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The Youth Endowment Fund opens new £10 million grant round for positive activities

Today [5th April 2023], the Youth Endowment Fund (YEF) has opened a new £10 million grant round. Focused on the theme of ‘positive activities’, the round will test the impact of sports, arts and adventure and wilderness activities on preventing violence.

The YEF’s mission is to find what works to prevent children becoming involved in violence and build a movement to put this knowledge into practice. Through its new grant round, the charity will fund projects which use positive activities as a means to protect children from violence and as a ‘hook’ to engage them in other support services. For example, talking therapies, mentoring or social skills training.

The grant round is aimed at projects which support children who are already involved in the youth justice system (for example, in either custodial or community-based settings) or are considered at high-risk of becoming involved in offending.

The Home Office backed charity is aiming to invest between £9 million and £10 million to fund and evaluate five or six large-scale projects in England and Wales. Projects must deliver one of the following positive activities:

  • sports
  • the arts (including music making, arts and craft, dancing, drama, creative writing and poetry, photography, painting, pottery, sculpture or new media/digital arts)
  • adventure activities
  • wilderness activities

Projects will be funded for a maximum of 24 months and will need to support a minimum of 350 children over this period.

Analysing research studies from across the world, the YEF estimates that sport programmes have a high impact on preventing crime and violence.  The research also suggests that adventure and wilderness therapy programmes have an impact, although the charity estimates it’s lower. In both instances, the YEF states its confidence in its estimated impact ratings are ‘low’ due to a lack of high-quality impact studies – an issue it’s looking to directly address through its Positive activities grant round. The YEF will publish an analysis of the impact of art programmes on crime and violence later this year.

The YEF’s Positive activities grant round is open for applications until Friday 26th May 2023. For further information, please visit:

Rt Hon Lucy Frazer KC MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport said: “Sport and culture not only enrich our lives, they can help some of our most vulnerable young people to choose the right path in life.

“New research by the Youth Endowment Fund will help shine a light on how we can use our national love of sport and culture to keep our children even safer.”

Jon Yates, Executive Director at the Youth Endowment Fund, said: “When children are facing challenges or going through difficult periods of their lives, structured sports, arts or outdoor activities can provide guidance and support.

“Our £10 million funding will help us know which positive activities prevent violence and why. With this information, we can push for better services and support to ensure that all children can live a life free from violence.”