Youth Music grants programme

Youth Music is a national charity investing in music-making projects for children and young people (aged 0-25) experiencing challenging circumstances.

Illustration: Egorvector/Adobe Stock
Illustration: Egorvector/Adobe Stock

The charity has a grants programme that supports projects for children and young people who face barriers to music-making as a result of who they are, where they live or the circumstances they face.

About the grants

Youth Music takes an outcomes approach, prioritising projects that support the musical, personal and social development of children and young people, as well as positive outcomes for organisations and their workforce. Every Youth Music project measures its impact against a number of musical, personal and social outcomes markers. Youth Music is supported by the National Lottery, awarding funds via Arts Council England.

What grants are available?

  • Fund A awards grants of between £2,000 and £30,000 for high-quality projects that will help to achieve a musically inclusive England. Grants last from six to 24 months, must achieve three outcomes and have 10 per cent match funding.
  • Fund B awards grants of between £30,000 and £200,000 for high-quality, sustained projects that expand and embed musically inclusive practice within and beyond an organisation. Grant duration is 18 months to three years depending on grant size and there is a maximum of 30 per cent match funding. Recipients will be expected to achieve five outcomes.
  • Fund C awards larger grants for projects with a dual role of delivery and strategic work; expanding and embedding high-quality, inclusive music-making. Applications for this fund are currently closed.

Who is eligible?

Organisations should be a UK-based registered charity or not-for-profit-company and deliver work in England. They should also be legally constituted and have provided activity for a minimum of one year and have a set of accounts no more than 18 months old. Employers should also pay staff the living wage.

Who is helped and how?

The children and young people supported may have faced the following circumstances:

  • Whose family income restricts or prevents their participation in music-making
  • With a condition that makes their participation in music-making more expensive or complex, such as a disability or sensory impairment
  • Whose living situation makes participation in music-making more expensive or complex, such as being in care or living in rural isolation
  • Whose behaviour means they need additional support or specialist services in order to be able to participate, such as young offenders or those at risk of exclusion.

Organisations will need to show how their project will:

  • Identify and work to break down any barriers to music-making
  • Put children and young people’s voices at the heart of the work
  • Place emphasis on young people’s self-expression and musical creativity
  • Support a diversity of high-quality music-making across a range of genres and activities
  • Educate staff and volunteers on the different approaches to teaching and learning.

What are the priority areas?

Youth Music has five priority funding areas, and projects should identify which ones they best fit:

  • Early years – children aged 0-5 who face barriers to accessing music-making.
  • SEND – including children who have moderate and profound learning difficulties, a disability or sensory impairment.
  • Young people who are not in education, employment or training or are at risk of Neet – this includes those aged 16 to 24, with family related issues and who have been affected by transience.
  • Children and young people who are, have been, or are at risk of being in contact with the youth justice system
  • Music cold spots – including young people living in areas of high deprivation, low opportunity, limited cultural activity or experiencing physical or mental health problems.

What are the deadlines?

For Fund A, applications are made online and there are deadlines three times a year with decisions made within three months. The next one is 6 December with decisions made by 6 March 2020.

For Fund B, there are two deadlines a year. Each funding round has a two-stage process. The next stage one deadline has just passed and the next stage two deadline is 21 February 2020.

More from:

Funding roundup

  • Learning and Work Institute has been awarded nearly £350,000 over the next three years and will work alongside the Carers Federation to deliver the Driving Change project, which will provide high-quality support to young carers in more than 60 colleges in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
  • OVO Foundation’s When I Grow Up will fund three partners each receiving £80,000 over two years. The projects – the Doorstep Library, Parental Engagement Network and Tales Toolkit – all seek to engage parents and help support children with developing their communication and language. OVO Foundation, OVO Energy’s charity arm, which is part-funded by customers, is supporting projects tackling inequality in early education.
  • The Department for Education will allocate a £155m to colleges and sixth forms next year as part of an additional £400m for 16-19 learning. This includes £65m to help cover the cost of delivering courses in six key, more expensive subject areas, £55m will be allocated for delivering high value-courses and £35m more will be provided to support students on Level 3 courses.
  • Internet infrastructure company Nominet, is to provide grants totalling more than £500,000 as part of its #Reset Mental Health Programme. #Reset aims to increase the reach and impact of mental health services for young people. Youth organisations to already receive funding include The Mix, Chasing the Stigma, YoungMinds, stem4, Nightline Association, Barnardo’s and The Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families.

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