Clothworkers' Foundation awards £300,000 each to YMCA and Catch22

Money from the Better Futures fund is intended to tackle the root causes of the 2011 riots by dealing with issues on some of England's most deprived estates


The Clothworkers’ Foundation has awarded the YMCA and Catch22 funding worth £300,000 each to tackle the root causes of the August 2011 riots.

Both charities were invited to tender for a grant from the foundation’s Better Futures fund, a programme set up to support initiatives that offer effective, long-term solutions to the underlying causes of the riots.

The YMCA will use the money to fund a new national street youth work project working in some of the most deprived estates in England to help young people at risk of involvement with gangs and knife crime.

The funding is over three years and will target young people aged between 10 and 25. It will be focused on three areas in England in which the charity said there was clear evidence of deprivation affecting young people: the north east, the midlands and south-east London.

Denise Hatton, chief executive of YMCA England, said: "Many of our young people tell us that they have felt shut out from society or denied the opportunities that should be available to all – education, relevant training and skills, or simply the chance to take part in fun, well-organised and safe activities where they can socialise, make friends or seek support from a trusted adult.

"By giving young people access to these opportunities, you are effectively giving them a stake in their own society and the confidence that someone believes in them. This is the most important thing we can do when trying to break the cycle of deprivation."

Catch22 will use the funds to provide Engage in Education, an intensive programme of support for secondary school students at high risk of exclusion from mainstream education. The project will involve a minimum of 200 young people aged between 11 and 14 in Greater Manchester.

The initiative will focus on students with low attainment, poor attendance, prior records of exclusion and complex needs, including social, emotional and behavioural difficulties.

The Clothworkers’ Foundation said the Better Futures programme was not open to applications and would not be making any further grants.

Jenna Pudelek

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