Youth Futures Fund

Supporting care leavers to thrive

Want to make a difference to care experienced young people in our city? Your donation will be matched by CCLA Investments so the impact you make to help care leavers thrive will be doubled!

Double your donation

There are an estimated 16,000 care leavers in London, aged between 18-25. And the latest government statistics reveal that in 2020, the percentage of children aged 16 or over classified as cared for was higher in London than the national average.

Support for care leavers is a pressing issue in London, with patchy and inconsistent assistance across the Capital. Some of the key issues they face include:

  • Housing
  • Employment and training
  • Health, wellbeing and isolation
  • Immigration status
  • Engagement with the criminal justice system
  • Moving from borough to borough

While some benefits are currently in place, such as council tax exemptions, free prescriptions, and half-price travel, much more can be done to support care leavers thriving beyond their statutory responsibilities. A review of the progress made in Manchester to create a consistent pledge for care leavers has led to the creation of the Pan London Care Leavers Compact, supported by Partnership for London, the London Innovation and Improvement Alliance and hosted by Lambeth Council. The potential impact of a Care Leavers Project in London is significant, as it could encourage more philanthropy to support care leavers, convene partners, and showcase the value community-led interventions can bring.

A new national programme for care leavers

We are thrilled to share that a new national programme of support for young care experienced adults has been launched throughout England. Managed by our network lead UK Community Foundations, the Care Leavers Programme's primary focus is improving the life chances of care leavers through decentralised funding in regions around the country. The £3.6 million match fund scheme will run over three years and is being funded by the Local Authorities Mutual Investment Trust (LAMIT), a shareholder of the UK’s biggest charities asset manager, CCLA.

Through this fund, The London Community Foundation has secured £150,000 of match funding; this means that every donation you make to our Youth Futures Fund this year will be matched pound for pound. With your generosity, we know we can achieve £300,000! But we want to go further and raise a total of £500,000 for this year’s Youth Futures Fund.

A young person sitting on grass with study books in front of them and a bag next to them. Behind them you can see Tower Bridge in London as well as blue sky and white fluffy clouds.

"Councils support thousands of young people who become care leavers every year whether that is finding a home to live in or help into work. Alongside our communities, the LGA is delighted to be able to support this fantastic new initiative which can help to transform care leavers’ lives as they make the transition into adulthood."

Cllr Shaun Davies, Chair of the Local Government Association

Programme Description

Young people under 25 represent almost a third of London’s population, but they experience our city differently. Our Youth Futures Fund has brought donors together to support community-led interventions for young people’s mental health, education, training and employment and, more recently, healthy relationships. It has provided invaluable insights and a practical understanding of young people’s complex needs and aspirations. Since 2021, we have raised over £820,000, which was made possible by donors like you in London, who have been motivated to create better life chances for young people.

Our Youth Futures Fund for 2024 will be supporting care leavers aged 18-25 to thrive. With your support, we aim to raise £500,000 to provide 6-8 community-led organisations with grants of up to £75,000 over three years. Our experience shows that this level of grant on a multi-year basis is greatly valued by organisations, providing them with stability and funding to create impact. We also know that a cohort of organisations working in different ways but with a common community to serve is very effective for building partnerships, collaborations, and sharing learning.

Our approach will be to fund projects that empower care leavers to navigate the critical factors of their transition into adulthood, including areas such as accommodation, education, and employment, and support their health and overall well-being. This could take the form of direct support for individual care leavers through a community organisation or the provision of services for them.

A young person holding study books and a cup of coffee. Either side of them are two rows of office buildings and in the background is St Paul's Cathedral in London.

"Just 14% of children who have been in care went on to university in 2021-22, compared to 47 per cent of other young people"

according to a report by Civitas

Donate to our Youth Futures Fund today

If you give to Youth Futures, the first £150,000 raised by the London Community Foundation will be matched by CCLA Investments.

Double your donation!

Showcase of local organisations

In our experience, community-led interventions for care leavers are sometimes included in more generalist services for young people. Through this programme, our ambition will be to find and give a platform to projects that specialise in supporting care leavers and who deeply understand their needs, such as Element Creative Projects and Live Unlimited, just two examples of organisations we have funded previously.

Element Creative Projects

Established in 2016 they operate in London with an annual income of £215,000. One of their core staff members is care experienced and through research and user insights, the founders identified four major issues facing care-experienced young people which were exacerbated by COVID-19. These include poor life outcomes, social isolation, systemic low expectations, and low engagement. In response they have developed a series of community-led creative activities to promote social connection, emotional wellbeing, and improve confidence of care leavers.

We awarded them £25,000 over three years to grow their capacity. The funding initially enabled them to provide travel costs to creative activities, hot food at their sessions and materials. It also enabled them to employ an Engagement Officer to support them to build positive long-lasting relationships with care leavers.

Live Unlimited

Established in 2017 with the support of their local council. They operate with an annual budget of £115,000. They have developed programmes with guidance from care experienced people on their board and focus groups. Their programmes provide services to improve care leavers mental health and wellbeing, by reducing social isolation and developing new skills and provide pathways to finding fulfilling and sustainable jobs. They also provide an outdoor club to support care leavers to engage in growing food and being in nature.

We awarded them £48,000 over three years to grow their capacity. The funding provided direct support to grow the number of care leavers participating in their programme and to employ a Project Support Officer.

The benefits of supporting the Youth Futures Fund

  • You can donate at any level and contribute to the Youth Futures Fund for London and your donation will be matched pound for pound.
  • If you are an individual we can also claim gift aid on your donation, enabling you to make an even greater impact.
  • Your donation will make a difference to young people leaving care in your local community, right here in London.
  • Your donation will go a long way. Small, local community projects provide excellent value for money in terms of what they achieve with their resources.
  • You will have the chance to hear stories and updates and receive impact reports about the projects and what your donation has achieved.
  • You will be able to visit and connect with local projects helping young care leavers in London.
  • You will have the chance to attend events and meet other supporters of the Youth Futures fund and the community leaders who support care leavers across London.
  • We can also attend your office, bringing your colleagues or networks closer to the impact they are making.

Double your donation

We are lucky to be part of the £3.6 million match-fund scheme funded by the Local Authorities’ Mutual Investment Trust (LAMIT), a shareholder of the UK’s biggest charities asset manager, CCLA. If you give to Youth Futures, the first £150,000 raised by the London Community Foundation will be matched by CCLA Investments. Your donation will be doubled! So donate today.

Donate here

What Youth Futures has already achieved

  • £820k raised for youth projects

  • 5469 young people supported

  • 18 organisations funded, in 9 different Boroughs