National Express Foundation unlocks £250,000 more funding to help young people

Applications are invited from community groups and educational institutions for a share of a new pot of funding which is being made available to help young people succeed in life.

Earlier this year, the Foundation committed over £250,000 to support 3,000 young people in the West Midlands and Kent. This second £250,000 round of funding aims to increase the number helped this year. The Foundation is also making the process simpler for community groups to apply.

The application process for community groups in this round will involve two stages. Initially, groups will simply be asked to provide a single paragraph setting out the proposed activity. This application form can be found here with a deadline of 6th October 2019. These applications will be assessed, and those which are considered most likely to succeed will be invited to submit a more detailed application.

James Donnan, Foundation General Manager explained: “We recognised that for many small community groups, the process of completing detailed application forms is time-consuming and can be particularly frustrating if unsuccessful.

“By simplifying our application process we are encouraging any group that works with young people to apply and pitch us an idea of how their activity helps to support, develop and engage young people. We can then assist successful organisations to progress these ideas in to a full proposal”.

Earlier this year, the Foundation supported 17 community groups and 2 educational institutions. Youth-led group kxkreations,operating through D.I.M.E Studios CIC in Birmingham, received a grant of £2,500 to facilitate young people creating and performing music, tackling challenges of antisocial behaviour in the process. The youth led group introduces fellow young people to professional producers and mentors in order for them to develop their skills. 

Reuben Edwards, project leader aged 17, explained: “As a youth group, we believe we can help others we share experiences with, dealing with gang culture, identity and violence. By giving young people the opportunity to create something we believe this will give them the opportunity to learn and grow. With this grant I believe we can achieve this and help young people see opportunities for themselves and develop new skills and confidence"

Longford Short Football, based in Coventry, were awarded a £10,000 grant to fund their ‘Grab a Football, Not a Knife’ campaign over two years. The voluntary group uses unique, small portable football ‘stadiums’ to take the game to as many areas as possible. The group delivers targeted activities using sport to foster cultural cohesion and reductions in anti-social behaviour.

Jim Sweeney, Project Coordinator for Longford Short Football said: "As a voluntary group, coaching for the past 30 years within Coventry, our ‘Short Football’ project was completely overwhelmed to have been awarded a grant of £10,000. This generous grant is twice the amount we have ever been awarded and will enable us to take our ‘Grab a Football, Not a Knife’ anti-knife campaign not just across the West Midlands, but also UK wide for the next two years. This is a cause close to our hearts after we suffered the tragic loss of two former players through knife crime in 2018. We hope that by raising awareness of the danger of carrying a knife we can positively impact the lives of many young people.”

The deadline for first round community group applications is 6th October, with successful groups being invited to complete a second round form on 11th October before a later deadline of 1st November. Educational institutions can find their application form here, with a deadline of 25th October.

For full details of the respective projects and bursary programmes that can be supported by Foundation funding this year please visit

Published 13th September 2019