young people who experience child sexual exploitation

  • The Blagrave Trust was one of a number of funders involved in the Alexi project – evaluating a new model of tackling child sexual exploitation across England. As part of the evaluation, a young person’s advisory panel pulled together 10 principles for working with young people from research with those who had experienced CSE. They have been made into a series of downloadable postcards, each with its own insightful message.

Missing children study

  • With our support ECPAT-UK published new research with Missing People into the extent of the issue of trafficked children going missing from care in November 2016.

Outdoor learning study

  • In 2015, the Blagrave Trust brought together partners including the Institute of Outdoor Learning to ask: what do we know about the effectiveness of outdoor learning? What is its scale? What outcomes are organisations working towards? What is known about good practice?

Linkenholt Countryside Adventure

The Blagrave Trust owns Linkenholt Countryside Adventure, a beautiful site in Hampshire available for schools, youth groups and charities to use.  The site is set within a 2000 acre estate offering real peace and tranquility.  There is a modern building with kitchen, hot showers, toilets and enough tables and chairs to seat 50 people. The site is offered at very reasonable rates. To find out see more, see information here or visit the website

Other funders

Here is information about South West Funders and South East Funders that you might find useful.

 Useful reads

Centre for Youth Impact

The Centre for Youth Impact is a community of organisations that work together to progress thinking and practice around impact measurement in youth work and services for young people. They signpost a range of reading materials that can support organisations in thinking through their impact practice, and they also run some regional networks.


Anyone interested in impact take a look at the work of Leap of Reason and the 7 elements of performance they have developed – the performance imperative.

Brain + Heart + Ears

Blagrave’s own Director, Jo Wells, is the subject of this profile from American thought leader, the Leap of Reason. The Blagrave Trust has gone through a period of strategic development and growth over the last four years and the profile sets out some of Jo’s key learning.

Asset based work with young people

This paper introduces a simple framework to help organisations identify different ways in which they can apply asset-based working in practice. It is based on the findings of a review of over a 120 grants made over the last five years by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation’s Youth Fund.

Resources for work with young people

Managing My Money

The Open University recently launched this free online course with Martin Lewis of MoneySavingExpert, specifically designed to support the financial education of 16-18 year olds.

Working inclusively with young women

Developed with young women and drawing on Young Women’s Trust’s extensive experience of participation and engagement work, the toolkit is aimed at anyone who works with young women – including policymakers, employers, service providers, commissioners and practitioners. The toolkit, which was developed with support from the Government Equalities Office Women’s Vote Centenary Grant, highlights the enormous benefits of involving young women in decision making, the important things to consider when seeking the views of young women with complex needs, and the most effective ways to encourage their meaningful participation.



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