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Place-based funding

Neighbourhood Fund

We want to understand if and how empowering people to make decisions about their local neighbourhoods can prevent children from becoming involved in violence.


We know that a lot of violent crime happens in very specific local areas. To make a difference, many believe that it’s essential to work with the people and organisations who live and work there – they know their communities best.

Through our Neighbourhood Fund we want to understand if and how empowering people to make decisions about their local neighbourhoods can prevent children from becoming involved in violence.

The questions we’re aiming to answer:

Which community engagement and partnership approaches help to keep children safe from violence? How do they work?

How do different conditions and contexts affect change?

Which hyper-local activities, interventions and approaches are most effective in preventing children and young people from becoming involved in violence?

How do you measure changes in violence at a neighbourhood level?

Our approach

Through our Neighbourhood Fund, we’ll invest and build long-term partnerships in up to 15 hyper-local areas in England and Wales, where there are higher numbers of children and young people involved in crime and violence.

In each of these areas we’ll aim to understand the problems the community faces, then co-design, deliver and evaluate solutions that are both evidence-informed and responsive to their local needs.

There’ll be four phases to our long-term investment:

  1. Feasibility (2-3 months)

We’ll commission a community research and co-design partner to work with us and statutory partners (like the local council, or violence reduction unit) in each local authority area. Together, they’ll identify the hyper-local area where crime is highly concentrated and where there’s opportunity for change. This might mean focusing on a housing estate, a local council ward, an area around a shopping centre or an area straddling two neighbourhoods. Our partners will also work with other agencies, funders and commissioners to make sure that our Neighbourhood Fund work aligns with other violence reduction strategies in the area.

2. Discovery (6-12 months)

During this phase our community research and co-design partners will work with the local community to understand the causes of violence, making sure that their needs and aspirations are understood and reflected in decisions about the local project. They’ll also develop local partnerships to better understand how the community is already being served and identify relevant voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations to work with.

3. Co-design solution (6-12 months)

With our community research and co-design partners we’ll work with the local community to develop an action plan to prevent children from becoming involved in violence. The plan will be informed by the best available evidence of what works, while empowering communities to find, design and deliver solutions themselves. This stage will be supported by an independent learning partner, who will be responsible for evaluating the plan and sharing learning as the plan is put into practice.

4. Put the plan into action (up to five years)

Finally, we’ll provide support and funding for up to five years for areas to implement the community’s plans. We recognise that, as the plan progresses, things might need to change. Our learning partner will be there to help areas throughout this stage, so that we’re able to learn what works, how it works and why.

Neighbourhood Fund – Round 1

For the first round of our Neighbourhood Fund, five hyperlocal areas have been identified where young people are more likely to witness or be involved in crime:

  • Barkerend, an inner-city area of Bradford
  • Grangetown and Butetown, just south of the city of Cardiff
  • Cheetham Hill, north of Manchester city centre
  • Lozells- Newtown, an inner-city area in West Birmingham
  • Nelson, an area close to the town centre and seafront in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk

To identify the broader geographical areas, we’ve tried to find out where (across England and Wales) there are higher numbers of children involved in crime and violence. However, there’s no single way to do this. In our report, Building safer neighbourhoods, we outline the methodology and data we used, and explain some of the judgements and trade-offs we made in identifying and choosing these areas. We hope that, by publishing our methods, we’ll provide transparency in the thinking behind our decisions. 

Our partners

Below you’ll find details of the community research and co-design partners who we’ve commissioned to lead the work in each of the five areas selected for the first round of our Neighbourhood Fund.


  • Lead partner: BVSC (Birmingham Voluntary Service Council)
  • Funding: £127,801





What’s next?

  • Selecting small, local areas

We’re working with our community research and co-design partners in each of the five areas we’ve selected, to identify the hyper-local areas we’ll invest in.  We’ll publish details of these areas when they’ve been decided.

  • Learning and evaluation partners

We’re working with Renaisi and Dartington Service Design Lab as our learning partners. They’ll help us to learn from our investment in the Neighbourhood Fund and share what we find out, between the selected areas and more broadly.

  • Systematic review

To support our place-based work, we’ve also commissioned a systematic review. This is a detailed kind of study, which will help us learn more about how best to deliver and evaluate place-based approaches to preventing violence. This is scheduled to be published by April 2022.

  • Future rounds

We’ll run two more grant rounds in the future, which means we’ll support up to 15 places through our Neighbourhood Fund.  Our decisions on where we’ll invest in next will be be informed by a review of our current approach, which we’ll complete in April 2022.

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If you have a question about our place-based work, please read our FAQs.


© 2022 The Youth Endowment Fund Charitable Trust. Registered Charity Number: 1185413.
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