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Young Funders Initiative


The Young Funders initiative is an opportunity for organisations to work alongside young people with care experience to design their own funding programme and make decisions on how money is spent.

The Trust has gathered a substantial amount of learning around co-production and also around the transformational impact that individual grants can have on the lives of young people with care experience. We wanted to support organisations to do more of this work as we moved towards our closure on 31 March 2022. 

The result is our Young Funders initiative.

We asked organisations who have worked closely alongside young people with care experience, how their care experienced community would use a fund to improve the lives of young people. They came to us with ideas that ranged from individual grants for opportunities around creativity or employability to a project in which young people would explore what the Independent Care Review and The Promise means to them.

We wanted these organisations and young people to make the most of this opportunity and so we offered as much support to them as possible. This included members of our Advisory Group providing one-to-one consultancy during the projects, offering the benefit of their expertise around co-production and individual grant-making. It also involved the creation of a learning community for participating organisations and interested funders. In this community, they can come together to explore ideas, share learning and gather evidence of the impact the projects have made, all to ensure that funding work that places lived experience at its heart continues to grow in scale and impact.


We funded the following projects:

  • Aberlour

This project will use a participatory grant-making approach to explore what The Promise means to young people and explore how they can lead the work on embedding it in their lives and in the care they experience.

  • Citizens Theatre

Working in partnership with the Citizens Theatre Learning Team, a film company and a writer, the WAC Ensemble (a theatre group comprised of young people with care experience) will devise and produce a short film. Skills development will be a key part of the process as young people learn about all elements of film-making and production, developing their own screen skills before sharing their movie with the care experienced community in Scotland and further afield at short film festivals.

  • Helm

Helm will support young people to co-design an individual grant fund. Following the co-design of the fund, the young people will support the grant-making process and lead on the decision-making of the grant applications. These young people will benefit from the learning process around co-production and grant-making and bring more opportunities to young people with care experience in their community in the Dundee area.

  • Moniack Mhor Writers Centre

Moniack Mhor will support the development of an individual grants programme that will allow young people to build their creative skills or develop artistic projects. The project will create opportunities for young people to learn more deeply, design their own learning, benefit from potential employment opportunities and, for those on the steering group, to develop co-production skills.

  • Move On

Move On will support a group of young people with care experience to explore, research and reach out to other young people about how funding should be used in a way that will be of benefit to the whole care experienced community. They will investigate ideas around what young people can attend, see or join that will have a positive effect on them.

  • Quarriers

Quarriers will build upon their co-production experience by working alongside their young people to develop an individual grants programme in which young people are the key decision makers at every stage.

  • STAF

Scottish Throughcare and Aftercare Forum will develop an individual grants programme to support young care leavers as they transition out of lockdown, helping young people achieve short or long term goals.

  • Standing Tall Arts

Standing Tall Arts will continue its partnership with the Scottish Guardianship Service to introduce an individual grants programme tailored to the needs of unaccompanied asylum seekers. Its aim is to further the career opportunities of unaccompanied asylum seeking children by empowering them to apply for small grants to support them with costs such as education fees and tools or equipment for trade training.

  • Who Cares? Scotland on Shetland

Building on the leadership skills developed and demonstrated by the #ShetlandCrew as part of their Home & Belonging project, Who Cares? Scotland will support the young people to build a participatory grant-making project that will focus on building closer networks within the care experienced community on Shetland and possibly beyond.


Fund Total: £370,988
Funds administered directly by young people: £230,270