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The Youth Endowment Fund has today announced that it will commit up to £6.5m in new grants to find the best ways to reach “increasingly invisible” vulnerable young people during the current COVID-19 restrictions.

With access to schools restricted and the provision of youth services severely reduced, young people at risk of youth violence have become increasingly “invisible”. At the same time, they have lost much of the help and guidance they rely on.

The Youth Endowment Fund was set up to find the best ways to protect young people from being drawn into violent crime. The new money has two aims. It will fund activities that support vulnerable children at risk of youth violence. It will also find the very best ways to reach and support these vulnerable children under the current social distancing and stay-at-home guidelines.

Organisations working with young people (aged 10-14) at risk of youth violence in England and Wales will be able to apply for funding of £25,000 and over. Activities that will be funded include the delivery of digital and virtual programmes; face-to-face work in schools, including activities to help vulnerable young people return to school; and detached youth work.

Half of the total funding available will be reserved for charities and social enterprises to help bolster the voluntary sector as it deals with the financial strains of the pandemic.

Jon Yates, Executive Director of the Youth Endowment Fund, said: “Large numbers of young people in England and Wales are vulnerable and need regular support and protection. These children have not gone away while we fight COVID-19, but they have become increasingly invisible. This money will help find the very best ways to reach and protect these children, be that online, in their community or back in the classroom.”

Applications for the Youth Endowment Fund’s COVID-19 grant round will be open for four weeks from midday today [Wednesday 6 May 2020] and will close at 12pm Wednesday 3 June 2020. For more information and to apply, please click HERE.

The Youth Endowment Fund was established last year with a ten-year, £200m endowment from the Home Office. To date, the independent charitable trust has awarded a total of £17.1m to 23 projects, working with 36,000 children across England and Wales.