FERHA FAROOQUI, HEAD OF NATIONAL STATUTORY DEVELOPMENT
Why did you apply to this funder? The aim of Fairbridge's under-16 programme is to engage and motivate 3,000 young people who are truanting or at risk of missing out on school. It will provide them with a personalised combination of long-term one-to-one support and practical group activities that better suit their needs. We had previously made successful applications through the Community Fund, and this project fitted with the BLF's Young People's Fund programme.
What did the application process involve? It was a two-stage process consisting of a short initial application form followed by a detailed project plan. The whole process took nine months from the submission of the first stage application and involved a lengthy assessment stage. This involved a two-hour telephone assessment, after which we had to submit further written and financial information on the project.
Is part of the money for infrastructure or training? The grant part-funds a number of staff posts, including outreach and development workers. They will provide one-to-one support for each young person from entry to exit point throughout their time with Fairbridge. Development tutors are also funded. The grant also contributes to overheads, management and transport costs.
Did you apply to other funders? We have received funding for the under-16 programme from Absolute Return for Kids, the Esmee Fairbairn Charitable Trust and the Garfield Weston Foundation.
WHY WE GAVE THE GRANT - BIG LOTTERY FUND SPOKESMAN
The key consideration for applications to the Young People's Fund is that young people are involved at all stages of project development. The Fairbridge application clearly demonstrated how it plans to support young people who haven't responded to mainstream learning by helping them to identify the specific personal or social skills they need to tackle the underlying causes of anti-social behaviour.
The personalised combination of long-term one-to-one support and practical group activities offered by Fairbridge is an innovative approach that could be replicated elsewhere.