1 February 2023
UK Youth and Pears Foundation have today launched a new £5m fund to support youth organisations through the cost of living crisis – benefitting thousands of young people across the country.
Youth organisations with an annual income of no more than £500,000 will be able to apply for the UK Youth Fund in partnership with Pears Foundation, with the application window opening on Thursday 2nd February 2023 at 10am.
The fund has been launched as the UK faces the worst cost of living crisis since the 1950s, with young people facing a bleak future without additional support.
A perfect storm of threats caused by the cost of living crisis is also putting the future of the youth sector at risk, further impacting a generation of young people.
Youth organisations are facing a higher demand for essential services as families face choosing between paying for food or heating their homes – at the same time, the youth sector workforce is shrinking as paid staff and volunteers move on in search of higher paid roles.
Similarly, youth organisations are seeing an increase in running costs thanks to issues such as larger energy, food and fuel bills, whilst income and fundraising have decreased because of inflation and fewer donations.
UK Youth and Pears Foundation are both deeply concerned about the impact the crisis is having on youth organisations and young people across the UK. The fund aims to ensure that as many vital youth services as possible are able to keep the lights on and support young people in their local community. If forced to shut down, these services may never return.
UK Youth is working in collaboration with its cross-nation partners – Youth Scotland, Youth Cymru and Youth Action Northern Ireland.
“Youth organisations play an essential role in helping young people to find their place in society, to support their wellbeing and development, and to realise their full potential. However in recent years, the challenges posed by the pandemic and now the worst cost of living crisis since the 1950s, mean that many organisations are having to go even further – often with fewer staff, less funding and increased demand. Those pressures ultimately mean less support for young people at a time when they need it most.
“We are delighted that the Pears Foundation have donated £5m as we launch the UK Youth Fund for youth organisations that are struggling. We expect a huge number of applications and know the grants will make a vital difference to thousands of young people across the country.
“But we know the next generation needs even more support – so we hope other funders, the business community, government and even individual supporters who can afford to donate, will do whatever they can to increase youth work provision for as many young people as possible.
“To truly unlock youth work for all, increased investment is just one part of deeper systemic change – we need better collaboration between professionals that support young people, and more opportunities to share effective youth work practice.”
“At Pears Foundation, we believe in the power of communities. For young people, who are facing so many challenges, the heart of that community often lies within the small, local youth clubs that provide them somewhere safe and enjoyable to go. Many of these clubs are under threat, and we must act now if we are to ensure their survival.
We are delighted to be working in partnership with UK Youth to support their members, providing the unrestricted, multi-year funding that we know is so desperately needed if we want youth clubs to survive and to continue to support our young people.”
Full details of the UK Youth Fund in partnership with Pears Foundation can be found here. Any further questions about the fund can be answered by the UK Youth grants team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For media enquiries, please contact the UK Youth press office at email@example.com.