Young People’s Foundations

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The Young People’s Foundation (YPF) model is the response of John Lyon’s Charity to the current pressures on the Children and Young People sector and specifically the issues faced by the voluntary sector in outer London. Over the past few years, the Charity has become increasingly concerned about the lack of high quality youth provision in these outer boroughs and via the Young People’s Foundations seek to ensure that what remains, is a viable and vibrant youth sector that is sustainable in the future.

What are Young People’s Foundations?

Young People’s Foundations (YPFs) have been developed to combat the effects of widespread cuts in funding in the Children and Young People’s sector. Their goal is to ensure that the organisations and groups that serve children and young people are strong, sustainable and fit for purpose.

After a long period of consultation with voluntary sector groups, local authorities, faith groups and housing associations, the model of the YPFs has emerged. YPFs are borough-based, membership organisations that are open to any group that works with children and young people in the relevant borough.

The YPFs are in their development stage and are being overseen by interim boards. Over the next twelve months, the YPFs will be seeking to establish full Trustee boards with diverse memberships that include representatives from:

  • voluntary sector
  • local authority
  • police
  • clinical commissioning groups
  • housing associations
  • state schools
  • faith groups
  • uniformed groups
  • corporate sector
  • funders

What will the Young People’s Foundations do?

The primary purpose of the YPFs is to support and build capacity in the Children and Young People’s sector. They will work strategically to bring different groups together to develop partnership projects and share resources and good practice. They will concentrate on four main strands of work:

  1. They will facilitate centralised fundraising based on a consortia approach in order to access funding from a variety of sources
  2. They will provide a ‘Venue Bank’ for groups to share and access available sites to run their projects
  3. They will distribute a Small Grant fund to member organisations
  4. They will organise sector specific capacity building

Where are the Young People’s Foundations?

Young People’s Foundations currently exist in the following London boroughs. Click on the borough for information on the YPF in that area:

What does this mean for me?

YPFs are membership organisations and any group that is working with children and young people in either Barnet, Brent or Harrow is eligible to join. The specific benefits for member groups are still being developed and discussions are being held throughout the sector to consider what would be of most benefit to the widest number of groups.

Some general benefits to becoming members will include:

  • access to an online database of venues that you could use to deliver your project when necessary
  • the opportunity to join consortias when appropriate, to bid for larger pots of funding and develop joint initiatives
  • the opportunity to apply to a Small Grant fund
  • networking events and other forums to meet other groups working with children and young people in your local area

Who is funding the Young People’s Foundations?

Currently, the main funders of YPFs are John Lyon’s Charity, City Bridge Trust, London Borough of Camden, London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham and Westminster City Council.

Discussions are being held with a variety of other interested funders, clinical commissioning groups and housing associations. YPFs are actively pursuing engagement from the corporate sector.

Who else is involved?

The YPF model was developed in partnership with a huge variety of organisations with very specific expertise in the Children and Young People sector. These include:

  • London Youth
  • Partnership for Young London
  • National Resource Centre for Supplementary Education (NRCSE)

I am a small group, is this relevant for me?

YPFs are open to any group that is working with children and young people in the relevant area and are specifically targeted at small, community led organisations with limited income or capacity. YPFs will support you in becoming a member and explain how membership can benefit your organisation specifically and how to get more involved.

John Lyon’s Charity is keen that all children and young people focused organisations in the Beneficial Area become members of the YPFs in their area. We will provide support and guidance to groups to help them maximize the potential benefits of becoming a member.

If you have any comments or questions about the Young People’s Foundations or would like further information, please contact Erik Mesel on 0207 259 1705 or at