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The Youth Endowment Fund announces an £18 million investment in alternatives to arrest, conviction and custody for children.

Today, the Youth Endowment Fund (YEF) have announced that they’ll invest almost £18 million in ten projects which all support over 7,300 children and young people by giving them another chance.

The programmes will work with children after they’ve been arrested, when they’ve been in hospital because of a violence assault, or when their teachers, youth workers, social workers, local police officers or other adults are worried that they might be at risk of becoming involved in violence. They’ll then get support. That might mean:

  • Therapies or other kinds of mental health support. In Lancashire and South Cumbria, YEF is funding the NHS Foundation Trust to provide extra therapeutic support to children who come into police custody because of violence. In London, the Violence Reduction Unit’s grant means they’ll train qualified youth workers, social workers, youth justice workers and teachers to deliver cognitive behavioural therapy to children and young people to children in the community.

  • Mentoring. In Greater Manchester, the Salford Foundation will use their YEF grant to partner young people who are referred through Manchester Police with a youth worker, who’ll work with the young person to build a tailored support plan. In Leicestershire, the Violence Reduction Network will work with schools to identify children at risk of exclusion and provide them with one-to-one mentoring and social skills training. In Nottingham, at the moment a child is brought into the police custody suite the Violence Reduction Unit’s YEF-funded project will offer them activities, with the aim of keeping them safe from violence offending in the future. The charity We Are With You’s YEF project will offer mentoring for children in Kent, Cornwall, Lancashire and Merseyside who have been arrested and in possession of a class B or class C drugs, giving them the chance to reflect on how their actions have affected their lives, their family and wider community.

  • Positive activities. United Borders will use their grant to provide two-month, trauma-informed music mentoring programme to children referred by Brent’s Youth Offending Service, to help them impact of their behaviour on their wellbeing. Also in London, YES Outdoors’s project will provide recreational activities, including indoor rock-climbing and bicycle maintenance to children referred by the police and local authority youth services. The project will provide positive role models, raise aspirations, teach new skills and provide therapeutic support.

  • Restorative justice. In Greater Manchester, REMEDI’s YEF-funded project will facilitate restorative justice interventions between young people who’ve committed crimes and their victims, alongside providing intensive mentoring support for the young person and additional support for their families.

  • Support in A&E. Redthread work in 13 hospitals across London, Nottinghamshire and Birmingham. Their project will use the ‘teachable moment’ of being admitted to hospital as victims of assault and exploitation, to help young people create positive change within their own lives and to disrupt the cycle of violence.

The YEF’s commitment to the evidence – as well as funding projects – is why every single YEF-funded project is being paired with an independent evaluator. Because by improving our understanding of which programmes work and by helping organisations put it into practice, the YEF will help prevent children and young people in England and Wales from becoming involved in violence.  

It’s so important that, when things go wrong, children and young people are given another chance to turn their lives around. By working with these ten programmes and their evaluators, we have a unique chance to find out which kinds of support makes the greatest difference at these critical moments.

This grant round is particularly exciting because, once our evaluations have concluded, we’ll share the results and advocate for more of the programmes that work. That might be by scaling up projects, working to change practice or by looking to change policy. Together, we can make sure that what we learn changes things for young people, so that they get the evidence-led services they deserve.

Jon Yates, Executive Director, Youth Endowment Fund


For media interviews with, please contact: Matt Shaw, Senior Communications Manager at the Youth Endowment Fund on: ; 07414 405031. 

About the funding

A summary of each project is as follows:

Project leadSummary Total amount awardedEvaluator
Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation TrustA programme run by to provide additional mental health support for children who come into police custody following violent behaviour£1,391,283University of Warwick and Cardiff Clinical Trials Unit
London’s Violence Reduction UnitA project to train youth practitioners (social workers, youth workers, youth justice workers, teachers) to deliver cognitive behavioural therapy to children and young people at high-risk of becoming involved in violence.£6,729,187Institute for Fiscal Studies and the Anna Freud Centre
RedthreadA ‘teachable moments’ programme, which provides support to young people in hospital settings after they’ve been the victim of a violent attack or exploitation.£2,106,582University of Birmingham
REMEDIA project to provide restorative justice mentors to children who have displayed violent behaviour or committed violent crime.£1,580,080University of Birmingham
Salford FoundationTailored action plans delivered by the Salford Foundation’s youth workers, including face-to-face mentoring for children who are at risk of becoming involved in violence.£1,397,941Cordis Bright and Greenwich University
United BordersA two-month, trauma-informed music mentoring programme, focused on empowering young people and helping them to understand the impact of their behaviour on their wellbeing.£652,286University of Birmingham
Violence Reduction Network for Leicester, Leicestershire and RutlandOne-to-one mentoring for children who have missed school, been exhibiting difficult behaviour or abusing drugs or alcohol. £990,940Sheffield Hallam University
Violence Reduction Unit, Nottinghamshire Office of the Police and Crime CommissionerA project where a youth worker develops a personal change plan with children who have come into police custody. This might include mentoring, restorative justice or speech and language therapy, if appropriate.£1,433,125Cordis Bright and University of Greenwich
We Are With YouA contextual safeguarding project for children who have been arrested in possession of illegal drugs.£964,513University of Kent
YES OutdoorsA nine-month sports programme delivered alongside therapeutic support, working with children who’ve been identified as being at high-risk of becoming involved in violence are referred onto the programme by the police, multi-agency professionals and local authority youth services£742,224Sheffield Hallam University