Proactive Grants:
Better Futures

This initiative is not open to funding enquiries or applications.

Better Futures launched in 2013, with an initial allocation of £1.25 million. Driving it were the 2011 riots as well as the underlying effects of the recession and the economic downturn (and its significant impact on disadvantaged young people). From 2013 to 2017, six major projects were funded. In 2017, nfpSynergy completed an independent external evaluation of Better Futures and posed the key question of whether it was ‘a job well done, or a job well started?’ Based on the evaluation report and on our own internal analysis of projects, our trustees allocated a further £1.25 million from 2019. Six further major grants were awarded that year (five of them to organisations that had received funding during the first phase), with the final grant awarded in 2020.

With all funds now committed, our support for Better Futures totals £2.5 million since its launch in 2013.

Having undertaken the evaluation of the first phase grants from 2013 to 2017, nfpSynergy is carrying out an ongoing evaluation of all the phase two grants over their lifetime, the findings of which are again likely to help us to decide whether there should be a third phase in due course.

Better Futures II grants (2019-present)

  • UK Youth: £150,000 over two years for a street-based youthwork programme that aims to address the high levels of disadvantage experienced by young people in Blackburn, an area of significant urban deprivation. Read more ...
  • Blueprint for All (formerly Stephen Lawrence Trust): over three years to run the Pathways to Professions programme based around employability workshops, mentoring, work experience, inspirational talks and support in accessing job opportunities in 15 schools from deprived parts of Birmingham, London, and Manchester. Read more ...
  • Leap Confronting Conflict: £225,000 over three years to expand delivery of the Improving Prospects education programme, which provides high-impact training and development support in deprived North London boroughs to young people struggling with destructive conflict. Read more ...
  • Making the Leap: £176,000 over three years for a skills training and employment opportunities project in North West London. Read more ...
  • ReachOut: £150,000 over three years for six new annual projects aimed at ensuring ongoing participation among the most difficult-to-engage disadvantaged young people in three secondary schools across deprived East London boroughs. Read more ...
  • One in a Million: £177,500 over three years for an out-of-school-hours arts and sports programme in deprived areas of Bradford.

Better Futures I grants (2013-2017)

  • ReachOut: £80,000 for a project working difficult to engage pupils at schools in four deprived London boroughs.
  • Stephen Lawrence Trust (now Blueprint for All): £150,000 for a project supporting disadvantaged young people in South East London into further or higher education
  • Making the Leap: £150,000 for a skills training and employment project in North West London.
  • One in a Million: £143,000 for an out-of-schools arts and sports programme in deprived areas of Bradford.
  • RECLAIM: £136,000 for a leadership programme for young people in deprived areas of Manchester.
  • Catch22: £300,000 for a project working with secondary school pupils at risk of exclusion from mainstream education.
  • YMCA England: £290,000 for a national street-work project aimed at young people aged 10-25 at risk of gang and/or knife crime involvement.

Better Futures Case Studies

UK Youth
UK Youth
UK Youth
Blueprint for All
Blueprint for All
Blueprint for All
Leap Confronting Conflict
Leap Confronting Conflict
Leap Confronting Conflict