27 September 2023
National youth work charity UK Youth has confirmed the next phase of funding for the National Youth Guarantee via the Million Hours Fund and the Adventures Away From Home Fund.
The announcement was confirmed by the Right Honourable Lucy Frazer MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, following a visit on Tuesday (26th September) to Avon Tyrrell, a leading outdoor learning centre in the New Forest run by UK Youth. The charity is a strong advocate for the National Youth Guarantee as a vital tool to ensure that every young person has access to youth work, with research consistently showing the benefits it provides for their mental wellbeing, employability and physical health, in addition to long-term societal benefits such as reduced anti-social behaviour.
The next phase of the Million Hours Fund will see £19m going to wards with high anti-social behavioural rates, with all local authorities having at least one ward eligible. Administered by the National Lottery Community Fund, youth organisations can apply for over two years of revenue funding to extend their provision. UK Youth believe the funding will play an essential role in supporting the personal, social, and educational development of thousands more young people across the United Kingdom.
Additionally, the government’s commitment to the next phase of the Adventures Away From Home Fund will provide £1.5m of vital bursary funding for up to 7,500 disadvantaged young people, giving them the opportunity to build confidence, get out of their comfort zone and develop key leadership and life skills – as well as improving their mental health and reducing behavioural issues.
UK Youth firmly believes that outdoor learning and engagement can be a transformative force for the younger generation. In a time marked by economic challenges, the ongoing effects of the pandemic, and a youth mental health crisis, the charity believes that outdoor experiences are more important than ever.
Ndidi Okezie, CEO of UK Youth, said: “We are pleased to see the government’s ongoing financial commitment to supporting the well-being and development of our young people through the National Youth Guarantee. The Million Hours Fund and the Adventures Away From Home Fund are important investments towards providing safe, enriching experiences that will empower our youth and give them the best possible chance to thrive.
“Youth work and outdoor learning are powerful, ready and available tools which offer young people a supportive environment to develop key skills and confidence, navigate the world around them and realise their full potential. We believe these initiatives will help young people build resilience, self-confidence, and a sense of purpose, ensuring they can navigate the challenges of today’s world successfully.
“However, we also know the sector is struggling from a lack of sustainable investment, a pandemic and now a cost of living crisis. Our own research has shown beyond doubt that increasing investment in young people can transform the lives of millions and save our country billions every year – we urge the Government, businesses and community funders to guarantee sustainable funding for quality youth work for the next generation.”