Big Lottery Fund backs youth projects with £30m programme

Youth in Focus established to help young carers and young people leaving care or youth offending institutions

The Big Lottery Fund is making £30m available to fund projects that provide support to young people in England.

The Youth in Focus programme has been set up to help three specific groups: young carers, young people leaving care and young people leaving youth offending institutions.

The BLF expects to make about 30 grants of between £500,000 and £1m over three to five years to support projects in the three areas. Grants of £1.5m will also be available for projects that raise national awareness of the three issues.

Sanjay Dighe, chair of the BLF’s England committee, said the money was to "fund projects that will offer support, improve young people’s self-confidence and offer practical solutions for the challenges they face".

In order to be eligible for funding, voluntary sector applicants will be expected to form partnerships with other voluntary, public or private sector organisations.

They must also be already working in the areas for which they are applying for grants, and make sure the benefits of the projects will carry on after the funding ends.

The BLF is holding a series of briefing events between 15 and 24 September for those interested in finding out more. The application deadline is 30 November and decisions will be announced in May 2011. Application forms will be available from September.

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