Connected Futures Fund

Aims/priorities: Funding is intended to promote collaborative, cross-sectoral working which creates systemic change in the area of youth services. This includes making sure young people have access to:

  • Holistic support that responds to their situation by taking their needs and strengths into account.
  • Aligned services that work together to help them achieve their goals rather than pulling in different directions.
  • Connected services with effective communication and coordination across organisations and sectors so that they do not have to navigate everything for themselves.
  • Consistent support over time.

Activities should improve young people's experiences of support and tackle barriers which mean young people facing disadvantage do not get the support they need.

Improving the Journey

Personalised support addressing health needs, caring responsibilities and other issues, based on young people's abilities and ambitions.

Developing better pathways between education, training and work.

Supporting young people through key transitions such as leaving school or care or entering employment.

Engaging employers so that they are better prepared to employ and support young people facing disadvantage.

Responding to young people's individual and family context.

Tackling Barriers

Engaging young people who services are failing to reach.

Developing anti-racist/anti-discriminatory services.

Recognising and responding to trauma and adverse childhood experiences.

Providing support to include young people with physical or learning disabilities.

Enabling equal and inclusive access to work and training opportunities.

The purpose of Phase 1 funding is to allow collaborative working to explore a problem with how support is organised or delivered that affects young people facing disadvantage. Funding is flexible, but it is expected that grants will be used to cover:

  • Salaries and staff costs, including existing staff.
  • Costs of young people's and/or volunteers' time and participation.
  • Ethnographic, youth-led or participatory research.
  • Mapping systems, resource flows or other processes to understand how services and agencies interact.
  • Exploring evidence or experiences from other places.
  • Data/cost-benefit analysis.
  • Co-design or prototyping to try out new ways of working at small scale.

Phase 2 funding will support collective local efforts to address the problems explored in Phase 1. This may involve new interventions or services that can fill gaps in current provision, or may focus on relationships, processes, incentives or decision-making to achieve systemic change.

Who can apply? Applications will be accepted from partnerships of at least three organisations, representing at least two of the following:

  • Community-based partner (eg charity, social enterprise, social purpose, non-profit).
  • Local partner with statutory responsibility for young people aged 16 to 25 (eg borough, district or town council, college, school, alternative education provider).
  • Collective employer body (eg Local Enterprise Partnership, Chamber of Commerce, SME networks) or a large not-for-profit employer.

Applicants must be based in one of the 83 eligible local authority areas across England, a list of which can be found on the Youth Futures Foundation website. All partners must be legally incorporated, and the accountable partner must have a turnover of at least £100,000 per annum and have been in operation for at least three years. Preference will be given to applications where at least one of the partners is led by people from a community that they will be working with.

Grant amount: The fund will have two phases:

  • Phase 1 (June 2022 to December 2023) - six to eight grants of up to £125,000 will be made to partnerships exploring problems with employment support for young people experiencing disadvantage and mobilising stakeholders around a shared ambition for change.
  • Phase 2 (January 2024 onwards) - grants of up to £1.5 million will be made to deliver on these ambitions in two to four of the places supported during Phase 1.

Application process: A funding prospectus and online application form can be found on the Youth Futures Foundation website.

Deadline: 17 January 2022 (midnight)

Contact information: Tel: 020 7553 4539, Email:

Website address:

over £25,000
Charitable Company
Partnerships and Consortiums
Registered Charity
Social Enterprise
Funding Theme: 
Children and Young People
Unpublish Date: 
Monday, 17 January, 2022