We’ve held a number of workshops to discuss some key themes from our Empowering Young People programme – see our previous blog. Based on these discussions we’ve decided to post some blogs on the key programme themes that raised the most questions. We hope you find them helpful.
If you are applying for funding to our Empowering Young People programme, we will ask you to show us why your project is needed.
We want the projects we fund to give young people the ability to cope with challenges in their lives. So we will expect you to talk to young people, their support networks and communities to find out the scale of the issues or problems they face and how best to support them.
Your application needs to tell us what you’ve found out and how your project can make a difference. This is the “why is your project needed” section on the application form. We want you to show us how this evidence has shaped the plans for your project.
We also want you to look at what needs to change to improve the lives of the young people you want to support. You can find out more about this in our blog “What will your project change – what will the outcome be?”
How to gather evidence on why your project is needed:
Talk to young people
Who are you trying to help? Talk to the young people you are already working with and those who you haven’t worked with before. These young people might be able to encourage others to get involved. Ask some key questions:
• What are their challenges?
• What will help them cope better?
• What skills or support do they need?
• How can you provide this?
• What services are already provided for them and do they use them?
Young people must be involved in the planning and delivery of your project. This is an important part of your application. Find out more about this in our blog on “Putting young people at the centre of your project”.
Talk to young people’s wider support networks and communities
These are the people who are involved in the everyday lives of the young people you want to help. They might be families and caregivers, people in groups they’re involved in, teachers, social workers, schools.
Do they see the challenges in the same way as young people? Can their experience give you more information about the issues? It can be good to involve parents and guardians at an early stage. If they understand how you can help they are more likely to encourage young people to get involved.
Look at what services are already there
Tell us what services exist and how your project is different. Is there a gap in services or an obstacle stopping young people from using them?
If an issue is being addressed by another group or organisation, how will your work complement theirs? Can you work together?
Use research that is specific to your project
What evidence exists to support the need for your project? For example – have you (or another organisation) piloted any projects or carried out an evaluation that shows why your project will work?
Using statistical data that relates to the project
If you use statistics, they should be specific and about the young people and community you are working with and the issues or challenges they face. It is really important to focus on what your project will change, rather than deprivation or high youth unemployment.
- Be direct in your application.
- Focus on the problems that you want your project to address.
- Use facts and present your information as bullet points.
- For research and consultation provide a brief reference to the date, location and scope.
- The Applying for Funding pages on our website give advice about how to plan your project – this includes a section on Identifying Need.