Youth Opportunity Fund and Youth Capital Fund: Evaluation findings from initial case study visits

Gill Bielby, Sarah Golden, Lisa O'Donnell, Marian Morris, Matthew Walker , Sue Maguire

01 July 2007

Research report available to download from DCSF

Research brief available to download from DCSF

Key Findings

  • Involvement of young people - The evidence indicated that the LAs had met the objective of the Funds, which was to give young people a voice, through consultation and control over resources. The LAs had involved young people in the design and development of the Funds processes and procedures, and the young people involved in the decision-making panels felt that their views were generally respected.
  • Activities and facilities funded - Early indications show that a wide range and variety of projects and activities had been funded through the YOF/YCF. It was generally reported that these projects were providing young people with an opportunity that they would not otherwise have had, either because the LA or other agencies would not have thought of the ideas in the applications, or because of lack of resources.
  • Reaching target groups of young people - LAs had, to some extent, involved young people from a range of backgrounds and with a variety of characteristics, including those from hard-to-reach groups. However, this was an area of development for LAs. Although some funded projects included those from young people from hard-to-reach groups, at the time of the case-study visits applications tended to come from young people in established groups that were related to the Youth Service.
  • Outcomes to date - The Funds were helping to strengthen or broaden LAs’ existing systems for consulting young people. Involvement in the Funds had enabled LAs to gain further insights into what young people need, to identify gaps in provision, to engage with new groups of young people and to develop their confidence in combining empowering young people with finance. Young people’s responsible and altruistic approach to distributing the Funds was also contributing to engendering a culture of empowerment and an ethos where young people’s views were sought and valued.

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