Young Brent Foundation, leading a partnership with Spark! Brent Council, MTVH, Hyde and Catalyst have been selected through a highly competitive national funding round to be one of the grantees of the Connected Futures Fund, through Youth Futures Foundation.

The aim of the Connected Futures programme is to join up different agencies and services at a local level so that young people furthest from the job market receive good quality, consistent support that understands their complex needs.

Our unique consortium will support young people that live on three large estates in Brent: Chalkhill, Church End and Stonebridge. In Phase 1 we will work with local young people through a Participatory Action Research approach. Their findings will be the basis for the project’s proposed solutions / next steps. They will be paid in their role as consultants and educators to the project, developing employability skills, being empowered to have their views lead to civic action and policy change whilst developing civic empathy and cultural competencies.

Maxine Willetts, COO of Young Brent Foundation said:

‘We believe collaboration is key to tackling social inequalities. With the support of Youth Futures Foundation and this investment for Phase 1 of the Connected Futures Programme, our partnership will conduct and facilitate change by listening to the voice of young people across the three neighbourhoods. Working with a broad range of partners who are motivated to work together towards a common goal, young people will be able to use a collective voice to address structural change needed to tackle the employment blockages and barriers too often experienced by young people who face disadvantage and low opportunities.’

Matt Lent, CEO of Spark! said:

‘We are delighted to have been selected and look forward to working with young people to address the challenge in gaining employment which include, poorly connected services and provision that is difficult for young people to access and navigate. I am particularly looking forward to using our experience to bring young people and employers together to design shared, sustainable, and systemic solutions.’

Matthew Poole, Director of Grants and Investment at Youth Futures Foundation, said:

‘Thanks to the additional dormant assets funding we have scaled up our flagship place-based programme by an extra £10 million. This means more underserved areas will now benefit from the indispensable support and funding that our Connected Futures programme can offer. By providing flexible funding, Youth Futures encourages grantees to foster collaboration, innovation and risk-taking whilst acting as a catalyst for wider change – we cannot wait to see what these local group partnerships have in store for young people within their community.’