Shape the future of our £200m fund to prevent children becoming involved in violence

Jon Yates
Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Involvement in violence devastates children and young people’s lives. The pandemic risks making this even worse with children missing months of school and struggling to access support from adults that they trust and rely on.

Everyone I speak to about this tragedy, has one core message: we need change.

The Youth Endowment Fund is here to make a change. Our mission is to create a lasting, long-term change for the children at risk of becoming involved in violence. Today, we’ve launched our ambitious, ten-year strategy, which sets out how together we can make this a reality.

Making change happen

We know that young people’s involvement in violence isn’t inevitable – it’s preventable. But making that change is complex. There isn’t a simple, single solution.

To make a lasting difference, we need to work hard to build a consensus about what works and the change that needs to happen. To do that, we need rigorous research and evidence, which is easy to find, easy to understand and as easy as possible to apply. And we need to listen to children and young people themselves, to build a deep understanding of their lives. Our strategy brings all of this together. It sets out how we’ll be funding great work and evaluate it. How we’ll commission research that we’ll share in an open, accessible way. How we’ll bring people together to build networks and connections. And how we’ll make sure young people are at the heart of it all.

To put this plan into action, we need your help.

We know that over the next decade, there are a lot of areas we need to cover. Now we need to decide where we’ll start. That’s why we’re asking for help from everyone working in children’s and youth services. We want you to have your say, so that we can choose the right two theme areas we’ll focus our funding on, from now until 2023.

We’ve had some really useful conversations already with people working across lots of different settings. And we’ve conducted our own review of the evidence that’s already out there. We’ve used what we’ve learned to develop some initial ideas about the themed areas where we want to focus our initial funding on:

  1. Shut out at school: This theme would ask which approaches work best to prevent school absences, a lack of positive relationships and exclusion from mainstream school, all of which are linked to involvement in violence later in a child’s life.
  2. Diverting from the criminal justice system: This theme would ask which approaches work best to support those children and young people who are already involved in violence or who are most at risk. They could involve individual, family or community support at critical points in a child’s life; for example, after they’ve been arrested or admitted into A&E following a violent assault.

We want you to tell us, based on your experience and expertise, what you think. Are we starting in the right areas? Have we included the right things in the scope of those themes? What have we missed? What should we do better?

We’ll be running a series of roundtables and surveys to make sure we’ve heard from you. We want our discussions to improve our thinking, so that our work together can make a real difference over the next three years. We’ll listen to what you tell us - if these themes aren’t right, we’ll go in a different direction. And we’ll explain how we’ve made our decision.

What’s next?

We hope the conversations we have will just be the start of us developing the Youth Endowment Fund’s work together. Once we’ve selected our themes, we’ll need your help to make sure that the scope for our next grant round, our research and our focus for change is right. And throughout the ten years of the fund, we’ll keep asking, keep listening and keep adapting. Because we know we’ll only achieve our mission if we work together. If you’d like to take part SIGN UP HERE

Still have questions? Our FAQs are here to answer them, or you can get in touch

Jon Yates is executive director of the Youth Endowment Fund

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