Young people living in anti-social behaviour hotspots in England will get more access to sport, arts and opportunities to develop skills this summer, thanks to the first £3 million from the Million Hours Fund.

  • Government rolls out first £3 million of the Million Hours Fund to help youth organisations offer additional opportunities through the summer holidays
  • Initial funding will provide more chances for young people to play sport, take part in arts and develop life skills this summer
  • First round of the fund follows launch of the PM’s Anti Social Behaviour Action Plan earlier this year to build stronger communities

To mark the start of Anti-Social Behaviour Awareness Week, the first round of funding from Government and The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest community funder in the UK, will make grants available for youth organisations to provide more out-of-school activities and support more young people in areas of high need this summer.

The Million Hours Fund, announced in March as part of the Prime Minister’s Anti Social Behaviour Action Plan, will support an additional one million hours of positive activities from youth services.

By giving young people somewhere safe to go, something engaging to do, and someone trusted to talk to, they can be helped away from bad life choices and get access to greater support, which is why the Government is investing in more of these opportunities.

Additional youth workers, volunteers, venue hire and activity resources will be made available through the first tranche of funding, now open for applications. The £3 million investment will also fund youth workers’ engagement with young people in the areas they already spend time in, such as parks and leisure facilities, so those particularly at risk of falling onto the wrong path are reached.

Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer said:

Every young person, no matter where they’re from, deserves the best start in life and opportunities to fulfil their potential. Youth clubs play a central role here – not only offering sports, games and skills development, but also helping support those in need and providing vital role models.

Today we are opening applications for the first £3 million of the Million Hours Fund so youth organisations can deliver extra provision over the summer holidays – meaning more young people can enjoy and take part in positive and fun activities while school is out.

Prospective applicants are invited to apply for part of the initial £3 million funding from today. This will allow youth organisations to offer additional opportunities through the school summer holidays, giving young people aged 11 to 18, and those aged up to 25 with disabilities and special educational needs, greater access to positive activities such as educational trips and days out. The remaining £8 million from the Million Hours Fund will open for applications from the autumn, with further details to be announced in due course.

David Knott, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Community Fund, said:

We’re delighted to jointly fund this initiative to bring much needed additional youth provision and positive activities to young people across England.

As we say in our new 2030 strategy, ‘It starts with community’, we will focus National Lottery funding on supporting children and young people to thrive, strengthening society and improving lives.

This funding forms part of the Government’s Anti-Social Behaviour Action Plan, which aims to eradicate antisocial behaviour from our communities, and the Government’s ‘National Youth Guarantee’, which will ensure every young person aged between 11 and 18 in England has access to regular clubs and activities, adventures away from home, and volunteering opportunities by 2025.

Backed by an investment of more than £500 million, this includes the Youth Investment Fund, which will see young people benefit from the building and renovation of up to 300 youth centres in areas where need is high and existing youth provision is low over the next two years. More than £100 million has already been allocated, with construction or refurbishments underway.

Further information about eligibility criteria and applications for the first £3 million of the Million Hours Fund. Successful applicants will be informed in due course.

Source: Department for Culture, Media and Sport and The Rt Hon Stuart Andrew MPPublished3 July 2023

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